An issue from my birthday month, but one I don’t think I ever read. Only one of the pictures stands out in my memory, but it’s as much of a treasure trove as the February 1978 issue I browsed through in my last post. As you turn from the front cover, you’re met with a female Mallard in duckweed and, tiny on the left, this, very much in keeping with the conservation-human attitude of the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and Ranger Rick:
Ranger Rick’s Pledge
I give my pledge as a member of Ranger Rick’s Club:
To use my eyes to see the beauty of all outdoors
To train my mind to learn the importance of nature
To use my hands to help protect our soil, water, woods, and wildlife
And, by my good example, to show others how to repsect, properly use, and enjoy our natural resources
The duckweed piece isn’t the most engagingly written, but credit is due for covering such a wonderful topic and such imagery! Next is a story of humanely dealing with attic-dwelling raccoons, some poems from kids, and another “Ranger Rick and His Friends” tale, now under the title “Adventures of Ranger Rick.” This time on a Rhode Island beach with a hermit crab and sea turtle that lists all the hazards of the sea these beautiful creatures are subject to thanks to us. A call to action from Ranger Rick follows. A fun note about the story—Morgan Mockingbird again appears, and again is off with the gulls. Birds will be birds.
The most touching and intriguing section of the issue is “Willie’s Pack Rat Palace,” exploring the method to the unsung White-throated Wood Rat’s madness. Not only is its home ingenious, but the types of guests it invites is truly astounding, including other mice, reptiles, and various arthropods. Again, I learned a lot from this issue, although 38 years after the fact. And it’s a rodent; we’re almost there with the Squirrel of the Week blog!
The piece on zoos is more up-to-date than I imagined it would be, but then of course the 70s and 80s were the era where much was changing in the realm of animal rights and ecological protections. The Endangered Species Act wasn’t so old back then, and the magazine happens to point to two captive breeding programs of the time that have turned out to be successes: the Arabian Oryx and the Mexican Gray Wolf.
Two splendid articles on bird migration appear next, the first a little overview pointing out several facts I was unaware of. This is followed by a beautifully-illustrated case study of the color-changing Indigo Bunting’s journey to and from Guatemala. And then this:
The ways humans have used the millions of years old horseshoe crab through our meager ages are mentioned, but the article ends with the now perhaps naive hope that these creatures will continue to breed through to the end of the Holocene.
There’s one more issue to review, the first one I received in January 1978—and what a cover it has!
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