Ijams Insect WalkAbout. Group leader Rikki, sixth from right.
Ijams is sad.
We mourn the passing of our friend Rikki Hall. An editor at the old Hellbender Press, he'd often stop by with a stack, the latest issue for our lobby.
Rikki also led several bug and birding walks for us over the years.
Noted for his broad smile and that tress of dark hair that loved to rebelliously fall down over his forehead, Rikki was one of those remarkable people that took enormous joy in noticing nature's minutia, the little cogs in the master clockwork. The oothecae, the pupae, the pedipalps, the warbler wispings, Rikki noted them all. He was in his element in the middle of an overgrown field for he knew that was reality, everything else is virtual.
Rikki knew the secret: that nature is as vast as it is deep, and always infinitely fascinating, a set of nesting Russian matryoshka dolls with one treasure hidden inside another, inside another. The closer you look, the more that's revealed. He taught me if you look through the binoculars the opposite direction they become magnifiers, a metaphor for Rikki's interest: the infinitesimal, the insignificant, often took on huge importance.
Rikki would stop and point out the smallest spider workings or beetle meanderings, sharing the details of their lives and, in turn, his love for such things that generally go completely overlooked. Rikki's passing should not go overlooked. He cared.
We quote here from Emerson, "To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same fields, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again.”
Transcendent Emerson must have known Rikki, one of life's truly descent human beings and attentive eyed naturalist, sadly missed by absolutely everyone who knew him including this former Hellbender writer.
Kim, we all hug you with tears rolling down our faces.
- Remembrance and photos by Stephen Lyn Bales.
|With a visiting group of Russian students. Rikki second from left.|
|Insect exploration at Ijams Homesite. Rikki second from left.|
|Birding WalkAbout on Ten Mile Creek Greenway. Rikki in the middle with co-leader Janet McKnight.|