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Let’s celebrate
Marsh Musings
Courtesy photo: Dr. Dan Witt
Courtesy photo: Dr. Dan Witt
Courtesy photo: Dr. Dan Witt

If there were only one holiday in our nation, I would hope that it would be Thanksgiving! I feel more gratitude for the opportunities we all have by living here than maybe any other time I can recall. The Fourth of July celebrates all of the efforts involved in securing this great place, and Memorial Day remembers the sacrifice of so many to protect our lives and values. 

It escapes me as to how or why any American wouldn’t honor our flag and celebrate our abundant opportunities that have been protected and promoted by the sacrifice of so many. If we look at so many other places in this world where our common freedoms are not possible — I just hope good people come together and make a great peaceful America the home that we love. 

Someone said that “bad things happen when good people do nothing.” I hope we stand together.

It has been so hot. I might be more sensitive to the heat — I can recall my teenage years sitting on tractors and combines with a canvas water bag on the front that I was certain saved my life on more than one occasion. The fun we had working long hours was such a part of our lives! I have watched this harvest and see the joy of our farmers as they thrive on the work required to put up this wheat. The joy of work doesn’t escape them — but I think our cell phones make it easier and happier. Times certainly change. Being retired gives me a great opportunity to remember and celebrate our great harvest history. It makes me humble and proud!

The Bottoms and Quivira are surviving. There are birds just now nesting in the wetlands. Terns pick almost bare spots to plop down and lay eggs. I watched a tern catch minnows and carry them to a mate sitting on eggs at Quivira. I think they sit on the eggs to protect them from the sun. Fried eggs don’t hatch.

The black-necked stilts also have babies. Killdeer are done with theirs — those kids drive the parents crazy running around and not hiding or staying still as the parents want them to — that is always an issue for those parents. The classic “broken wing” behavior by killdeer parents when the babies are in danger, is pretty amazing.  

There are snowy plovers and black terns and avocets around also. These aren’t abundantly common, and I hope you get an opportunity to go see them before they leave. 

The reptiles have been busy and I think I have seen more water snakes than any other year that I can recall. The mosquitoes are plentiful—get some repellent.

Night fishing has been good. It is cool, quiet, and busy with managing the lights and bait. Ed Briet and I used to night-fish a lot. We have lost some heroes.

Be safe and careful on our Fourth. Enjoy the ice cream and watermelon and fireworks. Don’t set the house on fire and don’t lose any fingers — God Bless America!


Doctor Dan Witt is a retired physician and nature enthusiast. He can be reached at