August 30 — Lord Walsingham Shot 1,070 Grouse (1888)

Lord Walsingham was known as a crack shot.  He had to have been to shoot more than one thousand game birds on a single day.  His total—1,070—remains a world record, and it is unlikely that it will ever be exceeded. Thomas de Grey, also known as the 6th Lord Walsingham, lived in Blubberhouse Moor, a […]

Read More →
August 29 — Henry Bergh, Founder of ASPCA, Born (1813)

Cruelty to animals is considered a sin in modern society, but in the 1800s, cruelty was commonplace.  Henry Bergh, a rich socialite with a profound sense of what it means to be humane, changed all that. Henry Bergh was born on August 29, 1813 (died 1888).  The term “born with a silver spoon in his […]

Read More →
August 27 — First Oil Well Drilled (1859)

August 27 is known in some circles as Oil and Gas Industry Appreciation Day.  It’s a pretty low-key affair, and I can’t find information about why the industry picked August 27—but I think I know the reason.  This date, in 1859, is also when Edwin Drake drilled the first successful oil well in the world. […]

Read More →
August 26 — Krakatau Volcano Erupted (1883)

Long before Mount St. Helens erupted, the most famous volcanic eruption in modern times occurred in Indonesia—when the volcano on Krakatau Island erupted.  It has allowed an ecological “experiment” to be followed for more than a century. Krakatau is an island between Java and Sumatra, previously dominated by a group of ancient volcanic cones.  During […]

Read More →
August 25 — National Park Service Born (1916)

A few years ago, PBS and film-maker Ken Burns combined to produce the documentary series, “The National Parks—America’s Best Idea.”  Many of us would agree—the 400+ units of the National Park Service are a treasure beyond accounting.  And why have those treasures been preserved and prospered over a century dominated by growing population and development?  […]

Read More →
August 14 — Hetch Hetchy Began Producing Power (1925)

It is known as the first major environmental controversy in United States history.  It broke John Muir’s heart.  To this day, it remains as controversial as when it was built.  “It” is the damming of the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park to provide water and power to San Francisco. According to John Muir, […]

Read More →
August 23 — Chile’s Atacama Desert Blooms (2017)

It is one of the driest places on earth.  Average rainfall is 0.5 inches per year; some areas have no recorded rainfall—ever.  But when it does rain, as it did leading up to August 23, 2017, watch out!  The desert blooms! The Atacama Desert in Chile lies along the northwestern edge of the country, a […]

Read More →
August 21 — “Bambi” Released (1942)

One of history’s most controversial films was released on August 21, 1942—Bambi.  How could an animated film about a white-tailed deer cause such furor?  How could discussion of the film become an industry in itself?  No doubt, it underlies our universal dilemma of both using and protecting nature simultaneously. Bambi is a product of Walt […]

Read More →