Retired ranger given one last memorable day in the woods

Ed loved the outdoors so much that he dedicated his life to its protection, serving as a forest ranger in Washington. He saw a lot of good things in his career and taught people to respect our natural resources.
He left his job to enjoy retirement and to spend still more time outdoors but, as life sometimes dictates, he was diagnosed with a serious disease that kept him from enjoying the fresh air, sunshine and woodlands he cherished.
While a patient at Evergreen Hospice in Kirkland, Washington, Ed mentioned how much he would love to get outside for one last visit. But his health was deteriorating and there was little hope that this could happen.
A nurse told hospice chaplain Curt Huber about Ed’s wish and Curt wasn’t going to let this ranger down. He called firefighters to make sure it happened.
Last March, firefighters from the Snohomish County Fire District escorted Ed to the Meadowdale Beach Park, just north of Edmonds on the Puget Sound.
“Together, the group took Ed up and down the trails, bringing him the scents of the forest by touching the fragrant growth and bringing their hands close to Ed’s face,” the hospice reported.
Ed was elated by the sight and smell of the forest.
Today, I am sure that he still enjoys his time in the woodlands and hills, though by a somewhat more elevated vantage.
Another of Evergreen Hospice’s reports, “People sometimes think working in hospice care is depressing. This story demonstrates the depths of the rewards that caring for the dying can bring.”
Ed got the chance to meet a few angels before he left us.
Along the Way:
There will be a Youth Waterfowl Hunting Workshop on Oct. 5 at Ottawa NWR/Magee Marsh Wildlife Area. This is a partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state Division of Wildlife, Zink Calls, Winous Point Nature Conservancy, Ottawa Soil and Water Conservation District, Ducks Unlimited, Ohio Waterfowl Association and Lake Erie Waterfowlers.
This is a beginner workshop. Participants will rotate through a variety of stations that will demonstrate concepts regarding waterfowl hunting. At the end, participants will have an opportunity to hunt.
The workshop will cover waterfowl identification, duck and goose calling, decoy setup, firearm and boating safety, wildlife regulations, blind and boat use, gear selection and cleaning and cooking waterfowl.
The workshop will begin at noon and run until 3:30 p.m., with the hunt following from 4:30 p.m. to 7:12 p.m. To register, obtain a flyer, or more information, call 419-898-0014.
Space is limited for this great learning experience.
Step Outside:
• “Wingbeats and Heartbeats,” a new book by Dave Books, allows the reader to tag along through the forests of Wisconsin and Minnesota, the fields of Iowa and North Dakota, the prairies of eastern Montana and Nebraska, the mountains of western Montana and Idaho and the deserts of Arizona. It’s available from the Upland Almanac by calling 800-899-7810, or visit
• Today: Fish Fry, So-Han-Co Sportsman’s Club, 5 p.m. until it’s gone. Carry-out is available. 10560 Madison Township 31, Arlington, 1.5 miles west of U.S. 68. $8 for adults, $4.50 for kids 12 and under.
• This week at the UCOA, 6943 Marion Township 243, Findlay: Tomorrow: IDPA Pistol Match, 10 a.m. Thursday-Friday: Trap and skeet, 5 p.m.
• Tomorrow: Safari Field Archery Shoot, registration opens 8 a.m. Field and Stream Bowhunters, 11400 Allen Township 109, Findlay.
• Tuesday: Women on Target, 5:30 p.m. HCCL, 13748 Jackson Township 168, Findlay.
• Aug. 16: No Child Left Indoors for kids ages 6-17, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Oakwoods Nature Preserve, Findlay. To register: Mark Plesec, 419-722-6771 or
Abrams is a retired wildlife officer supervisor for the state Division of Wildlife in Findlay. He can be reached at P.O. Box 413, Mount Blanchard, OH 45867-0413 or via email at


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