The Norman Transcript

Opinion

January 19, 2014

Growing in harmony with nature

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

My purpose in writing today is to address what I consider a tragic loss in our beautiful town — loss of habitat for wildlife. Norman once was a unique town, which had the University as its venerable center, more than adequate shopping and housing, and a few, small areas where a person could wander and still feel in touch with nature. Over the last few years, these areas have been decimated one by one. Here are two brief stories.

The last vestiges of fields and trees surrounding northeast Lion’s Park are being destroyed as I write. It is early morning with a soft pearl-grey fog suspended in the chill air. Heavy machinery splits, rips and breaks the bones of the sheltering trees. There is (was) a coyote family and a den carefully hidden amongst the now lost grove of trees. Suddenly a Barred owl sweeps out of the carnage and lands clumsily (normally elegant fliers) on a nearby tree. She turns and looks directly at me. I see fear and desperation in her eyes as my own fill with tears.

The fields were a riot of grasses whose colors changed by season and time of day from brilliant greens to wine, purple, amber and tawny. Their infinitely shaped seeds and flowers scattered everywhere like stars in the sky are now hopelessly compressed under tons of soil. The cottontail rabbits protected by a lavender tangle of vines and branches were either crushed or have fled... but to where? There is nothing left.

In another location, several old cottonwoods along with a small meandering creek were summarily dismissed from life. As I walked the perimeter of the devastation, a Redtail hawk flew by, crashing into a remaining cedar tree. I ran to see if she was okay. The hawk was sprawled on the ground with a broken wing, unable to fly. The loss of her nesting tree, the cottonwoods, disoriented her not unlike the Barred owl I observed yesterday. Fortunately, Rondi Large of Wildlife Foundation was able to capture her and heal her wing. Otherwise, she would have slowly starved to death lying there in the grasses.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Improving children’s lives

    Social service organizations that have long-term debt for their headquarters and operating needs often spend much of their fundraising efforts meeting those obligations....

    July 29, 2014

  • Nutritional article should be accurate

    I read with interest the July 13 article “Are low-carb diets really healthy?” by Cassidie Day. Unfortunately, a number of statements in this article were incorrect. The first problematic statement was, “Carbs are an essential nutrient ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Hospital story headline was too sensationalized

    Editor, The Transcript: On July 18, The Transcript ran a front page article with the headline “Lawsuit filed against Norman Regional — Civil suit alleges improper billing practices by NRH and contracted physicians groups.” As a first page ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014