National Geographic : 1977 Aug
startled the two residents picnicking under the trees. Yet with utmost graciousness, Aldo Leopold's daughter Nina and her husband, Dr. Charles Bradley, rose and invited me to share their lunch of cheese and bread. I gazed toward the weather-beaten cabin as at a shrine, the campfire with its hickory crossbar, hook, and pot; the peaceful prairie patch; oaks, pines, and surrounding marshes. Everything was drenched in tranquillity. This flat sandy country is just inside the ter minal moraine, hence trampled by the mighty ice sheet for only a short time. Family Carries On Leopold's Work "Father became widely known as a philos opher and ecologist only after his death," Nina said, her handsome tanned face wistful. "But his family and friends always knew he was 'thinking like a mountain.' " "What did you all do here?" I asked. "We planted prairie flowers and grasses to try to restore the land's integrity. And we planted a lot of pines." She smiled. "Father used to say, 'I love all trees, but I am in love with pines.'" Nina gestured toward a pine plantation. "I helped him plant those. Now my husband and I are thinning them out to build a retirement home and a study center." Far away across a mauve-colored marsh, I detected the hum of an interstate highway. It was not there when Leopold penned his Al manac, yet it seems to lend a subtle insistence to some of his loveliest paragraphs entitled "Marshland Elegy": "A sense of time lies thick and heavy on such a place. Yearly since the Ice Age it has awakened each spring to the clangor of cranes. The peat layers that comprise the bog are laid down in the basin of an ancient lake. The cranes stand, as it were, upon the sodden pages of their own history. These peats are Scenic Rivers System. Isolated patches of white water and passage through a majes tic gorge add to the river's popularity among Wisconsin and Minnesota vacationists.