Blue Heron Portrait / Loan From Mother Earth

Blue Heron Portrait - Loan From Mother Earth

The area of Delaware where Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located was known by Native Americans as "Canaresse" ("at the thickets"). In 1679, an early Dutch settler purchased the land from Mechacksett, Chief of the Kahansink Indians, for "one gun, few handfuls of powder, three mats coats, three Ankers of liquor, and one Kittle". BHNWR is an important migration and wintering ground on the Atlantic Flyway. Most of the almost 16,000 acres of the reserve is made up of tidal salt marshes.

I noticed that all of the Great Blue Heron photographs I posted to date were facing the left and none of them were tight (portrait) shots. Here's a portrait that faces the other way.

The most well-known record of a "land sale" by Indians is that of Manhattan Island in 1626. The Island of Manhattan was "purchased" by the director of the Dutch settlement, Peter Minuit, for sixty Guilders (gold coins) worth of trade goods, from the Lenni Lenape people. Although this and other "one-sided land sales" have been recorded, it is possible that Native Americans did not actually see these transactions as a land sale. At the time, Native Americans commonly believed that land could not be privately owned, any more than could water, air, or sunlight. It is likely that they interpreted the trade of goods as gifts given in appreciation for the right to share the land.

In the modern world, especially in the West, land ownership is synonymous with wealth, power and prestige. When you stop and think about it, the concepts of "land ownership" and "private property" are somewhat absurd. We never really own land, Mother Earth does. We borrow from her, use it and cultivate it. After we pass away, she lends it to someone or something else. Even the heron that feeds and breeds at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge acknowledges this.

Some time ago, the idea of 'Mother Earth owning the land' came up in a conversation. The person I was speaking to accused me of committing the sin of anthropomorphism.

Song of the Day: Planet Caravan - Black Sabbath (1970)
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