Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | June 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: June 2023

Perhaps my favorite time of day is that liminal period in which night hands off the baton to day. The call of the barred owl and bark of the red fox give way to the early morning melodies of the towhee and thrush. I’ve noted over time that there is a moment of stillness just before dawn when Mother Nature seems to take a pregnant pause or perhaps a silent drumroll. It is in this waiting period that sometimes I feel unsettled, as we humans like to be settled someplace, just not necessarily that place of the in-between. But it is also this liminal space that can hold the most promise — of adventures not yet lived, of hope, even transformation. 

It is in the great outdoors that this concept of waiting just before transformation is everywhere — dusk into night, tadpole into frog, caterpillar into butterfly. And now comes June when we pause to note the summer solstice — the longest day of sunlight when the earth’s poles are tilted closest to the sun — and with it the arrival of summer. (See the stunning summer solstice photo essay on Page 10.) And just as quickly comes the inevitable turning of the earth’s axis away from the sun, and change moves us on once more.

English poet John Wilmot noted, “Since ’tis nature’s law to change, constancy alone is strange.”

As you venture forth into nature this month, may you seek and find the magnificence of its continual transformation, and the mystery of the in-between.

Sara Parker Pauley, Director


This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner