Tag Archives: Save the Indian River Lagoon

Great Blue Heron/Eye on the Horizon- St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon

Blue herons together in nest. Photo by Paul Shidel     2015.
Blue heron pair together in nest SLR/IRL. Photo by Paul Shidel, 2015.

In my youth, I remember a time in Rio, when my friend Vicki and I found a Great Blue Heron tangled in fishing line and hooks along the St Lucie River. Vicki, always being the leader, designated me to save the bird. I recall walking out into the shallow river and determining how I could help this gigantic and magnificent creature that stood almost as tall as myself.

The bird’s yellow/gold eyes were wild and frightened as it struggled against the line. To me, its markings resembled Indian war paint; its purple/blue coloring extraordinary.  I was inspired and scared by its strength, beauty, and fight to survive.

Vicki barked directions at me, threw me a towel, and some scissors. Being careful not to hurt the bird, I cut the line from the mangrove, bringing it into my arms, gently holding its sharp beak, and then trounced back up to the shoreline. Vicki’s older sister, Beth, drove us to a wildlife veterinarian who took the line and hooks off the bird and returned it to the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. This must have been sometime in the late 1970s…

The above photo, by local photographer, Paul Shidel, was recently shared, and brought back memories of this childhood experience. Birds tie into a week of blogging about destructive changes and history to the Everglades’ system.

James Audubon's "Great Blue Heron" ca. 1800s. (Public photo)
J. James Audubon’s “Great Blue Heron” ca. 1830. (Public photo)

Believe it or not, the National Audubon Society states that only 10% of the bird life remains in the Everglades compared to its pre-development glory. We are part of the Everglades. The Northern Everglades.

*90 % of the bird life is gone….

When you see a great blue heron know you are witnessing a “survivor.”

Have you ever watched them fly? Head forward; legs back; and a steady eye on the horizon. Completely focused. We too must keep our eyes on the horizon and be completely focused.

We have a long fight forward to save the St Lucie River/Indian River Lagoon. And that we will.


Great Blue Heron Audubon: (http://birds.audubon.org/birds/great-blue-heron)

Martin County Audubon: (http://www.audubonmartincounty.org/p/2/home)

* Eric Draper of  Florida Audubon quoted “90% loss of birds in the Everglades” 1-22-15 during his presentation to Martin County Audubon. This statistic is widely noted.

Search other blog post by subject at: (http://jacquithurlowlippisch.com)

Miami Herald article on Everglades bird population 2014/15: (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article7956405.html)

The Indian River Lagoon, an Overview Effect

Earth from Space
Earth from Space (Photo credit, NASA)

This past Tuesday, my father invited me to Kiwanis to listen to a very special speaker, Captain Edgar Mitchell, astronaut, Apollo 14, who is now 83. http://www.noetic.org/directory/person/edgar-mitchell/

The room at Manero’s in Palm City was packed and right off the bat, Captain Mitchell spoke  on his experience in space referred to as the “overview effect.” The overview effect is defined as a cognitive shift in awareness often experienced by astronauts while in space. Mitchell spoke about an experience on the “ride home” as he looked at the floating earth and moon, where an understanding of  life’s broader consciousness “hit him.”

“Seeing the earth in space as a tiny, fragile, ball of life…a pale beautiful blue dot,” changed him forever.

Mitchell returned home, retired from NASA and within one year founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences to study the science of “consciousness.” http://www.noetic.org

Mitchell was not alone in his experience as many astronauts described a similar feeling. They went on as changed men,  as men who went back to the world with a message, a message that in our language and culture is restricted to being called a “spiritual message.”

Captain Mitchell’s message in the crowded room of Manero’s in Palm City, Florida was that we as a species have to change our ways, and how we treat nature, or we will destroy all we have, including ourselves. He said we have have to start “saving the plant instead of consuming it.”

The crowd was slightly amazed, and seemed more interested in the safety of questions about what it was like to set foot on the moon, physically. Nonetheless, I believe the crowd left changed as well.

On my way home, I drove over the Palm City Bridge and nodded to the great St Lucie River, part of our Indian River Lagoon. “The time is coming.”  I said to the river.

It is time, and it has been time, to save it.