When I was young my playgrounds were forests, fields, and ocean - not much has changed except my 'ocean' is now a big lake in central Iowa. The preservation of these wild and natural places - especially the remaining Iowa prairies is the heart of a wondrous new book 'Deep Nature: Photographs from Iowa'. The photography by Robert and Linda Scarth is extraordinary and the essay - by my good friend John Pearson, aka 'Professor Lichen' - is a deeply perceptive narrative of the preservation of our prairies over a span of 30 years. I am amazed at his awareness and knowledge of these natural places, and hope that everyone reading this will find the opportunity to read his essay. This lovely field guide quotes Australian, Paddy Pallin, " The best place is here and the best time is now." I can't think of a better way to affirm that today is the day to appreciate what is around us........and I'm grateful the IDNR chose to employ an ecologist that has, indeed, tackled an impossible task.