Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Circle

If you have been reading my posts for a while, you know that I often mention a national wildlife refuge in Concord, Massachusetts, called Great Meadow.  Actually, the place I write about is one of a chain of meadows and wetlands in the refuge.  It is a beautiful marsh surrounded by woods, a spectacular spot for watching birds and all sorts of other wild creatures.  Today, when Todd and I arrived at the gate to the pathway, we discovered a disturbing notice posted by the refuge managers on the bulletin board.   
Someone, it said, had come to the refuge in the past few days and shot a Canada Goose two times in the head with a blow dart.  It is, of course, illegal to shoot birds on a wildlife refuge, and the managers are looking for leads into who did this.  
As we walked along the path that cuts through the center of the wetlands, spotting red winged blackbirds, marsh wrens, great blue herons, a red-tailed hawk, goldfinches, and several other birds, as well as dragonflies and butterflies and jewel-colored frogs, we wondered aloud about people who enjoy harming other creatures--whether humans or other animals--purely for sport.    
After an hour or so of walking in the baking afternoon sun, we turned to head back to the parking lot, but we'd made it only a few dozen yards when we came across a small group of people talking in hushed tones.  As we approached them I realized that they had found the goose who'd been shot.  I'd been assuming that the goose had died, but there he was, the two darts still in his head, standing beside the water.  Apparently, refuge managers have been trying to catch him, with no luck.  
He is clearly suffering.  To say I am sickened by this is an understatement.  
There are so few wild places left in the part of Massachusetts where I live that a refuge like Great Meadow grows more precious by the year.  It is an enchanting place where a person can stand in one spot for twenty minutes, as we did today, and watch a blue heron fishing, silently, for his lunch just a few feet away, the only sounds coming from dragonflies flitting over the water lilies and the 3" long marsh wrens chattering from their hidden nests in the cattails.    

"Our task must be to free ourselves . . . 
widening our circle of compassion 
to embrace all living creatures 
and the whole of nature and its beauty."
~Albert Einstein


  1. Gigi,

    I'm sickened and my heart is aching for this sweet little creature. I'll never understand how anyone can hurt an innocent living being. NEVER!

    If only the world would live by the wise words of Einstein...if only.

    a lover of all nature's gifts,

  2. To see how cruel and heartless some people can be is truly stomach turning. It's great we have places like Great Meadow set aside for the protection of wildlife.

  3. It must make very small and weak people feel bigger to inflict pain on something smaller and weaker than themselves. How sad and pathetic people can be.

  4. I want to cry. What kind of cruel idiot would do something like this. This makes my tummy hurt.

  5. I love Einsteins words, if only.

    What happened makes me feel sick actually. It's frightening the amount of people who have no love, no compassion or feeling, and go about causing pain and destruction.


  6. Love the quote!
    You were so lucky to capture the moment...admire dragonfly, the wings are like the great cathedral stained glass windows!


  7. How sad :(
    I'm glad you have a beautiful place to escape so close to home though. It's so neat you were able to photograph the dragonflies though. :)

    have a good weekend :)

  8. that is horrible! what glory is achieved by such an act? I'm sure that goose will make though.

  9. Hi Gigi, re comment at mine; I was just talking about Spooks with my parents the other day, they love it. I was saying, I should have started watching it at the beginning, bit late to come in now, it's been going for so long. Maybe they'll do re-runs :)

  10. Einstein's words hold the key to the sacredness of life...There must be more reaching out! Your post tugged at the heart, Gigi...The problems within nature, and even among humankind, are staggering. If only the powers of help not hurt were to much would be different. Thank for this very informative post...lots to think about! Happy weekend, my friend ((HUGS))


  12. What a wonderful quote...and what cruel people...A mystery of humankind...What makes some so cruel and others kind hearted?

  13. Oh. I just don't understand some people. I just don't.


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