When I think of the 500 year old white pines that used to be where I live, I feel a sadness. White pines were called white gold and used for the masts of ships, and in West Michigan, these trees rebuilt Chicago after the great fire.
When I think of the sturgeon that were killed and burned like cord wood because they fouled fishermen’s nets, I want to cry.
Glacial relics remain in the dunes and wetlands such as the arctic primrose. The names of flowers are lovely: grass pink, lady’s tresses, ramshead ladyslipper. The fragrances of these flowers are in my imagination. Very few are really found. Few are found because dunes and wetlands have been leveled.
When Jaques Cartier reached the Great Lakes, his men had scurvy. The Native Americans taught the French how to get vitamin C by making arbor vitae tea. The tea was made by pouring hot water over the leaves of this tree. They learned of a natural pesticide from the aroma of white spruce.
Now harmful chemicals are found in the air, water and soil and this is really something to grieve. This was my motivation for writing The Dynamic Great Lakes. I care about the environment so much that I had to do something. This book shows what some people working on grassroots committees have been able to do. It is a hopeful book. It is a beginning. Without basic knowledge about the Great Lakes it is impossible to make the right decisions about them.
The book is updated and is available at bn.com and Amazon.com and also is available on Amazon’s Kindle for $9.95.