I’m reading yet another book on John Muir, this one by a fine writer, Kim Heacox, about Muir’s travels to Alaska to observe and explore glaciers. I am always moved by accounts of how Muir’s love of wild places was such a driving force in all that he did. I especially appreciate the story about Muir’s meeting of Ralph Waldo Emerson. It was 1871, Emerson was 68, Muir 33. In spite of Emerson’s entourage, who were concerned about the old man’s health, Muir begged Emerson to spend more time with … [Read more...] about Why John Muir is One Of My Nature Heroes
Ah, summer – long hot days, rainstorms, no school, vacations from work, fishing, swimming, picnics, visits to National Parks, trips to the beach… We all have our own associations when we think of summer, these and others. Last week, I picked up my 10-year old grandson Jude from a summer camp that he attended, one that focused on wilderness skills such as shelter building, finding safe drinking water, and how to build a friction fire. I thought that summer camp will likely be on his list of … [Read more...] about How Loud Did He Burp? What Kids Learn At Summer Camp
I took a trail walk this morning, enjoying the cool moist morning air and the woods full of bird song. As I was nearing the end of the trail, I stopped to pick up several pieces of trash when I noticed another piece off the trail a ways. My hands were pretty full, and I did not really feel like scrambling through the brush to get the last piece. In the short mental moment when I was deciding whether or not retrieve it, the thought occurred to me, If I don't pick up that piece of trash, who will? … [Read more...] about If Not Me, Then Who?
I was planning on writing a blog now, maybe on the metaphor hiding in the 8" of new snow we just received in the middle of May. But then I heard this voice, which I decided was coming from outside. I am not sure if it was the trees, or the sky that just can't shake the clouds and occasional snow squalls, or the black-headed grosbeaks and dark-eyed juncoes at the bird feeders that were calling me, but the message was clear - come on out, the air is fine. Great idea, I said to myself! So, I am now … [Read more...] about To Blog or To Walk, That is a Silly Question
A couple of weeks ago, I was discussing with a client the question of whether or not creating a non-profit would be the right way to proceed as he developed his vision of bringing groups, especially boys and men, to Nature. One factor that often comes up when people have a desire to provide meaningful experiences and other human services is that such services cost money, and so many people who would benefit from these services can often not afford to pay for them. Sure, the kids who live in a … [Read more...] about The World Needs Non-Profits -You Can Create An Amazing One!
Late March and early April is, according to the calendar, the beginning of spring. When I think of the word spring, I think of gentle days of wildflowers, soaking rains, a greening landscape, warming days. Yet, when I look out at the southern Colorado landscape around me today, I see lots of white – the remains of yesterday’s seven inches of wet snow. Regardless of the fact that my homescape is officially in the first days of the spring season, I see these days as more of a time between … [Read more...] about Living in the In-Between
"The ordinary arts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest.” ~ Thomas Moore There was a book I read thirty years ago that I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. I don’t remember many details of the chapters themselves, but the essence of the book that is captured in its title, Chop Wood Carry Water, has been coming up for me a lot lately. Living in a house that is heated by wood (and the sun), I am very much in tune with chopping … [Read more...] about Chopping Wood
A lone snowflake drifts out of a slate-colored sky and finds its way onto the page of my journal that I am writing on. A woodpecker squawks. I trudged through over a foot of new snow to get to this somewhat protected place along a path I have walked a thousand times. In precipitation of every variety, in sunlight, in moonlight, in violent winds that brought down trees, in every condition have I walked that path. Today, I walked it as it wound through a world magically transformed. Yesterday … [Read more...] about Winter Has Arrived
If you’ve read much of my writing, you’ve probably noticed that I love to spend time in and write about the natural world. What does all this Nature-this and Nature-that, you may have asked yourself, have to do with helping someone start a not-for-profit, or address a community need, or run a business? I’m glad you asked. Any real look into the natural world reveals that Nature is all about relationships. The health of a forest, for example, is directly related to the amount of precipitation … [Read more...] about What does Nature have to do with Business?
This morning's 1.33" of rain that I measured for the previous 24 hours brings the past week's total precip for the park to 3.53"...a nice amount that came in tolerable and manageable amounts, and a far cry from the record rainfall that parts of Colorado's northern front range received the last week. After a drizzly morning and mostly gray afternoon, the skies were clearing on my after dinner walk this evening. The almost-full-moon was up in the eastern sky, peaking through the low clouds that … [Read more...] about The Calm After the Storm