‘I’ll be there’

I’ve had a number of emails this morning commenting on the death of naturalist Verna Johnston, noted in today’s newspaper.

The fact that so many people remember her so well nearly two decades after she left the area says something, I think, about Johnston’s legacy.

Johnston wrote a poem just last summer which “tells us where she is now,” as her longtime friend Arlene Mueller put it.

Johnston’s words:

When the Snow Geese fly at Merced

When they rise from the Marsh

My voice will be among them.


I’ll be in Yosemite

When the Dogwoods bloom,


In the High Sierra

When the golden Aspen leaves drift down;


In the desert

When the Ocatillos turn red

And the Saguaros add another year


Wherever there is beauty in nature

I’ll be there.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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