“It’s interesting that, Darling, as he became a well-known conservationist, people would talk to him about his love for wildlife. And there’s no question that he did have a love for wildlife, particularly birds, and ducks, and waterfowl. But he pointed out, ‘You know, although I love these animals, that’s not the important thing. The important thing is that they are the delicate indicators of the future. And when you see populations of birds or creatures being crowded out, dying, the human kind is not far behind’.” – Christopher “Kip” Koss, interview for America’s Darling, 2011
It’s been ten years since the release of America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. “Ding” Darling and now sixty years since Darling’s passing on February 12, 1962. Since the release of my documentary, with the help of so many, I continued to build upon the Darling Legacy and narrative. There have been extraordinary new paths and adventures in addition to meeting such fine dedicated people along the way. A promise to “Kip” is being fulfilled too – the Jay N. Darling Institute at Drake University! This is and will be source of change, inspiration, and hope, in helping to make the world a better place for generations to come. I feel blessed.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet and become acquainted with a German photographer, Thilo Lechleitner. His love for wildlife with his skillful lens capture the delicate indicators (and some of the larger ones too!) of the future, around the Franken region, town of Keups, Germany. It is an honor to share some of Thilo’s photography as we continue to reflect upon and celebrate “the man, who never forgot that he was once a boy”- Jay Norwood Darling.. Enjoy! Sam Koltinsky, Jay N. Darling Legacy