I've been on a school trip today!
My grandchildren's school asked for volunteers to go along and make up the numbers to keep an eye on P5 during their visit to the birthplace of John Muir. Who's that I imagine you saying. Well, stand by, he was a totally awesome man and I can't believe that although he was born in 1838 in the UK, Dunbar to be precise, he isn't really known here. However in America, where he emigrated with his family in 1849, he is still a legend. He was a naturalist, inventor (eat your heart out Wallace and Gromit), conservationist, traveller - everything. He had been a child with a thirst for knowledge, an enquiring mind and a love of the natural world which had been engendered by his grandfather. He started life in a quiet and unspectacular way in a small Scottish coastal town and ended up as a hugely respected man on another continent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir - have a look and see what I mean.
There are some wonderful quotes at the museum we visited today. Here are a few, including the opening words of this post.
The photograph below is not good but I hope you can read the wording. It would seem that we were de-foresting the planet back in the late 1800s, which distressed John Muir considerably. So much of his work was in conservation. He even met President Roosevelt in Yosemite Valley and in later years helped the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890.When Tilly and I walk round the block in the morning one side of our rectangular route is part of the John Muir Way. It is a walk which links the edge of Edinburgh with the Scottish Borders and most of it runs very close to the lovely coastline in this part of the world. Next time I am walking along the track I will keep some of John Muir's words in mind, especially the opening quote. He was a very special man and the planet has much to thank him for.