Thursday, August 16, 2007

Quotes: Nature.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Only when man communes with nature at rare moments is he no longer solitary.
Nature 37 Only in acts of inarticulate compassion, in rare and hidden moments of communion with nature, does man briefly escape his solitary destiny. Eiseley, The Star Thrower.

Nature does not know individual plants but only vegetable life.
Nature 216 Emerson: “[Nature] knows neither palm nor oak, but only vegetable life, which sprouts into forests and festoons the globe.” Eiseley, The Star Thrower

I was proudest when a sparrow alighted on my shoulder while I was gardening.
Nature 541 I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance than I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn. Thoreau, Walden.

A golden day in August when everything seemed to revive.
Nature 320 …a golden afternoon of August: every breath from the hills so full of life, that it seemed whoever respired it, though dying, might revive. E. Brontë, Wuthering Heights.

Nature is economical with its checks and balances of competing life.
Nature 221 The economy of nature, its checks and balances, its measurements of competing life—all this is its great marvel and has an ethic of its own. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The pastoral fallacy is looking at earth, not as a place for digging and plowing, but as a paradise.
Nature 112 ...when the men of the Renaissance looked at the countryside it was not as a place of plowing and digging, but as a kind of earthly paradise...awareness of nature is associated with the desire to escape and with hope of a better life...the pastoral fallacy.... Clark, Civilization.

The word “nature” has many meanings.
Nature 269 It’s said that one can attach fifty-two different meanings to the word ‘nature.’ Clark, Civilization.

With the rise and retreat of waves, Rousseau said he lost all sense of individuality and became one with nature.
Nature 272 In listening to the flux and reflux of the waves, [Rousseau] tells us, he became completely at one with nature, lost all consciousness of an independent self, all painful memories of the past or anxieties about the future, everything except the sense of being. Clark, Civilization.

Total immersion in nature means losing identity in the whole and gaining an intense consciousness of being.
Nature 291 Total immersion: this is the ultimate reason why the love of nature has been for so long accepted as a religion…a means by which we can lose our identity in the whole and gain thereby a more intense consciousness of being. Clark, Civilization.

Nature is hidden, overcome but seldom extinguished.
Nature 113 F. Bacon: “Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.” Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

One can only command nature by obeying it.
Nature 120 F. Bacon: Nature cannot be commanded, except by being obeyed. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Francis Bacon.

Highlights of the seasons.
Nature 54 [Browning’s 15 great natural events of the year: skunk cabbage blooming; return of red-winged blackbird; song of spring peepers; dogwood blooming; leaf burst; arrival of spring warblers; song of the wood thrush; night sky: the rising of the summer triangle; bloom of summer meadow wild flowers; swallows gathered on telephone wires; katydid singing; beginning of hawk migration; fall color at peak; night sky: rising of Orion the Hunter; first snow fall of winter; pond freezes over.] Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Why does the cicada awaken every 17 years?
Nature 90 What makes the cicada awake after 17 years? Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

In nature, metamorphosis is an enduring principle.
Nature 101 Metamorphosis is not an isolated event but an enduring principle. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

Sights and sounds of the seasons.
Nature 126 …blockbuster, hawk-lifting cold fronts, warm buttery October days, midnight cannonball thunderstorms. Browning, Notes from Turtle Creek.

If you live outdoors, inanimate things take on personality.
Nature 104 “I think,” said Kate, “that the more one lives out of doors the more personality there seems to be in what we call inanimate things.” Sarah Orne Jewett, Deephaven.

A day is not entirely lost if you have spent some time observing some thing in nature.
Nature 542 It seems as if the day was not wholly profane, in which we have given heed to some natural object. Emerson, Nature, Second Series.

Nature arms and equips natural things to survive, but arms and equips other things to destroy it.
Nature 547 She [Nature] arms and equips an animal to find its place and living in the earth, and, at the same time, she arms and equips another animal to destroy it. Emerson, Nature, Second Series.

The unknowing eye does not see the life within a natural object.
Nature 154 The unknowing eye saw the stillness and missed the vortex of life within. Russell, Watchers at the Pond.

Trees in summer release more water than is in a pond.
Nature 171 In one summer, the trees would release more water than was contained in the pond. Russell, Watchers at the Pond.

Flying male ants fell dead after mating with the female.
Nature 203 Later that day…male [flying] ants fell steadily from the sky, dying and dead…their lives…ended the moment they mated with the flying females…. Russell, Watchers at the Pond.

The fallen leaves awaken my grief.
Nature 394 But every leaf awakens my grief,/ As it lieth beneath the tree. Dickens, Pickwick.

The power of each portion of a plant to help the other portions is life; intensity of life is intensity of helpfulness.
Nature and morality 285 Ruskin: the power which causes the several portions of a plant to help each other we call life; intensity of life is also intensity of helpfulness; the ceasing of this help is what we call corruption…a moral at least as convincing as most of those that can be drawn from Holy Writ. Clark, Civilization.

The line where sky and sea meet each other symbolizes harmony.
Nature and symbol 287 And [Turner] was particularly fascinated by the line where the sky and the sea join each other, that mingling of the elements which seems, by its harmony of tone, to lead to a general reconciliation of opposites. Clark, Civilization.

Nature teaches, but what it teaches is often obscure.
Nature teaches 121 Nature teaches, though what it teaches is often hidden and obscure. Eiseley, The Star Thrower.

The only way to know the nature of birds is to see them in flight.
Nature, birds 98 …no one really knows a bird until he has seen it in flight. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

Man sees only a moment in the symphony of nature’s creation.
Nature, creation 220 So near is man to the creative pageant, so much a part is he of the endless and incredible experiment, that any glimpse he may have will be but the revelation of a moment, a solitary note heard in a symphony…. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

Geese flying at sunset with their musical bell-like cry.
Nature, geese 116 …a flock of geese flying over the meadows along the rift of dying, golden light, their great wings beating with a slow and solemn beauty, their musical bell-like cry…. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

In the world of winter, the tracks of insects on the dunes are no longer visible.
Nature, insects 65 That multiplicity of insect tracks, those fantastic ribbons which grasshoppers, promenading flies, spiders, and beetles printed on the dunes as they went about their hungry and mysterious purposes, have come to an end in this world [of winter]…. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The trillions of intense lives of insects, created for no apparent purpose, except, perhaps for a sound or a color.
Nature, insects 65 Those trillions of unaccountable lives [insects], those crawling, buzzing intense presences which nature created to fulfill some unknown purpose or perhaps simply to satisfy a whim for a certain sound or a moment of exquisite color…. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

We fail to appreciate that Insects contribute to the symphony of natural sounds.
Nature, insects 65 As I muse here, it occurs to me that we are not sufficiently grateful for the great symphony of natural sound which insects add to the natural scene…all those little fiddles in the grass, all those cricket pipes, those delicate flutes…. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The many sounds of the ocean.
Nature, ocean 43 The sea has many voices…hollow boomings…heavy roarings, great watery tumblings and tramplings, long hissing seethes, sharp, rifle-shot reports, splashes, whispers, the grinding undertone of stones, and sometimes vocal sounds that might be the half-heard talk of people in the sea. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The rhythm of the ocean changes.
Nature, ocean 44 [The ocean]…constantly changing its tempo, its pitch, its accent, and its rhythm, being now loud and thundering, now almost placid, now furious, now grave and solemn-slow, now a simple measure, now a rhythm monstrous with a sense of purpose and elemental will. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

Away from the beach, the sounds of the surf meld into a distant cannonade.
Nature, ocean 47 Away from the beach, the various sounds of the surf melt into one great thundering symphonic roar…an endless, distant, elemental cannonade. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The toppling of ocean waves.
Nature, ocean 53 Toppling over and hurled ahead, the wave crashes, its mass of glinting blue falling down in a confusion of seething, splendid white, the tumbling water rebounding from the sand to a height almost always a little above that of the original crest. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The sound of the ocean at night.
Nature, ocean 175 The beach at night has a voice all its own, a sound in fullest harmony with its spirit and mood—with its little, dry noise of sand forever moving, with its solemn, over spilling, rhythmic seas, with its eternity of stars that sometimes seem to hang down like lamps from the high heavens—and that sound the piping of a bird. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

Nature is full of rhythm.
Nature, rhythm 366 Spencer: All nature is rhythmical, from the pulsations of heat to the vibrations of the violin strings; from the undulations of light, heat and sound to the tides of the sea; from the periodicities of sex to the periodicities of planets and comets and stars; from the alternation of night and day to the succession of the seasons, and perhaps to the rhythms of climactic change; from the oscillations of molecules to the rise and fall of nations and the birth and death of stars. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

The smells of nature.
Nature, smells 189 I like a good smell—the smell of a freshly ploughed field on a warm morning after a night of April rain, the clove-like aroma of our wild Cape Cod pinks, the morning perfume of lilacs showery with dew, the good reek of hot salt grass and low tide blowing from these meadows late on summer afternoons. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The elemental sounds of nature.
Nature, sounds 43 The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The sun is a natural drama.
Nature, sun 59 We lose a great deal, I think, when we lose this sense and feeling for the sun…the adventure of the sun is the great natural drama by which we live…. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

The sounds of a thunderstorm.
Nature, thunderstorm 186 Now came flash after stabbing flash amid a roaring of rain, and heavy thunder that rolled on till its last echoes were swallowed up in vast detonations which jarred the walls. Henry Beston, The Outermost House.

No comments:

Post a Comment