Ranger Rick: February 1978

This magazine from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is an icon of my childhood, and I am overjoyed that at least three issues I received have survived. And, it’s still extant for those with kids or just an interest! I’ve re-subscribed as both a donation and a window into how the magazine might have changed. Once I receive an issue, I’ll post my thoughts.

Just about every image from this issue is indelibly stamped in my mind, as is the tone and outlook of the magazine, with its eloquent portraits of nature, and straightforward explanations of problems often still in play today. This issue starts with a portrait of Kingmik dogs and their human keepers, a Canadian relative of our bison, and a few jokes: Q. What is the wettest animal? A. Reindeer. Q. What kind of noise can scare you in the night? A. A cari-boo.

60 hidden animals, some coaxed into view by my coloring as a kid. I spot at least one squirrel. How about you?
Happy Bee section about searching for the “Ghost Cat,” or Eastern Cougar, now declared extinct. Globe labeled by my thoughtful dad.
Head over tail in the Bay of Fundy’s tidal bore! I’ll never forget the Bay of Fundy thanks to this story, but I had forgotten that one of Rick’s friends was a mockingbird!
Familiar items for order, almost as iconic as the Scholastic book catalogues we’d get to pick from. If you’re (un)lucky, I’ll find this coloring book and share more of my efforts.

The issue winds up with more action. Beautiful bird artwork by and an interview with Fenwick Lansdowne, a story about tapping maples, a totem pole craft, books for sale, the life of Tufts the lynx, and gannets galore! Ranger Rick brings together beautiful images, the diverse panoply of the world of nature, and often shows the human impact or uses of nature by humans, optimistic and symphathizing with wildlife while not plunging into detestation of the human species:

“Canada lynxes live in most of the northern forests of Canada. In many areas people trap them for their soft fur, prized for making clothes. Tufts knew nothing of this great danger to her life as she walked homeward with her night’s catch.”

The matter-of-fact sadness underlying this speaks for itself and where Ranger Rick’s sympathies lie, I think. And the magazine encourages us to make a change for the better.

Perhaps the most memorable images: opaque salmon eggs and the “hundreds and hundreds” as they run.

Maybe most charming of all, and indiciative of the sunny global spirit of the times: the metric system is either parenthetically used or woven into the text. If you glance back up at the “Ranger Rick and friends story,” you’ll see what I mean.

Maybe I’ll get to squirrels eventually on this blog, but next up are two more issues of Ranger Rick. I hope you look forward to reviewing them as much as I do.


About stevesunusual

Just another Wordpress blogger.
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1 Response to Ranger Rick: February 1978

  1. Pingback: A Peep from Squirrel of the Week! | stevesunusual...music and more

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