Déjà Vu

Arcata Marsh

I had a déjà vu moment last week that left me pondering the wonders of life. I was taking a walk at the Arcata Marsh, a place that holds so many great memories for me because it was one of my parents’ favorite spots.

My parents have been gone for a while now, yet I feel their spirit when I’m there. They spent hours birdwatching here either as a couple or with friends. I know what a special place it was for them, and I treat this place with reverence because of their feelings toward it.

Arcata Marsh
Arcata Marsh

My dad was a wildlife biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Service. When I was starting high school, we moved to California when Dad became part of the recovery team for the threatened Aleutian Canada Goose, a subspecies of the much more familiar Canada Goose. Their recovery was a success, and the species is no longer on the endangered and threatened list. (I’ll be blogging about this another time soon.) As often happens, I see the geese (now renamed the Aleutian Cackling Geese) here, and I can’t help but think of Dad’s role in helping this species thrive.

Aleutian Canada Geese (Now known as Aleutian Cackling Geese) at the Arcata Marsh

My dad and my son at the Arcata Marsh (25+ years ago)

One of my parents’ guiding principles was the notion that we should always be thinking of the greater good and what we can contribute to leaving the world in an equal or better place for future generations. I have that same belief, and it pains me when I see examples of those who act self-centered or selfishly. Lots of people bring their dogs with them when they’re here. That’s wonderful if they clean up after them when the animals do their business on the trails. Sometimes I see friends having a picnic or having a beverage together. Beautiful—as long as they don’t leave their trash behind.

Pet Waste Disposal Area at the Arcata Marsh

As I walked one of the trails, I came across a majestic-looking great blue heron, frozen in place in the middle of a field. I made the mile loop four times, and each time I came by it was rooted in almost the same spot like a statue. It was fascinating to watch and seemed so focused on its task (looking for food) that it hardly paid any attention to me. It wasn’t until I approached it that I saw it move for the first time.

Great Blue Heron at the Arcata Marsh

When I saw it, an old memory from long ago suddenly came to the forefront of my mind. (The brain is an incredible instrument that will produce these moments of recall that I haven’t thought of in years.) When I was teaching elementary school, I often was the first or second person to arrive as that was an ideal time for me to organize my lessons and gather what I needed for the day. Oddly, one of the other regular things I started noticing upon my arrival was that a great blue heron was often foraging in the big field next to the school that served as our playground. There was something magical about this beautiful bird roosting in a place that I knew an hour later would be a beehive of activity.

Other teachers who arrived early began noticing the bird too. One of my colleagues gave the bird a name—Bob. Much like the bird I saw last week, it would stay frozen in one spot. I suspected it was hunting, but I thought great blue-herons ate fish, so what was it doing here? In reading about them, I discovered herons eat primarily small fish (up to a pound in one day), but they also dine on frogs, salamanders, turtles, snakes, insects, rodents, and birds. They are known to stalk voles and gophers in fields, and I suspect that’s what was going on with this bird.

After reading about the great blue heron’s diet, my brain retrieved another memory from long ago. I had a friend who put in a pond in his yard. I was with him when he purchased some koi for it. Not only were they beautiful fish, but they were expensive. I came over to visit him a couple of months later, and he had put netting over the top of the pond. Immediately, my curiosity wondered why. He told me how a great blue heron had flown into his pond and had been eating his fish. That memory became a scene in my children’s novel.

I don’t know if this is one of those things that comes with age or is related to the pandemic. I’ve got a greater appreciation for many of life’s simple pleasures—enjoying the beauty of nature, getting together with friends, taking a walk, and having conversations with random people who I meet on my travels are things I don’t take for granted.

While I appreciate the little things, I’m ecstatic about life’s significant events. Our son got engaged a couple of months ago, and I’m excited to have a daughter-in-law and perhaps some grandchildren. I suspect that our son will be a fabulous dad if they decide to have children, and I’m excited to see him in that role.

Our Son and His Fiancee in Jamaica

The past two years have been an enormous physical and mental challenge for all of us in the Covid world. I will not take these simple pleasures of life for granted.

Deja Vu by Olivia Rodrigo (Nothing to do with my post other than the title, but I like the song.)

117 thoughts on “Déjà Vu

  1. this is such a wonderful post pete, for many reasons. i love the picture of your father with your son, the beautiful place that was so special to your parents, and now to you, for the new daughter you will gain, for the approach to life that you carried from your parents, and for you appreciation for the little things in life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 6:47 pm

      As Jennie likes to say, “It’s the 100 little things.” It will do my heart good if my son and future daughter-in-law someday bring their children here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. continuing the chain…

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Well said, Beth. My sentiments exactly.

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  2. Thanks for the tour – and the reflections on the good things we all carry with us in life!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 6:48 pm

      I’m sure you get it as a father, John. Things are a little more special when we can share them with our kids.

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      1. Yes, absolutely…and it’s easy to forget that they will remember those moments for their entire lives as well!

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  3. Ahhh, Pete, there is so much to love about this post…the memories your walk triggered and the hopes for the future of your family…a truly lovely post that also held the environment in mind and the fact we are guardians of this world and should respect it as we enjoy its beauty…x

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 6:51 pm

      You would have loved my parents, Carol. They taught me to show respect for the Earth. I may not have become an avid birdwatcher, but I have an appreciation for all of the beauty surrounding us. Sure, there is plenty of crap too, but I still think the positive far outweighs the negative.

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      1. I am sure I would have, Pete they sound like such lovely people and like you I appreciate the beauty around me and I think like you the positives outweigh the negatives although it comes close at times 🙂 x

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  4. what a noble cause your dad worked for, and happy to hear he was successful. Love the photo of the two of you. congrats to your son; his fiance is lucky to be joining the Springer family!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 6:55 pm

      We need a little more female blood in the family. There are four Springer boys (three of us married). On our parents’ 50th anniversary, I remember my dad sharing how much his daughter-in-laws added to our family. Dad was sure right about that.

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    2. I agree, Jim! The fiance is very lucky to be joining the Springer family!

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  5. I admired and appreciated what your dad did in his profession and his love for the environment and natural life. I’m a bird lover, love all kinds of birds big and small, from American eagles to sparrows. It’s lovely to walk down memory lane to see the birds and water and fields to remember your dad. The photo of your dad and your son is precious. What a wonderful thing to introduce this environment to your daughter-in-law to be. Thank you for sharing, Pete.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 6:57 pm

      Our son has some wonderful qualities. One of those I like the most is he is a traditionialist—the kind of person who respects and remembers the people who came before him. I suspect that he will one day bring his own child to the Arcata Marsh to tell his son/daughter about his great grandparents.

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      1. That’s a wonderful tradition, Pete! I’m sure your son will keep all the photos and pass on the memories and traditions to his son/daughter and talk about his grant grandparents, and grandparents! Something to make your smile right now!

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  6. Super post, Pete. When I lived in Sonoma I had a pond and a visit by the local Heron was common. I let our cat sit by the pond and he kept watch. (He was a 22 pound Maine Coon whose name was Cujo.) Never had a problem after Cujo went on duty.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 7:01 pm

      Herons are pretty common across most of the United States. It speaks to how adaptable they can be, living in Sonoma or the much cooler environment of Eureka. I can just picture your cat patrolling the pond. Cujo—that’s a name that sticks.

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      1. He was some cat. While on duty, he used to watch the fish swim around. The only thing that stopped him from fishing was the fact that he didn’t want to get his paws wet.

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    2. Our New Hampshire marshes have Great Blue Herons as well. We always stop to watch, holding our breath, whenever we come upon one on our rambles.

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      1. We had them at the coast as well. Wonderful birds.

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  7. What a great post, Pete! Your parents sound like an amazing couple, and that photo of your dad and son is very touching. You are so right about the little things in life. And the power of family!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 7:03 pm

      That’s why it must have been so hard not to be able to see your family when you couldn’t cross the border. I still run into people all the time who knew my parents and have good things to say about them. Of course, that makes me feel proud of them.

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  8. Such a wonderful post. I remember seeing your parents out there, oblivious to all else around them except those birds. The marsh is a special place – I have friends who taught me to drive out there. Great photos and I enjoyed your trip down memory lane. I can just see Ryan with his son or daughter, sharing the beauty your dad shared with him.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 7:21 pm

      Wow! I completely forgot the driving thing until you mentioned it. I wonder what car it was. One of the stories Debbie likes to tease me about is seeing me driving by in my parents’ Chevy Impala at Humboldt St. She told me she thought at the time, “Wow! I didn’t think he’d be driving a car like that!” 🤣 I guess that proves she didn’t marry me for my car.

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  9. Nature, good memories, simple pleasures and family. Sounds like you have everything you need. Congratulations on your son’s engagement.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 7:35 pm

      I don’t ask for much, but I do want a chance to watch my grandchildren grow up. I have this fantasy that one day my grandchild will hold one of my books in their hands. I sure hope I’m around to witness that.

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      1. Wouldn’t that be something!

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  10. I think that’s pretty cool, the type of work your dad did. I’ll bet you got to experience a lot of time outdoors with your father while growing up.

    Funny story about the blue heron eating your friend’s expensive koi.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 8:11 pm

      We took a lot of cross-country trips when we were growing up. My love for nature didn’t develop until I got older. Stopping off at another wildlife refuge lost its luster pretty quickly after you’ve already driven 500 miles for the day.

      The smaller koi were going for around $50 back in the day, but I think he paid upwards of $200 for some of his bigger ones. He lost quite a few before he figured out what was going on. 😊

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  11. Those are wonderful memories, Pete. Your dad’s saving a species is very cool. Arcata Marsh is a lot like Jug Bay.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 8:16 pm

      Another species he worked with (they are every endangered—something like only 300 left) was the black footed-ferret when we lived in South Dakota. They’re pretty fascinating too. 90% of their diet is prairie dogs. Their body type allows them to climb through the narrow runways.

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  12. It is interesting how memories can get triggered by sights, tastes, smells, and feelings. It’s so nice that you have a special place (and a special bird) to feel extra connected to your parents and dad, Pete. I love the way you think about protecting (and avoid littering) the environment – there should be heavy fines that are enforced! – and not taking things for granted. Imagine everyone would be like this… Sigh!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 11, 2022 — 10:52 pm

      One of the ways I see my memory beginning to fail is I can’t recall who I’ve said something to. While I tend to laugh it off, it is concerning. I think it’s remarkable that decades can go by, and then suddenly we’ll recall some nugget that we haven’t thought of in 30 years. It’s stored in there somewhere.

      I’m sure you’ve seen plenty of people who fail to respect their environments on your travels.

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      1. Yep. Sometimes it’s cultural. Sometimes it’s ignorance. Sometimes it’s habit. Sometimes it’s not caring or being selfish. It truly boggles my mind when, where, and why people litter. 😦

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  13. Some nice memories there, Pete, and I like the way you link them together from the heron. It must be great to know the role your Dad played in preserving the wildlife – a lasting tribute to his memory.

    I tried the song. Sorry, but it’s not for me!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 8:41 am

      My advice to anyone choosing a career is to find something passionate about. That was my dad—an excellent example for me. I’m proud of him for making a difference.

      No worries about the song, as I’m sure you don’t take any offense when someone doesn’t care for one of your songs. I don’t know if you listen to current tunes or not, but I actually prefer her song, Driver’s License much better than this one.

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      1. Your Dad gave you a good role model to follow, and it’s right that you’re proud of him.

        You’re right on the music, too. I don’t think it would be realistic to expect someone to like a song just because I do. I listen to a fair bit of music that is being made now, but rarely anything from the pop charts. I think this was the first time I’d ever heard anything by her, though I’d seen her name before. My daughters would probably think I’m totally out of touch!

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      2. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:24 am

        That comes with the territory as one out-of-touch guy to another. What kid hasn’t thought that about their parent at one time or another?

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      3. Probably none 😂

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  14. Wonderful, heart-warming story, Pete! It is amazing what we can recall when correctly motivated.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 8:45 am

      I had to go on quite the search for that photo of my dad and son. I knew it existed somewhere in my boxes of photos. If you’ve ever done this, I kept stopping to look at other pictures of past events that I can no longer recall. Having visual proof sometimes triggers the memory, and other times it’s like, “Geez! I don’t remember this at all.”

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      1. That happens to me too.

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  15. The Arcata Marsh is indeed a special place. I miss those Blue Herons of Arcata. When we lived in McKinleyville a heron would visit the dairy field across from our house. Could have been Bob or a close cousin. Thanks for the reminder. You have a story about the famous dogs of that area?

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 8:49 am

      I don’t know if you’ve been back to visit McKinleyville recently, Pam, but if you haven’t, you’d be amazed how it has grown—many lovely newer homes. It had the moniker “Oklahoma by the Sea” for the longest time.

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      1. Left it over 20 years ago and it was indeed Okie by the Sea. Might need to do a road trip this summer.

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  16. This was such a heartwarming and uplifting post for me this morning, Pete, and I thank you for it.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 8:52 am

      You know me well enough now to understand these are my favorite posts to write. I’m starting to print off all my old blog posts to give to my son at some point down the road because I want him to remember all who came before him and the impact they made. I suspect that he is doing the same in his coaching profession.

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      1. People really appreciate the posts, too. You’re making a difference!!

        I’m sure your son will be thrilled to receive the compilation of blog posts.

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  17. Beautiful. I like your term ‘traditionalist’ – I get it. Thank God for the traditionalists in our families. Though the details are as far apart as their locale (yours-eastcoast, mine-westernmountain) we share in this pull, draw and connection to the land. Standing with the first generation (our parents) who planted us (the kids/second gen) in a place…teaching reverence for family and continuity of the generations past and present.
    Aw heck, you wrote it much better! But in our case, it’s all about ‘Granpa’s Mountain’. Our son Joe, proposed to our now daughter-in-law ontop of our family’s wilderness mountain – and our middle daughter almost 10 years ago wanted to be married up there, but instead, decided to get married atop Flagstaff Mountain in Boulder where we (her parents) were married back in the day…traditionalists, tied to the land, the heart, the spirit of family.
    Take care – I wish for your deepest wishes of seeing your grandkids hold one of your books to come to pass.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 8:57 am

      Thanks for sharing your beautiful memories and thoughts, Laura. Grandpa’s Mountain—how wonderful! We didn’t get too many details about the proposal (I think they’d talked about it for a while, so it wasn’t a huge surprise, but he did tell us he brought her out to the family farm she grew up on.

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  18. Such sweet memories. I love the picture of your father and your son. How nice to know your father helped save one of the birds on planet earth. I too get discouraged by those that trash our world. I enjoyed this post so much Pete.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:01 am

      I find myself thinking about the legacy question a lot as I’ve gotten older. What kind of contribution have I made to make Earth a better place? Part of my answer is tied to my former students as they go out into the world and create their own legacies.

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      1. I guess we all think about our legacy. Most of us never think we contribute much. I do think teaches do a lot of good and shape the lives of many of their students. From your past posts I think you contributed a lot Pete.

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  19. How beautiful to remember those moments. I love all your photos, especially the one of your father with his grandson. Great post.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:03 am

      I almost published this piece without the photo, but I knew that shot was the one I needed to connect the past to the present. I had to go on a two-hour search through boxes of photos, but I was rewarded for my time.

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      1. I am so glad you found it and added it. Yes, it is a connecting photo, but also makes it more personal.

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  20. A wonderful post about memories and family. You had amazing parents which is why you were a great parent. The cycle will continue. I would personally like to thank your father for his part in restoring the Aleutian Canada Goose

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:07 am

      Having great parents is not a guarantee that one’s life will be successful, but it sure helps. That idea was reinforced hundreds of times over the years as I observed students and their families. A strong foundation makes all the difference. For those who didn’t have that growing up, it’s even more impressive that they’ve created such stability for their children.

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      1. So true. My aunt was married to an acholic. She had six children. Three of them never touched a drop as they saw what alcohol can do to a family. The other three have drinking problems. You never know do you.

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      2. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 12:27 pm

        It was one of the things I thought a lot about during my career. Sometimes I taught kids who had every reason to fail based on all of the dysfunction around them at home and yet miraculously overcame their surroundings to make a life for themselves. It was the essence of resiliency, and they had something inside them which wouldn’t let them fail.

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  21. What a lovely post and a great tribute to your dad, Pete. Your son looks very much like you, by the way. I too try to do my bit to save the planet, and especially hate it when people cut down trees.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:09 am

      If everyone adopted your “what can I co attitude,” the world would be in a far better place.

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      1. It needs everyone to work together for the common good. Unfortunately livelihoods and money get in the way.

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  22. HI Pete, I really enjoyed your memories of these blue heron. During my recent holiday, I saw flamingos right up close. I’ve only seen them from a distance before and it was exciting to have them right next to me. Such beautiful birds. You son looks a lot like you. It’s great that he is engaged.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:12 am

      It sounds so simple, but all we want for our children is for them to be happy. It’s their job to determine how to do that. No doubt you’ve thought of this with your sons.

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      1. Hi Pete, indeed I have. There comes a time when you have to step back and let them get on with it. That time is just arriving for Greg. Michael we still have a little longer before he grows his wings.

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  23. Those are awesome photos, Pete, and great memories. I love looking back when something sparks that sense of deja vu.. For me it is often a scent that triggers it, but sights serve just as well. I spent much of my younger years on the eastern seaboard surrounded by bays and marshland and their inherent wildlife. Looking at your photos brought back memories of my own explorations.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:20 am

      Great point about how scents can spark memories. Some writers do that exceptionally well, which makes the reader feel they’re there.

      By the way, I’m reading Things Old and Forgotten right now. It’s been a pleasure to read thus far.

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      1. I think scent is probably the strongest trigger for memory.

        Oooh, I’m so glad you’re enjoying TOaF! Wonderful to hear!

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  24. Blue Herons are amazing majestic birds. What wonderful photos and memories. And congratulations on your son’s engagement! I wish them many happy years! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 9:22 am

      Places (Arcata Marsh) and things (great blue heron) are the threads that sometimes connect memories and generations. Thanks for taking the time to read about it, Jan.

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  25. It was a joy to see the environment improve with humans in their houses, not driving cars and throwing away trash. The rainbow of COVID.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 12:17 pm

      Isn’t it remarkable how nature can recover if we’d just quit screwing with it?

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  26. Pete, your wonderful post made me think about a recent visit to the Arcata Marsh. My wife and I bought Arcata Marsh t-shirts and wandered the grounds, watching the omnipresent egrets and blue herons stalk and the ducks and geese splash about. We also saw the plaque commemorating the visionaries who planned and built the marsh. I recognized some of the names on the plaque, including Arcata City Council Member Victor Green who I believe was your high school classmate. I wonder if they knew they were building more than an innovative wastewater treatment facility and bird sanctuary, a place where memories could be made? I bet they did. Memories for Grandpa Springer and Ryan, for my family on Thanksgiving visits to Arcata, and for countless others. And with the help of your dad and others the Aleutian Canada Geese can flourish there. The world can be a good place. Thanks for reminding us of that.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 12:23 pm

      Yep, Victor Green was part of my class. It continues to be well-maintained and utilized by many—a reminder of the good that people can do when they work together.

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  27. Thanks for sharing, Pete! Your memories jogged several of my own… Among them–hand feeding chickadees with my girls on our way down the snowy driveway in the wintertime. Many of my memories have also inspired my writing in many ways.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 12, 2022 — 12:20 pm

      I like the image of you and your girls feeding the chickadees. They are plentiful around here and always show up faithfully if we put food out for them.

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      1. Chickadees are our state bird. When I was teaching in CA and VA and ME, I shared this beafutiful experience with my students and often referred to them (students) as My Chickadees. Have a great day, Pete!

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  28. A very cool post. The picture of your father with his grandson is precious. The Blue Heron is a majestic bird. I only see sightings of them when they are alone and in such beautiful places. I am always fascinated by them.

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    1. petespringerauthor January 13, 2022 — 8:27 am

      I’ve got their laser-like focus when it comes to food too. I’ll have to ask my son how much he remembers coming here with his grandparents.

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  29. Me neither, Pete. I am enjoying the joys of being a grandparent more and more. So much to teach them and grandparents can be the best teachers. We had a lesser gray heron in a holding pond near here this fall. Its much larger cousin flew straight down our street one afternoon – thrilling!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 13, 2022 — 9:01 am

      Gray Herons are equally beautiful birds. I forget where you’re from, Noelle. It would indeed be a rarity to see one in North America.

      My wife has talked about moving closer to our son to be closer to any potential grandchildren, but his profession is one that I’m afraid will have them relocating a lot. I suspect that we’ll just have to make a lot of trips. That’s okay with me.

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  30. This is beautiful- your dad left a wonderful legacy and that’s something I want to leave Charlotte with. I want her to know my work ethic, my values and take them with her on her life journey (just as you have with your father’s work and words).

    I’m not a bird watcher of any sort but that blue heron would have me staring forever to catch a movement lol.. Love that that moment inspired a moment in your book! 🙂

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    1. petespringerauthor January 13, 2022 — 11:52 am

      We are a product of our environments and experiences. My protagonist was based on one of the kids I taught, and a couple of my friends have told me that they thought he morphed into me. I don’t necessarily see him that way, but I’ve grown to love his character—someone that I think a lot of kids his age will relate to.

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  31. Helping a species recover and thrive is a wonderful legacy; I am so impressed with your dad’s contributions to the planet. And it’s a gift that you get to return to the location of his work and be filled with pride and memories. The Great Blue Heron is gorgeous. We are lucky here in Florida where we get to see a great mix of shore birds (large and small) on a regular basis. In fact, my own son and his wife have taken up birding, so they were teaching me new things during their last trip! And speaking of sons and wives, congratulations on your big news! What a terrific photo of your son and his fiancee on vacation. It’s an exciting time for all!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 14, 2022 — 5:04 pm

      I’m happy for them because they’re so good together. One thing about finding your future spouse when you’re a bit older is that most people are more mature and know what they want out of life. I’m excited about their future together.

      I am proud of my parents. They were respected by their peers both for their work and the type of people they were. Mom went back to school after she raised her four boys. I don’t think I recognized the courage it took to do that at the time. I was graduating from high school when Mom was graduating from college. She became a social worker. They’ve left the lasting kind of legacy that I would like to leave to our son.

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      1. I didn’t know about your mom going back to school after raising her boys. That is truly incredible. As you say, it took a lot of courage. You had some amazing parents Pete.

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      2. petespringerauthor January 17, 2022 — 12:07 pm

        I look back at the pictures from that time, and I’m completely embarrassed. I played the part of the moody teenager (I was pretty good at that😆) and didn’t want anything to do with being photographed with my mom in our cap and gowns. She was old enough to be the mom of many of her fellow classmates, but she didn’t let that inhibit her. I admire that and 100 other things about her.

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  32. They say there’s only six degrees of separation from those around us, but I believe that extends to memories, as well. The most random thing will trigger thoughts of the past. Even people with dementia are comforted by this. A wonderful post, Pete ❤ congrats to your son!

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    1. petespringerauthor January 14, 2022 — 5:07 pm

      Excellent point, Jacquie! My mom had dementia during her last few years and moved into assisted living. One of the most beautiful things that I witnessed on my visits to her assisted living center was how many of the residents perked up when listening to old tunes that brought them happiness and joy. It was pretty moving and did my heart good to see the smiles on their faces as they sang along.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. I was wondering where you were going with this post, and you steered us dropping many hints like Hansel and Gretel’s tale: Thinking about legacy, cherishing precious memories, and savoring the moment. Thanks for providing a soundtrack too which I’m playing as I tap out these words. Thanks, Pete!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 14, 2022 — 5:09 pm

      I’m smiling at your comments, Marian. Sometimes I wonder the same thing when I’m writing a post. “Where are you going with all this?”🤣🤣🤣 I’d say we’re in trouble if the writer can’t answer that question.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Pete. How close is the marsh to the Arcata land fill of the 1960’s?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 14, 2022 — 10:06 pm

      I bet you used to run out there. Here’s a little history of the Arcata Marsh: https://www.arcatamarshfriends.org/the-marsh/history/

      Like

  35. I love those surprising memories, Pete. They’re such a pleasure. I often have memories triggered by something someone mentions on a blog! Your dad sounds like a wonderful guy and how cool to see the Cackling Geese that he helped to save. What a wonderful legacy for future generations. And I had to giggle a bit at the heron finding the koi pond – nature finds a way. And finally, congrats on your son’s engagement. Oh boy, if they have kids, you’ll be an amazing grandfather. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 15, 2022 — 9:40 am

      I’d like to think I inherited some of my parents’ good traits. My wife and I were always grateful that our son grew up around his grandparents. Mom used to pick him up from daycare once a week, and she loved telling the story about how excited he was to spend time together by excitedly saying, “Where are we going today, Grandma?”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww. That’s so cute. Being an involved grandparent just swells the heart. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  36. Every cloud has a silver lining, and I believe the difficulties from Covid (understatement) have given us all a deep appreciation for the little moments and simple pleasures in life. Yes, age does that too, but Covid has been a real enhancer.

    I so enjoy your posts, Pete! The memories of your dad, and the great blue heron that triggered those memories, is heartwarming. I can’t help but think of you as a granddad, giving your grandchildren memories, much like your dad did with Ryan.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 15, 2022 — 9:47 am

      You’ve figured me out, Jennie. So much of what I do (especially my journey toward becoming healthier and more fit) is tied to the desire to be an active and present grandparent. It’s often the magic elixir that motivates me when I’m struggling to get going some days. I still am a little kid trapped in an (ahem, middle-aged body.) 😎 Have a great weekend, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Magic elixir. That’s exactly how it is with grandchildren. Every visit mine would cry their eyes out when Grammy had to leave. You have all of this to look forward to. I’m that kid in some old body, too. The good part is that we both let the kid shine through. Best to you, my friend!

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Your son sure looks like you, Pete! I had a backyard pond for a few years before we sold our Virginia house. I went cheap with gold feeder fish that wound up Koi sized. A cat got after a couple of them once; that was the extent of poaching carnage.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 15, 2022 — 3:16 pm

      We’re pretty proud of the man he has become. We’re not shocked by the outcome, but it’s still nice to see it come to fruition.

      We’ve never had a pond, so I haven’t had to think about stocking one with. The most frequent animal visitors that reside in our backyard (we’ve got a fair amount of acreage) are pocket gophers. They don’t make me feel so environmentally friendly.😊I used to take a Bill Murray approach from Caddyshack toward them, but I don’t have the heart to poison them. I also worry about our dog getting into that somehow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re right. Stay away from poison. There are kill traps and probably (maybe) catch and release.

        Liked by 1 person

  38. Such a lovely post Pete. Full of your memories and nostalgia of poignant moments and people in your life. You said it right at the end, tomorrow is never promised. Never take anyone or thing for granted. When I used to complain about something to my husband, he’d smile at its insignificance and say to me, “Cub, the only thing that matters is waking up everyday and staying on the right side of the green.”
    Congrats on your son’s upcoming nuptials, how exciting for you and your wife.
    Oh, and as for those Canadian geese, there’s no shortage! Lol. They take over wherever they want, even block traffic sometimes. Can’t really blame them though, our city has taken away their moraine and put up houses and buildings. They are also very aggressive and I’ve heard some stories from some who’ve encountered a few bossy ones lol. Don’t mess with Canadian geese. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 17, 2022 — 4:35 pm

      Yes, there’s never been a shortage of Canada Geese. Like many birds, I’m sure they can be annoying when they intersect with humans. Yet, I remind myself that we need to balance progress, economics, people’s right to earn a living, and the environment.

      The Aleutian Cackling Geese that my dad worked with are estimated to have been as low as 790 total back in 1975. If it weren’t for conservation efforts, they would likely have become extinct, following the path of other endangered wildlife.

      Your hubby’s words are so wise. Sometimes when I’m in the middle of a customer service situation, I remind myself that life will go on either way. We need to choose our battles carefully and remember to live in the moment.

      I don’t remember when your upcoming trip is planned, but I think it’s a healthy thing for you to get out and do something (travel) that has always given you pleasure in the past. Happy and safe travels, Debby.

      Like

      1. Thanks so much Pete for the good wishes. Two more weeks to go! But I won’t disappear completely. 🙂 Also, that’s the key for the geese, they lived and hung out at conservation areas that became residential areas, so you can’t blame them for being mean to people, lol.
        And yes, life is short. I often find myself quoting my husband. Funny the things that stick. 🙂 x

        Like

  39. I so loved reading about these birds, and your father’s wonderful job. How fantastic for you! I’m so glad to hear about your son’s engagement – congratulations to everyone. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 17, 2022 — 10:06 pm

      I appreciate the well wishes, Toni. Glad to see you back on the blogs and feeling better. It must have been frustrating for you when you couldn’t do some of the everyday things that give us pleasure.

      Liked by 1 person

  40. What a wonderful legacy your parents left, and you are creating too, Pete. The blue herons are beautiful and I really enjoyed your writing about them. I felt I was there, appreciating nature with you. Thank you for the moment to breathe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor January 26, 2022 — 8:32 am

      Your kind comment is much appreciated, Norah. I am so appreciative of having wonderful parents and the opportunity for our son to grow up around them. I feel at peace when I visit the Arcata Marsh and enjoy watching other families enjoying its beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like a wonderful place to just be, Pete.

        Liked by 1 person

  41. Congratulations to your son! I’ve never seen a heron that I can recall; I like your memory rabbit holes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor February 1, 2022 — 8:19 am

      It’s incredible how something will trigger a memory stored somewhere in the brain. At the same time, somebody will ask me about an event that just happened, and its memory can be hard to retrieve.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, like what you ate for breakfast!

        Liked by 1 person

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