As our hot summer days of 2016 begin their change toward September, weather front patterns have provided chilling wind directions from the northwest with occasional daytime waterspouts over ports and shorelines along the Great Lakes. Waterspouts are startling and extraordinary to view. Such days are often closely followed by a clearing sky and pivotal sunset that tenders the incredible “orange-glow” of reproductive energy for the next day.
The late summer sunset along the shorelines of Great Lakes ports can be simply breathtaking.
There are pleasure boats, fishing boats, sailing boats and a brand new armada of kayak boats – all a part of the summer waterway flotilla, people enjoying our local waterways and nature. These are things that provide a polite reminder that if we live in America and we live near water, we live in one of the most remarkable places on the planet.
During a recent family trek along the rejuvenated Buffalo River – from the Buffalo Naval Park to Erie Basin Marina, the sun was about to set and there was a hint of rain in the distance. Everyone along the walkway was distinctly overwhelmed by the remarkable beauty of the daytime to nighttime epiphany in progress.
The elusive depth and spectrum of brilliant colors on the horizon was stunning. It was elegant. The moments also seemed to provide a divine link to coincide with the natural world around us and for me, thoughts of the indigenous peoples of our area before us.
I wondered about how earlier populations might have also observed this time of year from this same shore of the Buffalo River, often described in Seneca Indian history as a fertile place where many fish species spawned. Of course, this was hundreds of years prior to modern civilization and thanks to conservation groups such as the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeepers, the natural river life is returning.
Of course, there have been countless generations over that time, with unfettered understanding about the ways of clean water and maintaining the natural world. The fish, the birds and those tiny, little, life organisms that make all of the larger life forms possible. Glad we know so much more about that today, because as science has allowed us to understand the staple requirements of survival for all forms of life in nature, people everywhere have grown as a community. Indeed, all lives matter.
Today we manage fish and game harvest thanks to science. We manage water pollution, air cleanliness and we seem more intent to return to the outdoors with much greater respect and much greater demand for nurtured home gardens, wild and uncontaminated game harvest, fresh fish dinners from the depths of clean water and better routines for allocating our free time to bond with nature.
As I have traveled around this great country of America for more than 40 years in the engineering world of space and defense – and I loved it, I can share that each time I returned home to the Buffalo area, I could never quite figure out why I absolutely loved coming home to Western New York. There are so many reasons!
Of course, family first, but then the other supporting elements too. The people in this sector of our great country work together to get along, nature is spectacular, there is incomparable opportunity for fishing, hunting, boating, camping, hiking, photography, sight-seeing and whatever direction your love for nature may take you. Then you walk along the boardwalk in downtown Buffalo, New York, at sunset in August and the qualities of our local cosmos and why people love it here become quite clear.
It is much the same in many cleaned-up ports along the chain of our astonishing Great Lakes
Let’s help each other maintain the balance of nature. Share life with others, make new friends in the outdoors, lead by example.