Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bookman in Grand Haven MI May 1, 6-8

I will be at the Bookman in Grand Haven MI from 6-8 on May 1 showing my paintings and poetry books for Art Hop.

What is Art Hop?  Art Hop is an event wherein people go from store to store viewing original art and listening to poets.

Since I am both an artist and a poet, I will do both.

Dutchman's Breeches and the Bookman in Grand Haven, MI

I will be at the Bookman in Grand Haven MI on May 1 declaiming poems and showing a few of my watercolors.  I will be at the Bookman again on June 20 at 6-8 pm with my new book, Between Sweetwater and Sand.  See you there.

Dutchmans Breeches

Delicate dances in strong April winds
blowing off Lake Michigan
Delicate wild flowers grow
Under tall pines
Under high sand dunes
Called Rosy Mound.

Tiny white wild
Flowers tremble on green stems
Dance amid lacey green leaves.
They are called Dutch mans breeches.
Did Dutch men ever dance like this?
                                        --Barbara Spring

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Great Lakes from Space by NASA

NASA photo of the five Great Lakes: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.  There is still ice on Lake Michigan and Lake Superior but soon it will all be gone and people will be out on the lakes enjoying swimming, fishing, kayaking, surfing, wind surfing, kite boarding and just enjoying the freshwater seas.

From this point of view, we can appreciate the Great Lakes.  They are freshwater seas.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

For Earth Day: The Dynamic Great Lakes

On Planet On Planet Earth, the Great Lakes are absolutely unique.

The decisions we make in our daily lives,  and the choices we make in who represents us in our government may affect generations to come.  The Great Lakes system is a treasure. Understanding their natural processes and understanding the dynamics of what we do is essential to these life giving waters.

The way to solve pollution  problems is to think globally and to act locally.

Picture yourself as an astronaut looking down from a spacecraft at this beautiful planet, the Earth. From space, it is easy to see that everything is connected to everything else.  The great masses of swirling clouds travel over the continents, drop rain, and sometimes along with the rain, pollutants. The lakes, rivers and seas are interconnected. In order to control global pollution problems they must be controlled at their source.

In order to act locally, some communities, both adult groups and school age students have adopted a stream.  They have observed the places where pollution might be occurring then they have spoken out against pollution in their communities, city councils or other government agencies.  Local groups of people are in the best position to observe what is happening to their local stream.

Local citizens can help develop cleanup strategies and local pollution prevention programs. The problem is too important to leave to government officials and industries alone.

Legislation to curb pollution needs to be on a global level as well as on national, state and local levels since everyone is a part of the global whole and flowing air, water and land ecosystems.

The view of planet Earth as seen from a satellite in outer space shows the continents, deep blue oceans and white swirling clouds of vapor. The five Great Lakes show their distinct, interconnected shapes; unique bodies of fresh water.

Of all the planets our satellite cameras and telescopes have probed, only Earth looks inviting or habitable.  A famous photograph taken from the moon shows Earth rising against a barren moonscape where nothing lives.  In the foreground we see jagged rock, but rising in the distance is Earth with its liquid medium: water.  Water and life are inseparable. Where there is life, there is water; where there is water, there is life.

All nations as well as all living things share the water and air supply that is the planet’s life support system; therefore we all share a responsibility for the cleanliness of the air, water, land and its living webs of life. Air and water never stop to show a passport, but circulate freely around the globe.  The great swirling airstreams and water systems we can see from a satellite circulate continually.

If we thought of the Earth as an apple, a layer of life- supporting air, soil and water would only be as thick as the apple's skin. Life on Earth is only possible as long as our limited life support system works.

excerpted from The Dynamic Great Lakes by Barbara Spring

Monday, March 2, 2015

Barbara Spring Author websites and blogs

Barbara Spring author of
The Dynamic Great Lakes isbn: 1-58851-731-4
This is a green book.  It shows changes in the Great Lakes ecosystems through natural forces and changes by the hand of man, especially in the past 200 years.  I have a website with my books and their reviews: Books by Barbara Spring

I have two blogs with a lot of information and videos about the Great Lakes:

The Dynamic Great Lakes

And websites:

I have published three poetry books: The Wilderness Within; Sophia’s Lost and Found: Poems of Above and Below; Between Sweetwater and Sand.

I do not represent any organization presently.  I worked on grassroots committees to ban DDT in the past.  This resulted in a return of the American bald eagle to the shores of the Great Lakes along with peregrine falcons and ospreys and in other areas, fish eating birds such as the brown pelican and whooping crane.

I was a correspondent for the Grand Rapids Press for many years specializing in out door  and agriculture topics.

I was an adjunct professor at Grand Valley State University and designed writing courses around environmental topics.

I am inspired by the Great Lakes and I see Lake Michigan every day where I live.  Lake Erie Podcast

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow: Lake Michigan

                                            photo by Barbara Spring

On the Beach in Grand Haven, MI: February 
Confessions of an Ice Watcher

As I walk out on the icy shoreline on a cold February day, the wind blows through my wool balaclava and my foot slips on glazed patches on the sand.
My leather gloves are not warm enough to keep the wind from freezing my fingers.
My long down coat though is keeping me warm enough to hike along the shoreline.

I pull my Canon (camera that is) out of my pocket. I didn’t want my camera to freeze.   Ice fascinates me.  My distant relative, Roald Amundsen was a polar explorer from the north of Norway who studied ice and figured out how to reach the South Pole with dog sleds.  Maybe that explains my fascination.  Maybe.  Or it may be that the way the wind and waves change the ice patterns every day is the fascination.  From my perch on the dunes, I watch.

In mid-February of 1979, four of the five Great Lakes froze all the way across. This was the first year this had happened in the recorded history of the National Weather Service.  For years the harbor has not had fast ice where the Coast Guard Ice breaker had to try and break through.  Link to my author page on Amazon
I watch. I walk and I watch some more.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


Biophilia: the love of nature and living things.

I have had a great love for the Great Lakes since the moment I saw them as a child. Magnificent Lake Superior was the first Great Lake I saw, the greatest of them all.  I was on a road trip with my family and my uncle was telling a story in the car about “old foamy”, the fish he was going to try and catch. It was quite a fish story.

Then we reached Duluth and I was in awe at its size and beauty. The roar of the waves, the deep blue color and the rocky shores.  Up until then I had lived inland and had only experienced small lakes and streams.  When I grew older I visited all of the Great Lakes and Niagara Falls.  Each of the Great Lakes has its unique features: Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls and Lake Ontario.  I set out to learn important facts about the five lakes and what I might do to preserve their beauty. The Earth, the air, the waters and their living things are all connected and I am connected to them.

When you love something, you are compelled to care for it.  How can I care for the Great Lakes?  First I can learn all I can about them and let others know.  In a small way I am hoping I can help to keep the Great Lakes great.

I must have a serious case of biophilia: the love of nature and living things.