I belong to the Wilderness Society, the Sierra Club, and other organized groups whose goals are to seek to preserve the wilderness and wild animals. I naturally thought about preservation of life and survival when I wrote the poems in Nature Echo Book 1. In Nature Echo Book 2, I took actual happenings in my own life; again, the themes were about preservation of life with its challenges. Challenges-to grow in knowledge, to face the death of my husband the death of a child, etc.-became uppermost in my daily life. Even the disruption of a forest for a housing development stimulated my interest in the preservation of wetlands. It is hoped that these poems will create an interest in these issues.
Born Thelma Loretta Barlow in Aberdeen, Maryland, she was the daughter of Scotch American immigrants of the Southern Highland Appalachian Valley. The family came north to the Susquehanna Region to seek a better life. Two children of the family died at an early age, leaving Thelma and a younger sister, Shirley. Both became nurses. It was during this time that Thelma enrolled at the local university, earning a BS degree. When she retired, she and her husband bought a farm, raised sheep, and grew Christmas trees. Deciding to continue her studies, she earned a master's degree in liberal arts at the age of sixty-six. She had two studies abroad in economics and art history. Continuing her interest in writing, she parlayed a college senior project into a book about Appalachian culture called Transformation of the Back Country, which was published in 2001. She also continued writing poetry. Her poetry has been published in seven poetry anthologies, earning an Editor's Choice Award and several runner-up mentions. She benefited from her interest in animals for her first book of poetry of the Nature Echo series and her observation of the nature of man for the second Nature Echo book.