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So lucky are we to have had so many extraordinary individuals share their wisdom with the world. Here are some of my favorites.
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
- John Muir
"The diversity of life on this planet is a miraculous gift. What gives me the greatest joy is being able to shre glimpses of it. I hope my work stands as a testament to the power of timeless beauty and a reminder that we must not take our fellow creatures for granted."
"Let us leave a splendid legacy for our children...let us turn to them and say, this you inherit: guard it well, for it is far more precious than money...and once destroyed, nature's beauty cannot be repurchased at any price."
"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."
"Above all we must realize that each of us makes a difference with our life. Each of us impacts the world around us every single day. We have a choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place - or not to bother"
"Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment."
"The naturalist is a civilized hunter. He goes alone into the field or woodland and closes his mind to everything but that time and place, so that life around him presses in on all the senses and small details grow in significance. He begins the scanning search for which cognition was engineered. His mind becomes unfocused, it focuses on everything, no longer directed toward any ordinary task or social pleasantry."
-E. O. Wilson
"Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech."
"My solitude doesn’t depend on the presence or absence of people; on the contrary, I hate who steals my solitude without, in exchange, offering me true company."
"So remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and hold on to that childlike wonder about what makes the universe exist."
"The world is big enough to satisfy everyones needs, but will always be too small to satisfy everyones greed."
"You only get one sunrise and one sunset a day, and you only get so many days on the planet. A good photographer does the math and doesn't waste either."
It is in the wild places, where the edge of the earth meets the corners of the sky, the human spirit is fed.
"I hope the United States of America is not so rich that she can afford to let these wildernesses pass by, or so poor she cannot afford to keep them."
-Margaret (Mardy) Murie
"I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and self-contain'd, I stand and look at them long and long."
"The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses are still truly adjusted to each other; who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood. His intercourse with heaven and earth, becomes part of his daily food. In the presence of nature, a wild delight runs through the man, in spite of real sorrows."
"The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues--self-restraint. Why cannot I take as many trout as I want from a stream? Why cannot I bring home from the woods a rare wildflower? Because if I do, everybody in this democracy should be able to do the same. My act will be multiplied endlessly. To provide protection for wildlife and wild beauty, everyone has to deny himself proportionately. Special privilege and conservation are ever at odds."
"I can't conceive of anything being more varied and rich and handsome than the planet Earth. And its crowning beauty is the natural world. I want to soak it up, to understand it as well as I can, and to absorb it. And then I'd like to put it together and express it in my paintings. This is the way I want to dedicate my work."
"After you've painted a couple of thousand paintings, then you can begin."
“For those of us who portray wildlife . . . our decision to persist in our quest for excellence is almost always based on a love affair, a fascination with the creatures of our planet, and a need to share this feeling the best way we know how.”
"It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being, and we therefore yield to our neighbors, even to our animal neighbors, the same right as ourselves to inhabit this vast land."
"We should understand well that all things are the work of the Great Spirit. We should know the Great Spirit is within all things: the trees, the grasses, the rivers, the mountains, and the four-legged and winged peoples; and even more important, we should understand that the Great Spirit is also above all these things and peoples. When we do understand all this deeply in our hearts, then we will fear, and love, and know the Great Spirit, and then we will be and act and live as the Spirit intends."
I know that I could, under ordinary circumstances, accumulate wealth and obtain a fair position in society, and I am arrived at an age that requires that I should choose some definite course for life. But I am sure that the mind of no truant schoolboy is more free and disengaged from all the grave plans and purposes and pursuits of ordinary orthodox life than mine!
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