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The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Nik's Notebook: Small Things

Posted by | June 29, 2021 | Filed under: Opinion

In a year of Zoom, of visiting colleagues and friends and family mostly via screen, it’s refreshing to zoom out. Our cover photo, intricate and fractal, reveals Laudholm Beach from a tern’s eye view. Not the usual perspective on one of Maine’s best beaches, and fascinating to behold. Oh, to see the world that way—with no need to log in!

…Ah well, enough of that. The pandemic’s not quite over yet. Time to zoom back in. It’s been a year with time for introspection and musing on the small things in life. How our lives, our economies, our governments and societies were turned upside down by a tiny coronavirus, each only 100 billionths of a meter in size. It boggles the mind but perhaps it shouldn’t: by now we all know that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide by a mere 70 parts per million is enough to raise global temperatures by a couple degrees Fahrenheit (so far). And millimeters of annual sea rise will ultimately accumulate to a meter or more before the end of this century. Little things, they do add up.


But they’re not all bad. My family’s pandemic puppy is another small thing that’s turned our lives upside down. Under my home office desk as I write this and alternately licking and biting my barefoot toes, the little guy (Fauci is his name) is a welcome change, a good change, a return to a semblance of normalcy. And, like any new child, he’s part of our commitment to the future. May there be more of these good, familiar, small but beneficial changes in the months ahead. 

Won’t you ponder and celebrate little things with us this summer at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm? We’re starting to enjoy small victories, like staff meetings outside and together again through the magic of masks and vaccines. More volunteers and visitors returning, first a trickle, soon a flood. Come take a look. You’ll see all the small but meaningful changes we’ve been making at Laudholm over the past quiet year: fresh paint here, a new sign there, a bench and tree where none used to be. Even a gallery of photographs depicting the beauty and complexity of life as seen through the light microscope, on display in our newly refurbished Coastal Ecology Center exhibit space.

Let’s all start preparing for a return to life as we knew it, with some small changes. I hope you’re preparing to return to the Wells Reserve too. See you soon.


From Watermark 38(1): Spring 2021

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