Saturday, November 24, 2007

A Winter Walk: Chapter 3

My wonderful parents (may they rest in peace), gave me, among other things, an appreciation for nature and nature writing.

My father, an Eagle Scout, knew hundreds of flowers both by latin and common name. My mother loved birds and her wild expressionist garden. They started their annual life list in April, with a walk in the large Arboretum in search of Pasque flowers.

At the time it was hard for me to understand their enthusiasm about a flower that they saw each year.

Their bookshelves held works by Aldo Leopold, local botanist Jim Zimmerman, John Muir, May Thielgaard Watts, Henry Beston, and later, thanks to my sister, Gilbert White. I remember now that they often read particularly moving passages out loud to one another while they read together out on the screened porch.

I believe they would have loved Monarch's blog, which I discovered recently.

So I thought of my parents while I was out on my walk. They helped me learn the names of so much of what I saw that day. The ability to name something helps you to think more clearly about it and to understand how it fits into the larger scheme of things


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your kind words and I love your illustrations that you are doing with this site! Although my parents never taught me names of many flowers, birds, etc. . . they did get me outside to enjoy nature! It is wonderful just to enjoy the walks, winter or summer! Great post my friend!

Pam said...

I am so happy to see you, your visions and thoughts back with us! I have missed your wonderful, whimsical drawings almost as much as you.

I tried to comment before, but blogger wouldn't let me in. Your banner was a sight to behold!

I share your love of nature, it's moods, colors and movement. It is amazing, spiritual and it is my church.

Great post about men, women and the excersise thing, right on. But keep it up...for your health.

Welcome back!

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I can't wait for the next installment.

Suzy said...

I have a picture book you would love, I'll have to get it to you. It's called The Winter Walk.

We had this discussion in the car after I was at your apt. today. Anna: "I'm not going to live in Pittsburgh forever, it's too cold." Me: "I want to move to Vermont!" Grace: "But you're cold all the time!" Me: "But I LOVE winter; that's the paradox." Anna: "Why don't you move to Canada?" (said in a snotty way.)

Let's go look at some lumpy heads together!

nina at Nature Remains. said...

Hi, Caroline,
Thanks for visiting my blog and enjoying your time browsing!
I, too, had parents that could name every latin name of living things--and routinely took me out on long walks.
I was, for all intents and purposes, raised in a living laboratory.
It's only now, that I wish I had absorbed more--of the details.
But I did get the important part--it's made me who I am.

Ginnie said...

Caroline: I am so excited that you are back in the "bloggersphere". I love your drawings and your general outlook on life. Keep up the good work.
PS: Like Pam I tried to get in to your new blog earlier but couldn't. So glad we're all back on the path together.

Anna Mills said...

Thanks for this post. I love your illustrations, and I love the line "I wanted to reach out and touch everything all at once." Do you know the book Nature Journaling by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E. Roth?

Crayons said...

Hi Anna,

Thanks for understanding that strange sentence about wanting to touch everything. I didn't know how else to put the feeling.

I'm excited to go to a bookshop on my lunch hour today. I will look up the book about nature journaling.

I'm on my way over to visit your site.

TR Ryan said...

I can't stop reading. I am going to miss my flight - it will be all your fault. How do you unplug this thing?