No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all the salient facts about any of them.
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: with Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.
All those who love Nature she loves in return, and will richly reward, not perhaps with the good things, as they are commonly called, but with the best things of this world- not with money and titles, horses and carriages, but with bright and happy thoughts, contentment and peace of mind.
If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.
I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery- air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy”.
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed…We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.
In biology, nothing is clear, everything is too complicated, everything is a mess, and just when you think you understand something, you peel off a layer and find deeper complications beneath. Nature is anything but simple.
Nature is a language and every new fact one learns is a new word; but it is not a language taken to pieces and dead in the dictionary, but the language put together into a most significant and universal sense. I wish to learn this language—not that I may know a new grammar, but that I may read the great book which is written in that tongue.
For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.
A cultivated man, wise to know and bold to perform, is the end to which nature works, and the education of the will is the flowering and result of all this geology and astronomy.
Everything in nature invites us constantly to be what we are.
We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us.
The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking.