Volume Two of this series turned out to be difficult to write. It seemed that the decade of the 1980s lacked the excitement I found in the 1970s. When it dawned on me that maybe I wasn’t as excited about this time period or about the outdoors in general. For some unknown reason, I was starting to look at things differently. I still enjoyed hunting and fishing, but at the same time, I often saw the glass half-empty instead of half-full. The outdoors wasn’t the same as I remembered it.
Progress and expansion became more evident. Property owners of all varieties and land developers were destroying the outdoors I grew up with. Clean farming became the norm. Woodlots fell to the saw. Fencerows were ripped out. Houses popped up all around the lake. Wetlands were destroyed. The area was being used and abused even more than usual.
I wrote about the possible consequences of mistreating the environment, but the majority of people never really comprehended it. Consequently, as I was writing this volume, I had to suffer through the long, hot summer when the lake turned into a cesspool. It had to happen. Scientists knew it was only a matter of time before the lake became a disaster area. Farmers ignored the fact that they were dumping harmful chemicals to green up their perfectly manicured lawns and to keep the spiders away. Hundreds of power boats ripped across the lake keeping the chemicals stirred up and suspended. In a way, I guess we all had something to do with the lake pollution problems we have today.
It seems that the choice of the columns I put in this book reflect what I was feeling at the time. I became a realist. What I saw, I didn’t like, and the frustrating part of it all was that I couldn’t do a lot about it. I don’t know what future volumes will hold. I haven’t read or selected the columns for them. I hope they and I were a bit more positive. I think that’s possible for me and you as well. All we have to keep in mind is that everything will be okay if we all try to make this place a little better than when we found it. If I had one wish, that’s what it would be.