Is Nature Natural?

“Wilderness might be reducible, acre by acre, but wildness is something else again.” Michael Pollen, The Botany of Desire There’s a conversation going on about wilderness areas, and whether bicycles should be allowed. Currently, no mechanical devices are allowed, such as bicycles or chainsaws. The wilderness concept is to maintain a condition as close to […]

Changing Nature

The prairie stretched in front of us for several miles. “What do you see?” I asked. Sara looked around with that half-bored expression teens sometimes have, “Grass,” was all she said. “Look down, then.” I instructed, “What’s right here beneath you?” She looked askance, then looked down, “Well, some grass. Some rocks, some of those […]

Florida, Naturally

“People should adjust to, rather than change, nature.” – John Wesley Powell We came into the Everglades from the south; the transition from rough country to national park marked primarily by the absence of structures, fences and side roads. Where old shacks, farms and trailer houses were interspersed with the trees and grasslands, now there […]

Seeing “Wild”

“The important thing is to touch the earth and stand in the wind, to know that you are part of the whole- not superimposed, like asphalt.”
Gaydell Collier, Leaning Into The Wind

Reese Witherspoon is great in “Wild”, the story of Cheryl Strayed hiking the Pacific Coast Trail and I enjoyed it immensely. Something was missing from the movie, however, and it took me a while to find it. I never sensed the joy, the discovery, of being in the wild.

While never undertaking anything as difficult as hiking the PCT, I’ve done my share of camping and hiking, mostly in the West. What stands out most about my trips, though, is not the incredible views or the pain and hardships, but the sensory overload that comes from being out in nature.