Years later, during one of my science classes, I hear of Rachel Carson. In 1962, she had written a book about the effect of the pesticide DDT. DDT was very effective and very inexpensive to produce, thus it became the pesticide of choice and was widely used throughout the country. I, also, have memories of running in the fog which spew from the back of the weekly spray trucks.
Carson‘s book, “Silent Spring” brought light to the fact DDT was not only killing insects, it was a contact toxin to animals, and could possibly accumulate in the food chain. Carson claimed it was a carcinogen, possibly poisoning food. It’s effects were building up in birds and causing egg shells to be so thin, they were crushed by the parents nesting them. Eagles, Hawks, Osprey and many other birds were disappearing in large numbers. Thanks to her persistence and her well documented facts which were published in her “Silent Spring”, ten years later, 1972, the government ban the use of this insecticide.
During the last several years, I am elated to see many Osprey nests reappearing. Admittedly, not to the numbers of my childhood but there are many. And recently I have even seen several Bald Eagles.
Each spring/summer morning which I am awaken by the squeaking of fledglings, I thank Rachel and I am happy for the lack of silence.
|Osprey ~ mama, papa and hatchling 6/21/11 Cattus Island|