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Past Quotes

2005
November 1 "As the true method of knowledge is experiment, the true faculty of knowing must be that which experiences."

-Blake
November 2 You sea! I resign myself to you also... I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me...

-Whitman
November 3 "And what is weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
November 4 O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome ;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools and the learned clan;
For what are they all, in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
November 5 "Nature first, then theory. Or, better, Nature and theory closely intertwined while you throw all your intellectual capital at the subject. Love the organisms for themselves first, then strain for general explanations, and, with good fortune, discoveries will follow. If they don't, the love and the pleasure will have been enough."

-E. O. Wilson, Naturalist
November 6 "The shore is an ancient world, for as long as there has been an earth and sea there has been this place of the meeting of land and water."

-Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea
November 7 "Whether man is disposed to yield to nature or to oppose her, he cannot do without a correct understanding of her language."

-Jean Rostand
November 8 "Man must go back to nature for information."

-Thomas Paine
November 9

Birds, butterflies, and flowers
All make one band of paramours.

-William Wordsworth, "Green Linnet"

November 10 "May you live all the days of your life."

-Jonathon Swift
November 11 "Yes, around Concord."

-Henry David Thoreau, on being asked if he traveled
November 12 To shine, and to hell with everyone else!
That is my motto­-and the Sun's!

-Vladimir Mayakovsky
November 13 "The study of Nature is intercourse with the highest mind."

-Agassiz
November 14

"There are only three pleasures in life pure and lasting, and all are derived from inanimate things: books, pictures, and the face of nature."

-William Hazlitt

November 15

"The sad truth is, that those who have never entered upon scientific pursuits know not a tithe of the poetry by which thy are surrounded. Whoever has not in youth collected plants and insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedgerows can assume. Whosoever has not sought for fossils, has little idea of the poetical associations that surround the places where imbedded treasures were found... Sad, indeed, is it to see how men occupy themselves with trivialities, and are indifferent to the grandest phenomena--care not to understand the architecture of the Heavens, but are deeply interested in some contemptible controversy about the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots!"

-Herbert Spencer

November 16

"You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry back."

-Horace (65­8 B.C.) Epistles, 1.10

November 17

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

-Greek proverb

November 18

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But, ah, my foes, and, oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay, "First Fig"

November 19

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught."

-Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

November 20

"Conservation is sometimes perceived as stopping everything cold, as holding whooping cranes in higher esteem than people. It is up to science to spread the understanding that the choice is not between wild places or people. Rather, it is between a rich or an impoverished existence for Man."

-Thomas E. Lovejoy, World Wildlife Fund

November 21

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

-Helen Keller

November 22

"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon."

-Susan Ertz, "Anger in the Sky" (1943)

November 23

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

November 24

Thanksgiving dinner's sad and thankless,
Christmas dinner's dark and blue,
When you stop and try to see it
From the turkey's point of view.

Sunday dinner isn't funny
Easter feasts are just bad luck,
When you see it from the viewpoint
Of the chicken or the duck.

Oh, how I once loved tuna salad,
Pork and lobsters, lamb chops, too,
Till I stopped and looked at dinner
From the dinner's point of view.

-Shel Silverstein, "Point of View"

November 25

"On the subject of wild mushrooms, it is easy to tell who is an expert and who is not: The expert is the one who is still alive."

-Donal Henahan

November 26

“I have endeavored to guard myself against the enthusiastic partiality which believes our civilization to be the most precious thing that we possess or could acquire, and thinks it must inevitably lead us to undreamt-of heights of perfection. I can at any rate listen without taking umbrage to those critics who aver that when one surveys the aims of civilization and the means it employs, one is bound to conclude that the whole thing is not worth the effort and that in the end it can only produce a state of things which no individual will be able to bear.”

-Sigmund Freud, Civilization And Its Discontents

November 27

"When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash ‹at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the Œnewness,¹ the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance."

-Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

November 28

"I care not for a man's religion whose dog or cat are not the better for it"

-Lincoln

November 29

"Without speculation, there is no original observation."

-Charles Darwin in a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace

November 30

the aim of life is to live and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware

-Henry Miller

Dec. 1

"live in beauty... see in beauty... go in beauty..."

-Black Elk

Dec. 2

"Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages."

-Thomas Edison, Harpers Magazine, 1890

Dec. 3

"Volunteers are the backbone, heart, and soul of the restoration movement. And whatever the eventual results of their labors may be, working to revive damaged ecosystems is transforming and strengthening their relationship with the rest of nature."

-William K. Stevens, Miracle Under the Oaks

Dec. 4

"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."

-Henry David Thoreau

Dec. 5

"The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet."

-John F. Kennedy

Dec. 6

"Certainly nature seems to exult in abounding radicality, extremism, anarchy. If we were to judge nature by its common sense or likelihood, we wouldn't believe the world existed. In nature, improbabilities are the one stock in trade. The whole creation is one lunatic fringe. If creation had been left up to me, I'm sure I wouldn't have had the imagination or courage to do more than shape a single, reasonably sized atom, smooth as a snowball, and let it go at that. No claims of any and all revelations could be so far-fetched as a single giraffe."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek

Dec. 7

"...a monkey could climb into the jungle canopy at the foothills of the Andes and swing through 2,000 miles of continuous 200-foot-high forest before reaching the Atlantic coast."

-Eugene Linden, "Playing with Fire", Time, September 18, 1989

Dec. 8

"I look at the geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines."

-Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

Dec. 9

"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it! (It's rather like getting tenure.)"

-Daniel Dennett, "Consciousness Explained"

Dec. 10

COGDELL, GA : The Cogdell School Board banned the teaching of the controversial "Theory Of Math" in its schools Monday. "We are simply not confident of this mysterious process by which numbers turn, as if by magic, into other numbers," board member Gus Reese said. "Those mathematicians are free to believe 3 times 4 equals 12, but that dun [sic] give them the right to force it on our children." Under the new ruling, all math textbooks will carry a disclaimer noting that math is only one of many valid theories of number-manipulation.

-Georgia School Board Bans 'Theory Of Math", TheOnion

Dec. 11

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at begin to change."

-Wayne Dyer

Dec. 12

"All cold-blooded animals...spend an unexpectedly large proportion of their time doing nothing at all, or at any rate nothing in particular."

-Charles Elton

Dec. 13

"Those who are really awake to the sights and sounds which the procession of the months offers them, find endless entertainment and instruction. Yet there are great multitudes who are present at as many as threescore and ten performances, without ever really looking at the scenery, or listening to the music, or observing the chief actors."

-O. W. Holmes

Dec. 14

"If the human race wishes to have a prolonged and indefinite period of material prosperity, they have only got to behave in a peaceful and helpful way toward one another."

-Winston Churchill

Dec. 15

"Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence."

-Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene

Dec. 16

"Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge."

-Thomas Edison

Dec. 17

"What happened, what we think happened in distant memory, is built around a small collection of dominating images. In one of my own from the age of seven, I stand in the shallows of Paradise Beach, staring down at a huge jellyfish in water so still and clear that its every detail is revealed as though it were trapped in glass."

-Edward O. Wilson, Naturalist

Dec. 18

"In fact, if there is any lesson I have learned in my years of following science, it is that nothing is as it seems. Instead, things are as they seem plus the details you are just beginning to notice. New truths rarely overturn old ones, they simply add nuanced brushstrokes to the portrait."

-Natalie Angier, "The Beauty of the Beastly"

Dec. 19

"To trace the history of a river, or a raindrop, as John Muir would have done, is also to trace the history of the soul, the history of the mind descending and arising in the body. In both, we constantly seek and stumble on divinity, which, like the cornice feeding the lake and the spring becoming a waterfall, feeds, spills, falls and feeds itself over and over again."

-Gretel Ehrlich, "River History"

Dec. 20

"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life: so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."

-Matt Cartmill.

Dec. 21

"What is the origin of the urge, the fascincation that drives physicists, mathematicians, and presumably other scientists as well? Psychoanalysis suggests that it is sexual curiosity. You start by asking where little babies come from, one thing leads to another, and you find yourself preparing nitroglycerine or solving differential equations. This explanation is somewhat irritating, and therefore probably basically correct."

-David Ruelle, "Chance and Chaos"

Dec. 22

"The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future."

-Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service

Dec. 23

"But what pleasure it is to know that there is back county for them to retreat to, that nobody is going to push roads through that wilderness, that no RVs or trail bikes or tote goats will roar through those forests and stink up that clean air. The best thing we have learned from nearly five hundred years of contact with the American wilderness is restraint, the willingness to hold our hand: to visit such places for our souls' good, but leave no tracks."

-Wallace Stegner, Crossing Into Eden, 1989

Dec. 24

"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties."

-Francis Bacon

Dec. 25

At Christmas play and make good cheere,
For Christmas comes but once a yeere.

-Tusser, "Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry"

Dec. 26

Heap on the wood!-the wind is chill;
But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still.

-Sir Walter Scott

Dec. 27

"But if there is a more worthy aim for us than to be drudges--if there are other uses in the things around us than their power to bring money--if there are higher faculties to be exercised than acquisitive and sensual ones--if the pleasures which poetry and art and science and philosophy can bring are of any moment--then it is desirable that the instinctive inclination which every child shows to observe natural beauties and investigate natural phenomena should be encouraged."

-Herbert Spencer, Education

Dec. 28

"I remember Mimi asking me as a child to make a lens by curling my fingers around to my thumb. I closed one eye and, with the other, looked through my hand lens. I played with scale. Blades of grass were transformed into trees, a gravel bed became a boulder field. Small rivulets pouring over moss became the great rivers of our continent. My world was my own creation. It still is."

-Terry Tempest Williams

Dec. 29

"The environmental and human effects of the modern way of thinking and structuring of relationships has been near-catastrophic, weakening ecosystems, and undermining the stability and sustainability of human communities. The great challenge that lies ahead of us is to come to grips with the dark side of the modern worldview‹to address the cold evil that comes of reducing all of nature and life to commercial resources that can be technologically mediated, manipulated, and reconstructed to suit the narrow objectives of utilitarianism and market efficiency."

-Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef

Dec. 30

"When I heated my home with oil, I used an average of 800 gallons a year. I have found that I can keep comfortably warm for an entire winter with slightly over half that quantity of beer."

-Dave Barry

Dec. 31

"Something to do, someone to love, and something to hope for, are the true essentials of a happy and meaningful life."

-David Goodman

2006
Jan. 1

Hope is a thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings a tune without words
And never stops at all.
And sweetest, in the gale, is heard
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That keeps so many warm.
I've heard it in the chilliest land
And on the strangest sea
Yet, never, in extremity
It ask a crumb of me.

-Emily Dickinson

Jan. 2

"The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again."

-William Beebe, 1906

Jan. 3

"Every child is born a naturalist. His eyes are, by nature, open to the glories of the stars, the beauty of the flowers, and the mystery of life."

-R. Search

Jan. 4

"Science is not the only way, nor always the best way, to gain an understanding of the world in which we find ourselves... You don't need calculus to tell you whether a symphony or a poem has meaning for you. Science complements these other ways of knowing."

-from Science Matters, by Hazen and Trefil

Jan. 5

"Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we - you and I, and our government - must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

-Eisenhower's farewell speech, 1961

Jan. 6

"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver."

-Martin Luther

Jan. 7

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form."

-William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

Jan. 8

"As a general rule, a modern biologist seeing an animal doing something to benefit another assumes either that it is being manipulated by the other individual or that it is being subtly selfish."

-George Williams

Jan. 9

"There are three great themes in science in the twentieth century: the atom, the computer, and the gene."

-Harold Varmus, Director, US National Institute of Health

Jan. 10

"The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy."

-Steven Weinberg

Jan. 11

"The brain is a three pound mass you can hold in your hand that can conceive of a universe a hundred billion light-years across."

-Marian C. Diamond

Jan. 12

"And when, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him."

-Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Jan. 13

I send thee a shell from the ocean-beach;
But listen thou well, for my shell hath speech.
Hold to thine ear
And plain thou'lt hear
Tales of ships.

-Charles Henry (John Paul) Webb (1834-1905), "With a Nantucket Shell"

Jan. 14

"Panting and snorting like a mad battle steed that has lost its rider, the masterless ocean overruns the globe."

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

Jan. 15

"Over the past 12 years I have learned that a tree needs space to grow, that coyotes sing down by the creek in January, that I can drive a nail into oak only when it is green, that bees know more about making honey than I do, that love can become sadness, and that there are more questions than answers."

-Sue Hubbell, A Country Year

Jan. 16

"Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan. 17

"There was a revolution in biology in the mid 1960s, pioneered especially by two men, George Williams and William Hamilton. This revolution is best known by Richard Dawkins's phrase 'The Selfish Gene', and at its core lies the idea that individuals do not consistently do things for the good of their group, or their families, or even themselves. They consistently do things that benefit their genes, because they are all inevitably descended from those that did the same. None of your ancestors died celibate.... always, without exception, living things are designed to do things that enhance the chances of their genes or copies of their genes surviving and replicating."

-Matt Ridley, "The Origins of Virtue"

Jan. 18

"In her book, The Edge of the Sea, Rachel Carson wrote that the 'place of the meeting of land and water...keeps alive the sense of continuing creation and the relentless drive of life. Each time I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty and its deeper meanings, sensing that intricate fabric of life by which one creature is linked with another, and each with its surroundings.'"

-Suzanne Golas, "A Spiritual Connection," Blue Planet Quarterly, vol. 4, issue 2

Jan. 19

"The lack of popular interest in the natural history sciences, failing some other cultivated interest, is unfortunate both for the individual and for the community....The natural surroundings of Californians are singularly rich and varied. A scientific interest in at least certain features of our natural environment, as for example the trees, shrubs or herbaceous plants, directs one to useful and agreeable intellectual activity. Accurate and detailed knowledge of even a small area lifts the possessor out of the commonplace and enables him directly or indirectly to contribute to the wellbeing and happiness of his community."

-Willis Jepson, Trees of California, 1923

Jan. 20

"Insect species are so prolific, says the National Academy report, that two and a half acres may contain over 42,000 different species. Each tree may be home to over 1,700 insect species. A single square meter of leaf will often house 50 species of ants alone. Researchers have found three species of beetles, six species of mites, and three species of moth living in the fur of a single sloth."

-Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef

Jan. 21

"But what pleasure it is to know that there is back county for them to retreat to, that nobody is going to push roads through that wilderness, that no RVs or trail bikes or tote goats will roar through those forests and stink up that clean air. The best thing we have learned from nearly five hundred years of contact with the American wilderness is restraint, the willingness to hold our hand: to visit such places for our souls' good, but leave no tracks."

-Wallace Stegner, Crossing Into Eden, 1989

Jan. 22

"When nature made the blue-bird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast."

-John Burroughs

Jan. 23

"Gold, n.: A soft malleable metal relatively scarce in distribution. It is mined deep in the earth by poor men who then give it to rich men who immediately bury it back in the earth in great prisons, although gold hasn't done anything to them."

-Mike Harding

Jan. 24

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt.... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

-Thomas Jefferson, 1798, after the passage of the Alien & Sedition Act

Jan. 25

"Man is nothing . . . unless he adventures. Either into the unknown of the world, of his environment. Or into the unknown of himself."

-D.H. Lawrence

Jan. 26

"Ants in particular are arguably the most aggressive and warlike of all animals. They far exceed human beings in organized nastiness; our species is by comparison gentle and sweet-tempered. The foreign policy of ants can be summed up as follows: restless aggression, territorial conquest, and genocidal annihilation of neighboring colonies whenever possible. If ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably end the world in a week."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

Jan. 27

"Whether hunting is right or wrong, a spiritual experience, or an outlet for the killer instinct, one thing it is not is a sport. Sport is when individuals or teams compete against each other under equal circumstances to determine who is better at a given game or endeavor. Hunting will be a sport when deer, elk, bears, and ducks are... given 12-gauge shotguns. Bet we'd see a lot fewer drunk yahoos (live ones, anyway) in the woods if that happened."

-R. Lerner, letter, Sierra, March-April 1991

Jan. 28

"Real advances in understanding a subject like bird migration almost always come as partial or complete surprises...If scientific progress were predictable, it would become a sort of engineering, useful perhaps, but not much fun."

-Donald R. Griffin, Bird Migration, 1964

Jan. 29

“Our senses are attuned, through evolution, to take notice of the shadows in the water, the sound of hooves in the distance, the honking of geese…We have survived as a species through the paying of attention, through this recognition of patterns in the world around us.”

-Jules Evens, “Return of the Coho,” Oct.-Dec. 2001 Bay Nature magazine

Jan. 30

"It is the abiding concern of thinking people to preserve what keeps men human-to save our contact with nature of which we are a part."

-Wallace Stegner

Jan. 31

"Mankind will not remain on Earth forever, but in its quest for light and space will at first timidly penetrate beyond the confines of the atmosphere, and later will conquer for itself all the space near the Sun."

-Konstantin E. Tsiolkovsky

Feb. 1

"Near by is the graceful loop of an old dry creek bed. The new creek bed is ditched straight as a ruler; it has been 'uncurled' by the county engineer to hurry the run-off. On the hill in the background are contoured strip-crops; they have been 'curled' by the erosion engineer to retard the run-off. The water must be confused by so much advice."

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

Feb. 2

"When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”

-R. Buckminster Fuller

Feb. 3

"On a February morning, when a weather front is moving in off the Pacific but has not quite arrived, and the winds are changeable and gusty and clouds drive over and an occasional flurry of fine rain darkens the terrace bricks, this place conforms to none of the cliches about California with which they advertise the Sunshine Cities for the Sunset Years."

-Wallace Stegner, The Spectator Bird

Feb. 4

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water,
and I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

-Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"

Feb. 5

Two birds fly past.
They are needed somewhere.

-Robert Bly

Feb. 6

"Today's children, growing up on lawns and pavements, will not even have nostalgia to guide them, and soon the animals will not only be missing, but forgotten."

-Sara Stein, Noah's Garden

Feb. 7

"Is there a polity better ordered, the offices better distributed, and more inviolably observed and maintained than that of the bees?"

-Montaignes Essays (1580-88)

Feb. 8

"Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Feb. 9

"Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me two things. One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, dirty thing on the face of the earth and you should save it for someone you love."

-Butch Hancock

Feb. 10

"One swallow does not make a spring, nor does one fine day."

-Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Feb. 11

"This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fall on the same day. As Air America Radio pointed out, 'It is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a groundhog.'"

-Air America Radio

Feb. 12

"Along with William Shakespeare and Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin is Britain's greatest gift to the world. He was our greatest thinker."

-Richard Dawkins, Honourary President, Darwin Day

Feb. 13

"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do... It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it."

-Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

Feb. 14

"Love is the answer; but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

-Woody Allen

Feb. 15

"He is an optician, daily having to do with the microscope, telescope, and other inventions for sharpening our natural sight, thus enabling us mortals (as I once heard an eccentric put it) liberally to enlarge the field of our original and essential ignorance."

-Herman Melville (1819­1891)

Feb. 16

"[W]e seem ultimately always thrown back on individual ethics as the basis of conservation policy. It is hard to make a man, by pressure of law or money, do a thing which does not spring naturally from his own personal sense of right and wrong."

-Aldo Leopold, March 1937

Feb. 17

"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond our reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the only home we shall ever know; the only paradise we ever need-if we only had the eyes to see."

-Edward Abbey

Feb. 18

“San Bruno mountain itself is a near miracle in latter-day California, a relatively isolated coastal landscape of native bunchgrasses, shrubs, and flowers…It's primeval form rises just south of San Francisco like the hulking grizzly bears that used to roam the state.”

-Susan Zakin, “Biodiversity at Our Doorstep,” April-June 2002 Bay Nature

Feb. 19

"If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it, they are wrong."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Feb. 20

"Support your right to arm bears."

-Cleveland Amory

Feb. 21

"These bears, being so hard to die, rather intimidate us all."

-Captain Meriwhether Lewis, 1805

Feb. 22

"Field guides are instruments of the pleasure of pure knowledge."

-Von Baeyer

Feb. 23

"I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saintly or sinful, who can resist the bicycle."

-William Saroyan

Feb. 24

"Volunteers are the backbone, heart, and soul of the restoration movement. And whatever the eventual results of their labors may be, working to revive damaged ecosystems is transforming and strengthening their relationship with the rest of nature."

-William K. Stevens, Miracle Under the Oaks

Feb. 25

"Scotch, because one doesn't solve the world's problems over white wine."

-anon.

Feb. 26

"An environmental setting developed over millions of years must be considered to have some merit. Anything so complicated as a planet, inhabited by more than a million and a half species of plants and animals, all of them living together in a more or less balanced equilibrium in which they continually live and reuse the same molecules of the soil and air, cannot be improved by aimless and uninformed tinkering."

-E. F. Schumacher

Feb. 27

"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

-Emerson

Feb. 28

"Work is the curse of the drinking classes."

-Oscar Wilde

March 1

"That is all the National Parks are about. Use, but do no harm."

-Wallace Stegner

March 2

"The invasion of noxious weeds has created a level of destruction to America's environment and economy that is matched only by the damage caused by floods, earthquakes, wildfire, hurricanes, and mudslides."

-Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior

March 3

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

-Martin Luther

March 4

"At home the great delight is to see the clover and grass now growing on places that were bare when we came. These small healings of the ground are my model accomplishment—everything else I do must aspire to that. While I was at that work the world gained with every move I made, and I harmed nothing."

-Wendell Berry

March 5

"Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'."

-Michael McClary

March 6

"The global environmental crisis is, as we say in Tennessee, real as rain, and I cannot stand the thought of leaving my children with a degraded earth and a diminished future….For civilization as a whole, the faith that is so essential to restore the balance now missing in our relationship with the earth is the faith that we do have a future. We can believe in that future and work to achieve it and preserve it, or we can whirl blindly on, behaving as if one day there will be no children to inherit our legacy. The choice is ours; the earth is in the balance."

-Al Gore

March 7

"[I]f in a city we had six vacant lots available to the youngsters of a certain neighborhood for playing ball, it might be "development" to build houses on the first, and the second, and the third, and the fourth, and even the fifth, but when we build houses on the last one, we forget what houses are for. The sixth house would not be development at all, but rather it would be mere short-sighted stupidity. "Development" is like Shakespeare's virtue, "which grown into a pleurisy, dies of its own too-much." In objection to the dedication of the Gila as a permanent wilderness hunting ground, it has been truly said that a part of the area which would be "locked up" bears valuable stands of timber. I admit that this is true.
Likewise, might our sixth lot be a corner lot, and hence very valuable for a grocery store or a filling station. I still insist it is the last lot for a needed playground, and this being the case, I am not interested in grocery stores or filling stations, of which we have a fair to middling supply elsewhere.

-Aldo Leopold, "A Plea for Wilderness Hunting Gounds," Outdoor Life, November 1925

March 8

"One of the great dreams of man must be to find some place between the extremes of nature and civilization where it is possible to live without regret."

-Barry Lopez

March 9

"In my first interview with a Sierra bear we were frightened and embarrassed, both of us, but the bear's behavior was better than mine….After studying his appearance as he stood at rest, I rushed toward him to frighten him, that I might study his gait in running. But, contrary to all I had heard about the shyness of bears, he did not run at all; and when I stopped short within a few steps of him, as he held his ground in a fighting attitude, my mistake was monstrously plain. I was then put on my good behavior, and never afterward forgot the right manners of the wilderness."

-John Muir (1838-1914)

March 10

"I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and dither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly I awoke and there I lay myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man."

-Chuang-tsu

March 11

"After you have exhausted that there is in business, politics, conviviality, love, and so on—have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear—what remains? Nature remains; to bring out from their torpid recesses, the affinities of a man or woman with the open air, the trees, fields, the changes of seasons—the sun by day and the stars of heaven by night."

-Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

March 12

"I learned law so well, the day I graduated I sued the college, won the case, and got my tuition back."

-Fred Allen

March 13

"The earth is a garden and each of us only need care for our own part for life to be breathed back into the planet, into the soil, into ourselves."

-John Jeavons

March 14

"This is a one line proof... if we start sufficiently far to the left."

-Cambridge University Math Department

March 15

"Naturalists are opportunists. They love not merely the subject but the whole idea of the subject. Their primary aim is to learn as much as possible about all aspects of the species that give them esthetic pleasure. Organisms are their totems, to be venerated and put to the service of science. Both of us belong to this second school of biology. We are professional naturalists, and a large part of our careers has been devoted to bringing ants into the mainstream of biology."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

March 16

"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence."

-Benjamin Disraeli

March 17

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."

-Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

March 18

"A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."

-Greek Proverb

March 19

"This is a simple thing to say, but the profound feeling of it made a Jesus, a St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a Roger Bacon, a Charles Darwin, and an Einstein. Each of them in his own tempo and with his own voice discovered and reaffirmed with astonishment the knowledge that all things are one thing and that one thing is all things—plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time."

-John Steinbeck (1902-1968)

March 20

"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature-the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."

-Rachel Carson

March 21

On the ragged edge of the world
I'll roam.
And the home of the wolf
Will be my home.

-Robert N. Service

March 22

I discovered the secret of the sea
in meditation upon a dewdrop.

-Kahlil Gibran

March 23

"You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time."

-Wallace Stegner, Thoughts in a Dry Land, 1972

March 24

"When a honeybee dies it releases a death pheromone, a characteristic odour that signals the survivors to remove it from the hive. The corpse is promptly pushed and tugged out of the hive. The death pheromone is oleic acid. What happens if a live bee is dabbed with a drop of oleic acid? Then no matter how strapping and vigourous it might be, it is carried kicking and screaming out of the hive."

-Carl Sagan, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors"

March 25

"Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future."

-Wallace Stegner

March 26

"A sense of history should be the most precious gift of science and of the arts."

-Aldo Leopold

March 27

“...the endless wonder and excitement of nature's flair for individuality rather than conformity.”

-Justice William O. Douglas

March 28

"Scientists can routinely predict a solar eclipse, to the minute, a millennium in advance. You can go to the witch doctor to lift the spell that causes your pernicious anaemia, or you can take Vitamin B12. If you want to save your child from polio, you can pray or you can inoculate. If you're interested in the sex of your unborn child, you can consult plumb-bob danglers all you want . . . but they'll be right, on average, only one time in two. If you want real accuracy . . . try amniocentesis and sonograms. Try science."

-Carl Sagan, "The Demon Haunted World"

March 29

"Still another misconception about the future is that it will be the same for all of us. While some warn that we are headed for disaster, the fact is that millions of people, perhaps half a billion or more, live disastrously impoverished lives today. Developed nations forget that most of the human race is often uncomfortable, usually hungry."

-Jacques Yves Cousteau

March 30

"The battle for conservation cannot be limited to the winning of new conquests. Like liberty itself, conservation must be fought for unceasingly to protect earlier victories.  There are always plenty of hogs who are trying to get natural resources for their own personal benefit! Public lands and parks, our forests and our mineral reserves, are subject to many destructive influences. We have to remain constantly vigilant to prevent raids by those who would selfishly exploit our common heritage for their private gain. Such raids on our natural resources are not examples of enterprise and initiative. They are attempts to take from all the people for the benefit of a few."

-President Harry S. Truman, December 1948 Inauguration of Everglades National Park

March 31

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later."

-Mitch Hedberg

April 1

“It's a fool's life, a rogue's life, and a good life if you keep laughing all the way to the grave.”

-Edward Abbey, 1972

April 2

April is here
Blithest season of the year;
The little brook laughs as it leaps away;
The lambs are out on the hills at play.

-Eben E. Rexford

April 3

"If we do not begin to preserve them (native wildflowers), the time will come when they will become extinct and live only in history."

-Theodore Payne, 1916

April 4

"But what is the difference between literature and journalism? ...Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all."

-Oscar Wilde

April 5

"Garden with Mother Nature, not against her."

-Andy Wasowski, The Landscaping Revolution

April 6

"Wild places, in the ordinary sense of that phrase, are in precious short supply on planet Earth at the end of the twentieth century….[N]owadays you might step out of a dugout canoe at the Amazon headwaters and meet an Indian man wearing a red feather through his nose and a gimmee cap reading OKLAHOMA SOONERS."

-David Quammen

April 7

"The crisis we now face calls for passion ….Why shouldn't I be angry, emotional, passionate? Madmen and madwomen are wrecking this beautiful, blue-green, living Earth. Friends who hold nothing of value but a greasy dollar bill are tearing down pillars of evolution a-building for nearly four thousand years….We must break out of society's freeze on our passions. We must feel the tug of the moon, hear goose music overhead. We must love Earth and rage against her destroyers."

-Dave Foreman

April 8

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."

-Mark Twain

April 9

"I think the Union army had something to do with it."

-General George Pickett, years afterward on why his charge at Gettysburg failed

April 10

"Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present."

-Albert Camus

April 11

"Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person shared a little of what he is good at doing."

-Quincy Jones

April 12

"A little learning is a dangerous thing but a lot of ignorance is just as bad."

-Bob Edwards

April 13

"Real advances in understanding a subject like bird migration almost always come as partial or complete surprises...If scientific progress were predictable, it would become a sort of engineering, useful perhaps, but not much fun."

-Donald R. Griffin, Bird Migration, 1964

April 14

"The Great Central Plain of California, during the months of March, April, and May, was one smooth, continuous bed of honey-bloom, so marvelously rich that, in walking from one end of it to the other, a distance of more than 400 miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at every step. Mints, gilias, nemophilas, castillejas, and innumerable compositae were so crowded together that, had ninety-nine percent of them been taken away, the plain would still have seemed to any but Californians extravagantly flowery. The radiant, honeyful corollas, touching and overlapping, and rising above one another, glowed in the living light like a sunset sky‹one sheet of purple and gold, with the bright Sacramento pouring through the midst of it from the north, the San Joaquin from the south, and their many tributaries sweeping in at right angles from the mountains, dividing the plain into sections fringed with trees."

-John Muir

April 15

"In my drawings of birds only did I interest [the tutor] Mr. Da Costa. He always commended my efforts, nay he even went farther, for one morning, while I was drawing a figure of the Ardea Herodias, he assured me the time might come when I should be a great American naturalist. However curious it may seem to the scientific world that these sayings from the lips of such a man should affect me, I assure you they had great weight with me…."

-John James Audubon (1785-1851)

April 16

Everything that lives,
Lives not alone, nor for itself.

-William Blake

April 17

"Men and nature must work hand in hand. The throwing out of balance of the resources of nature throws out of balance also the lives of men."

-Franklin Roosevelt, at the FDR Memorial

April 18

"The care of the refugees from the recent San Francisco fire, first for each other, then for their pets, was a noticeable feature. Dogs, cats, canary birds, parrots and monkeys were all most carefully cherished and protected while more material treasure was lost sight of."

-Sunset Magazine Editor, May 1906

April 19

Rest not! Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

April 20

"Someday after mastering the wind, the waves, the tides, and gravity, we shall harness the energies of love. And then, for the second time in the history of the world, we will have discovered fire."

-Pierre Teilhard De Chardin (1881-1955)

April 21

"I tried again, I failed better."

-Lao Tse

April 22

"Earth Day is the first completely international and universal holiday that the world has ever known. Every other holiday was tied to one place, or some political or special event. This Day is tied to Earth itself, and to the place of Earth in the whole solar system."

-Margaret Mead, 1977

April 23

"The pleasures of spring are available to everybody, and cost nothing."

-George Orwell

April 24

"The clock indicates the moment... but what does eternity indicate?"

-Whitman

April 25

"When a thing has been said, and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it."

-Anatole France

April 26

"Another day it occurred to me that time as we know it doesn't exist in a lawn, since grass never dies or is allowed to flower and set seed. Lawns are nature purged of sex or death. No wonder Americans like them so much."

-Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991

April 27

"After a time, habituated to spending so many hours a day on my bike, I became less and less interested in my friends. I could rely on it, which is more than I could say about my buddies."

-Henry Miller, "My Bike and Other Friends"

April 28

"Stars are not seen by sunshine."

-Spanish proverb

April 29

"Extinction of a single plant species may result in the disappearance of up to 30 other species of plants and wildlife."

-U.S. Forest Service

April 30

When that Aprille with his shoures sote               
The Droughte of March hath perced to the rote, 
And bathed every vein in swich licour                  
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;                 
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages.             

When April, with its sweet showers,
has pierced the drought of March to the root,
and bathed every vein in such (sweet) liquor,
of which virtue the flower is engendered;
then folk begin to long to go on pilgrimages.

-Chaucer, Canterbury Tales

May 1

"I hate quotations."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

May 2

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

-Mother Teresa

May 3

“On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time.”

-George Orwell

May 4

"Do we, as humans, having an ability to reason and to communicate abstract ideas verbally and in writing, and to form ethical and moral judgements using the accumulated knowledge of the ages, have the right to take the lives of other sentient organisms, particularly when we are not forced to do so by hunger or dietary need, but rather do so for the somewhat frivolous reason that we like the taste of meat?
In essence, should we know better?"

-Peter Cheeke, PhD., Oregon State University Professor of Animal Agriculture

May 5

“If all the rich people in the world divided up their money among themselves there wouldn't be enough to go around.”

-Christina Stead

May 6

“Everything you've learned in school as "obvious" becomes less and less obvious as you begin to study the universe. For example, there are no solids in the universe. There's not even a suggestion of a solid. There are no absolute continuums. There are no surfaces. There are no straight lines.”

-R. Buckminster Fuller

May 7

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

-James Bovard

May 8

"When you watch television, you never see people watching television. We love television because it brings us a world in which television does not exist."

-Barbara Ehrenreich

May 9

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?"

-Albert Einstein

May 10

Black bees on the clover-heads drowsily clinging,
Where tall feathered grasses and buttercups sway;
And all through the fields a white sprinkle of daisies,
Open-eyed at the setting of day.

-Abba Woolson

May 11

"The problem with endangered species is: You clear up one and another one comes along."

-Manual Lujan, former Secretary of the Interior

May 12

"He who would make serious use of his life must always act as though he had a long time to live and must schedule his time as though he were about to die."

-Émile Littré

May 13

"Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another."

-Homer

May 14

"My grandmother was a very tough woman. She buried three husbands. Two of them were just napping."

-Rita Rudner

May 15

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."

-Pablo Picasso

May 16

"We democrats are deeply flawed people, we can be earnestly boring and awfully righteous about moral issues in faraway places. We can be weenies, capable of doing dumb things in the name of the common good. But we do stick to our guns. We believe in decency and public spiritedness and have refused to hitch our wagon to yahooism and have supported government as a necessary force for good. And we are passionate. This is a year for passion."

-Garrison Keillor

May 17

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

-George Orwell

May 18

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

-Albert Einstein

May 19

"This looking business is risky. Once I stood on a humped rock on nearby Purgatory Mountain, watching through binoculars the great Autumn hawk migration below, until I discovered that I was in danger of joining the hawks on a vertical migration of my own. I was used to binoculars, but not, apparently, to balancing on humped rocks while looking through them."

-Annie Dillard

May 20

"To put the matter as simply as possible we, having entered our bug period as children, were blessed by never being required to abandon it."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

May 21

"Outer space is no place for a person of breeding."

-Lady Violet Bonham Carter

May 22

"Quantity of beauty required to launch a single ship: 1 Millihelen."

-Schott's Original Miscellany

May 23

"If we are saying that the loss of species is inherently bad-I don't think we know enough about how the world works to say that."

-Craig Manson, assistant secretary at the Interior Department who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act. (in Sierra, March-April 2004)

May 24

"There are plenty of good five-cent cigars in the country. The trouble is they cost a quarter."

-Franklin P. Adams

May 25

"And then to the rarest treasure, Golden Gate Park on a car-free Sunday morning, the air wet and clean, the meadows green with the promise of spring. Not a single automobile: The silence is deafening, you can actually hear the branches dripping moisture, squirrels scrambling through the underbrush -- and the birds! Hundreds of redbreasted robins bobbing across the lawns, now that there are no cars to frighten them. On Stanyan, the families are renting bikes and heading into the winding trails. Slowly it dawns on them that they can use the main drive and the roads. For once the world does not belong to the automobile. The bicycle is king again and the rider may go where fancy dictates without looking nervously over his shoulder. You are even allowed, for a few unrealistic minutes, to reflect on how pleasant life would be if the car were banned from San Francisco."

-Herb Caen, San Francisco Chronicle, 1/28/73

May 26

"Mountains complement desert as desert complements city, as wilderness complements and completes civilization."

-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

May 27

"It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously."

-Peter Ustinov

May 28

"Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in its long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day."

-Stephen Jay Gould, The Panda's Thumb

May 29

"Twenty percent more water than is now available will be needed to feed the additional three billion people who will be alive by 2025."

-World Commission on Water for the 21st Century

May 30

"An animal's eyes have the power to speak a great language."

-Martin Buber

May 31

We need the sea.
We need a place to stand and watch and listen--
to feel the pulse-beat of the world
as the surf rolls in.

-David Brower

June 1

"One of the great dreams of man must be to find some place between the extremes of nature and civilization where it is possible to live without regret."

-Barry Lopez

June 2

I sing my heart out to the wide open spaces
I sing my heart out to the infinite sea
I sing my vision to the sky-high mountains
I sing my song to the free.

-Pete Townshend "Song is Over"

June 3

"Land is not merely soil; it is a fountain of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plant, and animals."

-Aldo Leopold

June 4

“Any man whose errors take ten years to correct is quite a man.”

-J. Robert Oppenheimer

June 5

In June 'tis good to lie beneath a tree
While the blithe season comforts every sense,
Steeps all the brain in rest, and heals the heart,
Brimming it o'er with sweetness unawares.

-J. R. Lowell

June 6

“...when a candidate for public office faces the voters he does not face men of sense; he faces a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas, or even of comprehending any save the most elemental; men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion, and whose dominant emotion is dread of what they cannot understand. So confronted, the candidate must either bark with the pack or be lost....All the odds are on the man who is, intrinsically, the most devious and mediocre; the man who can most adeptly disperse the notion that his mind is a virtual vacuum....The Presidency tends, year by year, to go to such men. As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

-H. L. Mencken, Baltimore Evening Sun, 1920

June 7

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught."

-Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

June 8

"Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee."

-F. Lee Bailey

June 9

"At the present rate of progress, it is almost impossible to imagine any technical feat that cannot be achieved - if it can be achieved at all - within the next few hundred years."

-Arthur C. Clarke

June 10

"The probability of success is difficult to estimate, but if we never search, the chance of success is zero."

-Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison, scientists who in 1959 proposed a system of radiotelescopes to search for extraterrestrial life, a proposal that culminated in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI)

June 11

"[We] must change our attitudes toward the ocean. We must regard it as no longer a mystery, a menace, something so vast and invulnerable that we need not concern ourselves with it….Instead we want to explore the themes of the ocean's existence—how it moves and breathes, how it experiences dramas and seasons, how it nourishes its hosts of living things, how it harmonizes the physical and biological rhythms of the whole earth, what hurts it and what feeds it—not least of all, what are its stories."

-Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1910-1997)

June 12

“The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass.”

-Martin Mull

June 13

I've watched you now a full half hour
Self poised upon that yellow flower.
And little butterfly! Indeed,
I know not if you sleep or feed.
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Has found you out among the trees.

-William Wordsworth

June 14

"Whether man is disposed to yield to nature or to oppose her, he cannot do without a correct understanding of her language."

-Jean Rostand

June 15

"I take the Biblical idea. God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees God says, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'"

-Ann Coulter

June 16

Then what is the answer?--Not to be deluded by dreams.
To know that great civilizations have broken down into violence,
and their tyrants come, many times before.
When open violence appears, to avoid it with honor or choose
  the least ugly faction; these evils are essential.
To keep one's own integrity, be merciful and uncorrupted
   and not wish for evil; and not be duped
By dreams of universal justice or happiness. These dreams will
   not be fulfilled.
To know this, and know that however ugly the parts appear
   the whole remains beautiful. A severed hand
Is an ugly thing, and man dissevered from the earth and stars
   and his history....for contemplation or in fact...
Often appears atrociously ugly. Integrity is wholeness,
   the greatest beauty is
Organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty
of the universe. Love that, not man
Apart from that, or else you will share man's pitiful confusions,
   or drown in despair when his days darken.

-Robinson Jeffers

June 17

"I did not want a simple, straightforward zoo, with the ordinary run of animals: the idea behind my zoo was to aid in the preservation of animal life….[S]cattered about, all over the world, are a host of fascinating small mammals, birds, and reptiles, and scant attention is being paid to their preservation, as they are neither edible nor wearable, and of little interest to the tourist who demands lions and rhinos."

-Gerald Durrell (1925-1995)

June 18

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children."

-Audobon

June 19

O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools and the learned clan;
For what are they all, in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 20

"On one occasion I saw two of these monsters (whales) probably male and female, slowly swimming, one after the other, within less than a stone's throw of the shore (Terra Del Fuego), over which the beech tree extended its branches."

-Darwin's Voyage of a Naturalist

June 21

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"

-Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

June 22

"The bottom line rests on the earth."

-David Brower

June 23

"I should like to enjoy this summer flower by flower."

-Andre Gide

June 24

"...what one man can imagine, other men can do...."

-Jules Verne (1829-1905)

June 25

“I get sick of listening to straight people complain about, "Well, hey, we don't have a heterosexual-pride day, why do you need a gay-pride day?" I remember when I was a kid I'd always ask my mom: "Why don't we have a Kid's Day? We have a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, but why don't we have a Kid's Day?" My mom would always say, "Every day is Kid's Day." To all those heterosexuals that bitch about gay pride, I say the same thing: Every day is heterosexual-pride day! Can't you people enjoy your banquet and not piss on those of us enjoying our crumbs over here in the corner?”

-Rob Nash

June 26

"Fifteen hundred years is ample time in which to lose mutual comprehension. Iceland was colonized by the Norwegians at the end of the ninth century AD. Today's Icelanders, with considerable effort, can understand people from the Scandinavian peninsula, but the Scandinavians hardly understand the Icelanders. A thousand years is the minimum time span for a language to change so much that it becomes incomprehensible."

-Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, "The Great Human Diasporas"

June 27

Resist much
Obey little

-Whitman

June 28

"In the long run protection must come by the devices and resources of united effort, high intelligence, and careful handling. We must work for it, plan for it, strive for it. It is a noble object. If the beauty and glamour of the Golden Land in its youth can be preserved and harmonized with the practical phases of our civilization, then we may proudly say that our race was fit to enjoy it and to keep it, rising to the spirit and glad wonder of Nature in the valleys, mountains and canyons of our California."

-Willis Linn Jepson, 1917

June 29

“The best way out of a difficulty is through it.”

-anon.

June 30

“We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.”

-Iris Murdoch

July 1

"He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly."

-Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

July 2

"Those who are really awake to the sights and sounds which the procession of the months offers them, find endless entertainment and instruction. Yet there are great multitudes who are present at as many as threescore and ten performances, without ever really looking at the scenery, or listening to the music, or observing the chief actors."

-O.W. Holmes

July 3

"The idea that the GNP is not the measure of all things is shocking to most Americans. A nation that is used to having its landscapes partially obscured by billboards and its most serious news programs interrupted by jingles on behalf of some ridiculous luxury is perhaps beyond saving."

-Howard Ensign Evans, Life on a Little Known Planet, 1968

July 4

"Take away wilderness and you take away the opportunity to be American."

-Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind

July 5

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. . . . Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed."

-Abraham Lincoln, quoted in Jack London's "The Iron Heel"

July 6

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."

-Plato (427-347 B.C.)

July 7

“The mountains are calling and I must go.”

-John Muir

July 8

Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I.

-Celia Thaxter

July 9

"Reminds me of my safari in Africa. Somebody forgot the corkscrew and for several days we had to live on nothing but food and water."

-W.C. Fields

July 10

That sea beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost

July 11

"When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee's house some day."

-Proverb from the Congo

July 12

"The conservationist's most important task, if we are to save the earth, is to educate.”

-Peter Scott

July 13

"Nothing in the world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

-Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist and dramatist

July 14

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.”

-Steven Wright

July 15

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime, you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books-

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

-Jane Hirshfield, "Tree", from Given Sugar, Given Salt, 2001

July 16

"When I was born I was so surprised I didn't talk for a year and a half."

-Gracie Allen

July 17

"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity."

-Harlan Ellison

July 18

"There is the life of the plankton in almost endless variety; there are the many kinds of fish, both surface and bottom living; there are the hosts of different invertebrate creatures on the sea-floor; and there are those almost grotesque forms of pelagic life in the oceans depths. Then there are the squids and cuttlefish, and the porpoises, dolphins and great whales."

-Sir Alister Hardy, "The Open Sea" 1956

July 19

“It takes only one drink to get me drunk. The trouble is, I can't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteenth.”

-George Burns

July 20

“Cockroaches thrive in British Columbia , as they do almost everywhere. The common species seems to be the German roach....They are in everything, even the food. On this trip I had them served to me in three different styles, alive in strawberries, a la carte with fried fish, and baked in a biscuit.”

-A. N. Caudell in the journal Entomological News, 1903

July 21

“I have a most peaceable disposition. My desires are for a modest hut, a thatched roof, but a good bed, good food, very fresh milk and butter, flowers in front of my window and a few pretty trees by my door. And should the good Lord wish to make me really happy, he will allow me the pleasure of seeing about six or seven of my enemies hanged upon those trees.”

-Heinrich Heine

July 22

"If the world is cold make it your business to light fires"

-Horace Traubel

July 23

"All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million of worlds around a million of suns, the activity of light, the life of animals; all are grand and perpetual miracles."

-Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet)

July 24

"If civilization is going to invade the waters of the earth, let it be first of all to carry a message of respect-respect for all life."

-Jacques-Yves Cousteau

July 25

"In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia."

-Charles A Lindbergh, declaring that if he were a young man he would choose a career that kept him more in contact with nature than with science.

July 26

"Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

-Dr. Suess

July 27

"The Bay Area is incalculably fortunate to have a unique oasis of biodiversity at San Bruno Mountain. However, as is the case with so many other global treasures, this great fortune is not being handled with adequate care. In my book, The Diversity of Life, I highlighted San Bruno Mountain as one of eighteen global biodiversity "hotspots" in need of immediate protection, along with the Usambara mountain forests of Tanzania, the Colombian Choco, Madagascar, and associated problems, principally the invasion of non-native species. More development, as is currently proposed, will further fragment what is home to hundreds of plant and animal species, including several that live nowhere else. Current Habitat Conservation Plan provisions are insufficient to preserve this rich biodiversity. It is imperative that all the open space that remains on San Bruno Mountain be saved. We can leave our descendants a sorely degraded environment and an example of abuse and exploitation, or we can leave a rich legacy of respectful stewardship--it is our choice. I urge all Californians to take a stand in favor of conserving San Bruno Mountain."

Sincerely yours,
Edward O. Wilson
University Research Professor, Harvard University

-San Francisco Chronicle Op­Ed; January 6, 1999

July 28

"Garden with Mother Nature, not against her."

-Andy Wasowski, The Landscaping Revolution

July 29

"All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million of worlds around a million of suns, the activity of light, the life of animals; all are grand and perpetual miracles."

-Voltaire

July 30

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree."

-Martin Luther

July 31

“Whether man is disposed to yield to nature or to oppose her, he cannot do without a correct understanding of her language.”

-Jean Rostand

August 1

"The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught."

-Marquis de Vauvenargues

August 2

"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons."

-R. Buckminster Fuller

August 3

"A few years ago a gentleman came up to me when I was mounting wasps at a picnic table in a Missouri state park. 'What is the purpose of a wasp?' he asked. Had I been a lepidopterist, he doubtless would have asked the purpose of a butterfly, though I'm not sure what he would have asked had I been an anthropologist."

-Howard Ensign Evans

August 4

"Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much... the wheel, New York, wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely the dolphins believed themselves to be more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons."

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

August 5

"Every thing that lives is holy."

-William Blake

August 6

You sea! I resign myself to you also... I guess what you mean,
I behold from the beach your crooked inviting fingers,
I believe you refuse to go back without feeling of me...

-Whitman

August 7

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."

-Abraham Lincoln

August 8

"Many would be cowards if they had courage enough."

-Thomas Fuller

August 9

"Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish."

-Steven Wright

August 10

"Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

-Dr. Suess

August 11

“The place where there are the most cows and the least milk and the most rivers and the least water in them, and where you can look the farthest and see the least.”

-H. L. Mencken, on Texas

August 12

"The study of Nature is intercourse with the highest mind."

-Agassiz

August 13

"Lawyers as a group are no more dedicated to justice than a private utility is dedicated to giving light."

-David Melinkoff

August 14

Such stillness...
The cries of the cicadas
Sink into the rocks.

-Matsuo Basho (1644­1694)

August 15

"Thirty-five years ago there was little trade on Kan Kun island, in the remotest corner of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. It was a series of pristine white sandbars in a calm blue sea. Only three fishermen lived there, and only for part of the year. But in the early 1970s it was discovered by international bankers, who thought they had found financial paradise, and the world's first purpose-built giant holiday resort was born. The ancient Mayan name Kan Kun - "nest of vipers" - was softened to tourist-friendly Cancun."

-by John Vidal, Guardian Weekly of 11-17 Sept 2003

August 16

"No man has ever seen the sun, or ever will. What we call ‘sunlight' is only a narrow span of the entire solar spectrum ­the immensely broad band of vibrations which the Sun ...pours into space."

-Arthur C. Clarke, By Space Possessed, 1993

August 17

"The clock indicates the moment... but what does eternity indicate?"

-Whitman

August 18

"Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just...."

-Thomas Jefferson

August 19

"Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them."

-Bill Vaughan

August 20

"We don't know a millionth of one percent about anything."

-Thomas A. Edison

August 21

"What's another word for Thesaurus?"

-Steven Wright

August 22

"Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we've been bombing over the years been complaining?"

-George Wallace

August 23

"Music is essentially useless, as life is."

-George Santayana

August 24

His labor is a chant,
His idleness a tune;
Oh, for a bee's experience
Of clovers and of noon!

-Emily Dickinson

August 25

"There are no such things as applied sciences, only applications of science."

-Louis Pasteur

August 26

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?

A: Pumpkin pi.

August 27

"In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts; they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 28

"Study without thinking is worthless; thinking without study is dangerous."

-Confucius

August 29

"Had I learned to fiddle, I should have done nothing else."

-Samuel Johnson

August 30

"Gentleman...look around you at the gifts of God, the clear sky, the pure air, the tender grass, the birds; nature is beautiful and sinless, and we, only we, are godless and foolish, and we don't understand that life is a paradise, for we have only to understand that and it will at once be fulfilled in all its beauty, we shall embrace each other and weep."

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

August 31

"My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind."

-Albert Einstein

September 1

"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

-Lao-Tse

September 2

"Wanting to reform the world without discovering one's true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes."

-Ramani Maharshi

September 3

The shore is an ancient world,
for as long as there has been an earth
and sea there has been this place
of the meeting of land and water.

-Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

September 4

"I hear and behold God in every object, yet I understand God not in the least..."

-Whitman

September 5

"The supreme irony of life is that hardly anyone gets out of it alive."

-Robert Heinlein

September 6

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children."

-Audubon

September 7

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

-William Butler Yeats, The Lake Isle of Innisfree (l. 1­4)

September 8

"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."

-Henry Beston, The Outermost House, 1928

September 9

"I had bought two male chimps from a primate colony in Holland. They lived next to each other in separate cages for several months before I used one as a [heart] donor. When we put him to sleep in his cage in preparation for the operation, he chattered and cried incessantly. We attached no significance to this, but it must have made a great impression on his companion, for when we removed the body to the operating room, the other chimp wept bitterly and was inconsolable for days. The incident made a deep impression on me. I vowed never again to experiment with such sensitive creatures."

-Christian Barnard, surgeon

September 10

Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
Oh how I wish he'd go away.

-Hughes Mearns

September 11

We shall never cease from exploration,
And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started,
And know the place for the first time.

-T.S. Eliot

September 12

"Cultural historian Elias Canetti once remarked that each of us is a king on a field of corpses. If we were to stop for a moment and reflect on the number of creatures and earth's resources, and the materials we have expropriated and consumed in our lifetime, we would be appalled at the carnage and depletion that has been required to secure our existence."

-Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef

September 13

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror."

-Oscar Wilde

September 14

"The higher the buildings, the lower the morals."

-Noel Coward

September 15

"Incidentally, entomologists are always delighted to find people who can spell the name of their profession properly. I have always especially resented being called an antomologist, when I specialize in wasps, not ants. Antimologist is even worse, since it implies I am against ­ologies, which I usually am not. An etamologist, I suppose, is one who has just eaten a scientist."

-Howard Ensign Evans

September 16

"We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and Titanic features- the seacoast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and decaying trees, the thundercloud.... We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander."

-Henry Thoreau

September 17

"Mustard's no good without roast beef."

-Chico Marx

September 18

"In democracy it's your vote that counts; In feudalism it's your count that votes."

-Mogens Jallberg

September 19

"The best measure of a just society is whether you'd be willing to be thrown into it at random."

-John Komlos

September 20

"As the true method of knowledge is experiment, the true faculty of knowing must be that which experiences."

-Blake

September 21

"I do not intend that our natural resources shall be exploited by the few against the interests of the many."

-Theodore Roosevelt

September 22

"There can't be good living where there is not good drinking."

-Benjamin Franklin

September 23

If you want to live and thrive,
let the spider run alive.

-American Quaker saying

September 24

Work—for some good, be it ever so slowly;
Cherish some flower, be it ever so lowly…

-Frances Sargent Osgood, Laborare est Orare

September 25

“Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.”

-Friedrich Nietzsche

September 26

“A people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives.”

-James Madison

September 27

"It gets harder every year for me to drive south from San Francisco along El Camino Real, along the Bayshore Freeway, or even along Highway 280. The memory of open shoreline, of acres of waving grasses, of marshland from which birds arose by the thousands like a cannon shot, of fruit trees in bloom, of one lone tannery, of a big red barn in a vast field--all now replaced by slurbs or miles of industrial slum--is painful to me. The loss eats at my soul. The quality of life here has become so diminished by population pressures, it sometimes seems almost unbearable."

-Margo Patterson Doss, A Walker's Yearbook

September 28

"In one of my latest conversations with Darwin, he expressed himself very gloomily on the future of humanity, on the ground that in our modern civilization natural selection had no play, and the fittest did not survive."

-Alfred Russell Wallace, 1872

September 29

"Panting and snorting like a mad battle steed that has lost its rider, the masterless ocean overruns the globe."

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

September 30

"Even he, to whom most things that most people would think were pretty smart were pretty dumb, thought it was pretty smart."

-Douglas Adams

October 1

"Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them."

-Samuel Butler

October 2

"Virtue is its own punishment."

-Aneurin Bevan

October 3

"Both the cockroach and the bird would get along very well without us, although the cockroach would miss us most."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

October 4

"According to the California Oak Foundation, 331 wildlife species -birds, mammals, amphibians, and reptiles- use oak woodlands for food, cover, and reproduction. Over 5,000 species of insects, including 7 butterfly species, are also part of this extensive web of life."

-Nancy Bauer, The Habitat Garden Book

October 5

"You won't have an economy on a dead planet."

-David Brower

October 6

"All science is either physics or stamp collecting."

-Ernest Rutherford

October 7

"The dog was created especially for children. He is the god of frolic."

-Henry Ward Beecher

October 8

"It is much easier to show compassion to animals. They are never wicked."

-Haile Selassie

October 9

"But if there is a more worthy aim for us than to be drudges--if there are other uses in the things around us than their power to bring money--if there are higher faculties to be exercised than acquisitive and sensual ones--if the pleasures which poetry and art and science and philosophy can bring are of any moment--then it is desirable that the instinctive inclination which every child shows to observe natural beauties and investigate natural phenomena should be encouraged."

-Herbert Spencer, Education

October 10

"The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending, then having the two as close together as possible."

-George Burns

October 11

"Beekeeping is a business that requires the greatest amount of attention to details.... The good beekeeper is generally more or less cranky."

-C. P. Dadant

October 12

"Real advances in understanding a subject like bird migration almost always come as partial or complete surprises...If scientific progress were predictable, it would become a sort of engineering, useful perhaps, but not much fun."

-Donald R. Griffin, Bird Migration, 1964

October 13

"Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom, in the pursuit of truth as in the endeavor after a worthy manner of life."

-Bertrand Russell, "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"

October 14

"Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else."

-James M. Barrie

October 15

"In time, and with water, everything changes."

-Leonardo da Vinci

October 16

"All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance."

-Edward Gibbon

October 17

"The fundamental dilemma is balancing the needs of our natural systems and lands with the impulse to convert that bounty for short-term economic gain."

-Bob Walker

October 18

"If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you're in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you."

-Jack Handey

October 19

"My pessimism extends to the point of even suspecting the sincerity of the pessimists."

-Jean Rostand

October 20

A little beetle passed me by.
He didn't make much fuss,
He ran around my garden
Like a tiny yellow bus.

-Slyvia Gerditz

October 21

"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics."

-Aldo Leopold, 1948

October 22

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
   Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
    Should waste them all.
 The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
  O hushed October morning mild,
  Begin the hours of this day slow.
 Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
  Beguile us in the way you know.
   Release one leaf at break of day;
      At noon release another leaf;
  One from our trees, one far away.

- Robert Frost, October

October 23

"What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do."

-John Ruskin

October 24

"The only thing that smells worse than an oil refinery is a feedlot. Texas has a lot of both."

-Molly Ivins

October 25

"Not every (environmental) problem of consequence comes with a Bhopal-style wake-up call. Global warming and species extinction are examples of potential catastrophes that are hiding in plain sight...."

-New York Times 20 August 2002

October 26

"The President of the United States has claimed, on more than one occasion, to be in dialogue with God.  If he said that he was talking to God through his hairdryer, this would precipitate a national emergency. I fail to see how the addition of a hairdryer makes the claim any more ludicrous or offensive."

-Sam Harris

October 27

"Let man heal the hurt places and revere whatever is still miraculously pristine."

-David R. Brower

October 28

"In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite."

-Paul Dirac

October 29

"The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown."

-H. P. Lovecraft

October 30

Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose garden.

-T. S. Eliot, Four Quartets

October 31

"Part of the reason that children are afraid of the dark may be that, in our entire evolutionary history up until just a moment ago, they never slept alone. Instead, they nestled safely, protected by an adult, usually Mum. In the enlightened West we stick them alone in a dark room, say goodnight, and have difficulty understanding why they're sometimes upset. It makes good evolutionary sense for children to have fantasies of scary monsters. In a world stalked by lions & hyenas, such fantasies help prevent defenceless toddlers from wandering too far from their guardians. How can this safety mechanism be effective for a vigorous, curious young animal unless it delivers industrial strength terror? Those who are not afraid of monsters tend not to leave descendants. Eventually, I imagine, over the course of human evolution, almost all children become afraid of monsters."

-Carl Sagan, "The Demon Haunted World"

November 1

"Parks are made to bring the music to the many, but by the time many are attuned to hear it there is little left but noise."

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

November 2

"There in the sheltered draw-bottom the wind did not blow very hard, but I could hear it singing its humming tune up on the level, and I could see the tall grasses wave. The earth was warm under me, and warm as I crumbled it through my fingers. Queer little red bugs came out and moved in slow squadrons around me. Their backs were polished vermilion, with black spots. I kept as still as I could. Nothing happened. I did not expect anything to happen. I was something that lay under the sun and felt it, like the pumpkins, and I  did not want to be anything more. I was entirely happy. Perhaps we  feel like that when we die and become a part of something entire, whether it is sun and air, or goodness and knowledge. At any rate, that is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep."

-Willa Cather, My Antonia

November 3

"The only thing I like about rich people is their money."

-Nancy Astor

November 4

A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.

-Greek Proverb

November 5

"The edge of the sea is a strange and beautiful place. All through the long history of Earth it has been an area of unrest where waves have broken heavily against the land, where the tides have pressed forward over the continents, receded, and then returned. For no two successive days is the shore precisely the same."

-Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

November 6

Many miles away there's a shadow on the door of a cottage on the
Shore of a dark Scottish lake.

-Walter Scott

November 7

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.'”

-Theodore Roosevelt

November 8

“David Suzuki's voice, quiet and compelling, is one of the most crucial sounds on a noisy planet.”

-David Quammen

November 9

When the ripe pear droops heavily,
The yellow wasp hums loud and long
His hot and drowsy autumn song.
A yellow flame he seems to be,
When darting suddenly from high
He lights where fallen peaches lie.

Yellow and black-this tiny thing's
A tiger-soul on elfin wings.

-Fiona McLeod (under the pseudonym William Sharp), 1857-1908

November 10

"Man must go back to nature for information."

-Thomas Paine

November 11

"Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness."

-Robertson Davies

November 12

"There are one hundred and ninety-three living species of monkeys and apes. One hundred and ninety-two of them are covered with hair. The exception is a naked ape self-named Homo sapiens."

-Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape (1967) introduction

November 13

Her lawn
looks like a meadow,
And if she mows the place
She leaves the clover standing
And the Queen Anne's Lace.

-Edna St. Vincent Millay

November 14

"Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor, and give him an appetite like an alligator. The air up there in the clouds is very pure and fine, bracing and delicious. And why shouldn't it be? ­it is the same the angels breathe."

-Mark Twain, Roughing It

November 15

"Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."

-Theodore Roosevelt

November 16

“Will you walk into my parlour?” said the spider to the fly;
“‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy.”

-Mary Howitt (1799-1888)

November 17

"I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journeywork of the stars."

-Walt Whitman

November 18

"We need a president who's fluent in at least one language."

-Buck Henry

November 19

"Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not really progress at all, but just terrible things."

-Russell Baker
November 20

"How much deeper would oceans be if sponges didn't live there?"

-anon.

November 21

"A farmer and his son are out in the yard, pulling a crosscut saw through the innards of an ancient cottonwood. The tree is so large and so old that only a foot of blade is left to pull on. Time was when that tree was a buoy in the prairie sea. George Rogers Clark may have camped under it; buffalo may have nooned in its shade, switching flies. Every spring it roosted fluttering pigeons. It is the best historical library short of the State College, but once a year it sheds cotton on the farmer's window screens. Of these two facts, only the second is important."

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

November 22

"The care of the refugees from the recent San Francisco fire, first for each other, then for their pets, was a noticeable feature. Dogs, cats, canary birds, parrots and monkeys were all most carefully cherished and protected while more material treasure was lost sight of."

-Sunset Magazine Editor, May 1906

November 23

Thanksgiving dinner's sad and thankless,
Christmas dinner's dark and blue,
When you stop and try to see it
From the turkey's point of view.

Sunday dinner isn't funny
Easter feasts are just bad luck,
When you see it from the viewpoint
Of the chicken or the duck.

Oh, how I once loved tuna salad,
Pork and lobsters, lamb chops, too,
Till I stopped and looked at dinner
From the dinner's point of view.

-Shel Silverstein, "Point of View"

November 24

"We have enslaved the rest of the animal creation, and have treated our distant cousins in fur and feathers so badly that beyond doubt, if they were able to formulate a religion, they would depict the Devil in human form."

-William Ralph Inge, Outspoken Essays, 1922

November 25

"I look on Man as but a fungus."

-Thoreau

November 26

"Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it."

-Soren Kierkegaard

November 27

"Wonder... and not any expectation of advantage from its discoveries, is the first principle which prompts mankind to the study of Philosophy, of that science which pretends to lay open the concealed connections that unite the various appearances of nature."

-Adam Smith, "The History of Astronomy" (1795)

November 28

"We think in generalities, but we live in detail."

-Alfred North Whitehead

November 29

"Evolutionary biology is now uttering and seeking those forces that link us with all those that have being. If we can discover the meaning in the trilling of a frog, perhaps we may understand why it is for us not merely noise but a song of poetry and emotion."

-Adrian Forsyth

November 30

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?"

-Charles M. Schulz

December 1

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening"

December 2

"On the subject of wild mushrooms, it is easy to tell who is an expert and who is not: the expert is the one who is still alive."

-Donald Henahan

December 3

"In the part of this universe that we know there is great injustice, and often the good suffer, and often the wicked prosper, and one hardly knows which of those is the more annoying."

-Bertrand Russell

December 4

"Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."

-Albert Einstein

December 5

"The world is in the midst of a mass extinction unlike any since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Extinction rates are currently estimated anywhere between 100 to 1,000 times greater than normal."

-National Wildlife Federation

December 6

"Life is like arriving late for a movie, having to figure out what was going on without bothering everybody with a lot of questions, and then being unexpectedly called away before you find out how it ends."

-Joseph Campbell

December 7

"Dam Hetch Hetchy! As well dam for water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man."

-John Muir

December 8

"How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world."

-Anne Frank

December 9

"One of the most obvious facts about grownups to a child is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child."

-Randall Jarrell

December 10

"'Whom are you?' he asked, for he had attended business college."

-George Ade

December 11

"It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it."

-Edward Abbey

December 12

"There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring, or the rustle of an insect's wings. What is there to life, if a man cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night?"

-Chief Seattle

December 13

"My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants."

-J. Brotherton

December 14

"Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful."

-Samuel Johnson

December 15

"The joyful, songful streams of the Sierra are among the most famous and interesting in the world....outspread over all the range like embroidery, their silvery branches interlacing on a thousand mountains, singing their way home to the sea."

-John Muir

December 16

"The significance of man is that he is insignificant and is aware of it."

-Carl Becker

December 17

"The simplest schoolboy is now familiar with truths for which Archimedes would have sacrificed his life."

-Ernest Renan (1823-92), French philosopher and theologian

December 18

"I think I could turn and live with animals. They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God."

-Walt Whitman

December 19

"There are no uninteresting things; there are only uninterested people."

-G. K. Chesterton

December 20

"The true purpose of astronomy is not to add to the vulgar comforts of life, but to raise the mind to the contemplation of things which can be perceived by pure intellect alone."

-Plato (ca. 428-327 BC), Republic

December 21

Step out onto the Planet.
Draw a circle a hundred feet round.
Inside the circle are
300 things nobody understands, and, maybe
Nobody's ever really seen.
How many can you find?

-Lew Welch, “Step out onto the Planet”

December 22

At Christmas play and make good cheere,
For Christmas comes but once a yeere.

-Tusser, Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry: The Farmers Daily Diet, St. 6

December 23

"And God created great whales."

-Genesis

December 24

"For if one link in nature's chain might be lost, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish by piecemeal."

-Thomas Jefferson
December 25

"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent."

-Isaac Newton

December 26

"If you can't see the top of the mountain, it's raining. If you can, it means it's about to rain."

-Irish weather forecast

December 27

"Nothing exists nor happens in the visible sky that is not sensed in some hidden manner by the faculties of Earth and Nature:  (so that) these faculties of the spirit here on earth are as much affected as the sky itself."

-Johannes Kepler, De Stella Nova, 1609

December 28

"The Equal Rights Amendment is part of a feminist agenda that is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism, and become lesbians."

-Reverend Pat Robertson

December 29

"One who is willing to give one's body for the Earth, and do so with love, is the only one fit to be steward of the Earth"

-Lao Tzu

December 30

"We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action."

-Frank Tibolt

December 31

"Thirty-five years ago there was little trade on Kan Kun island, in the remotest corner of Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. It was a series of pristine white sandbars in a calm blue sea. Only three fishermen lived there, and only for part of the year.
"But in the early 1970s it was discovered by international bankers, who thought they had found financial paradise, and the world's first purpose-built giant holiday resort was born. The ancient Mayan name Kan Kun - 'nest of vipers' - was softened to tourist-friendly Cancun."

-by John Vidal, Guardian Weekly

2007
January 1

"Nature first, then theory. Or, better, Nature and theory closely intertwined while you throw all your intellectual capital at the subject. Love the organisms for themselves first, then strain for general explanations, and, with good fortune, discoveries will follow. If they don't, the love and the pleasure will have been enough."

-E.O. Wilson, Naturalist

January 2

"Most people have seen worse things in private than they pretend to be shocked at in public."

-Edgar Watson Howe

January 3

"Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites."

-William Ruckelshaus, first EPA Adminstrator

January 4

"Speech is conveniently located midway between thought and action, where it often substitutes for both."

-John Andrew Holmes

January 5

"Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?"

-Jack Kerouac

January 6

"You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

-Steven Wright

January 7

"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten."

-BF Skinner

January 8

"Without speculation, there is no original observation."

-Charles Darwin, in a letter to Alfred Russel Wallace

January 9

"It's not easy being green."

-Kermit the Frog

January 10

"When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee's house some day."

-Proverb from the Congo

January 11

"January got its name from the god Janus, who had two faces and looked in two directions. Sometimes the naturalist and environmentalist begins to wonder if Janus is the only one that is two-faced. All about us we encounter individuals, industries and governments that seem more like Janus than not. Yet are we so free of guilt that we can afford to cast the first stone? Stewardship begins at home and January is the time to take stock and see how we have fared throughout this past year. Did we care for the environment? Did we cast our vote wisely? Did we attend public meetings and speak out? Did we support the national, state and local organizations working for a better environment? Were we good stewards of the earth? Maybe, like Janus, we had better look back and if we don't like what we see then look ahead and vow to do better."

-John F. Gardner, the Naturalist's Almanac, 1971

January 12

"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."

-William G. McAdoo

January 13

"The bottom line rests on the earth."

-David Brower
January 14

"live in beauty... see in beauty... go in beauty..."

-Black Elk

January 15

"I feel more comfortable with gorillas than people. I can anticipate what a gorilla's going to do, and they're purely motivated."

-Dian Fossey

January 16

"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

-Benjamin Franklin

January 17

The baby bat
Screamed out in fright,
“Turn on the dark
I'm afraid of the light!”

-author unknown

January 18

"The study of entomology is one of the most fascinating of pursuits. It takes its votaries into the treasure-houses of Nature, and explains some of the wonderful series of links which form the great chain of creation. It lays open before us another world, of which we have been hitherto unconscious, and shows us that the tiniest insect, so small perhaps that the unaided eye can scarcely see it, has work to do in the world, and does it."

-Rev. J .G. Wood (quoted in The Moth Book, by W. J. Holland)

January 19

"And what is weed? A plant whose virtues have not been discovered."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 20

"Genetically influenced behavior is not necessarily good and not necessarily unchangeable. Explanations of bad behavior that appeal to genes do not absolve a person any more than do explanations that appeal to upbringing."

-Stephen Pinker

January 21

"They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, when they can see nothing but sea."

-Sir Francis Bacon

January 22

"This was my first trip to southern Africa. Until then, as it has been for so many others, my knowledge of wildlife on this continent was based on working in East Africa. My own visits there had been enhanced by the interpretations of scores of scientists and artists who have documented that enchanted land. By contrast, southern Africa's natural heritage is less well known to people outside of Africa. After the grandeur of the savannas in Kenya and Tanzania, much of northern Botswana appears, to the uninitiated, like a featureless scrubland. There are no mountains like Kilimanjaro looming over the land or spectacles like the congregation of a million wildebeest on the open plains of Serengeti. But what Botswana has is wildness. It has often been compared, with some nostalgia, to the way East Africa was 30 years ago ­before the tremendous pressure of population growth, before the commercialization of the safari industry, before hunting as a way of life came to an end, before poaching became a major force. Botswana, many say, represents the last of Old Africa."

-Frans Lanting, Okavango: Africa's Last Eden, 1993

January 23

"When will they realize that there are too many drugs? No fewer than 150,000 preparations are now in use. About 15,000 new mixtures and dosages hit the market each year, while about 12,000 die off...We simply don't have enough diseases to go around. At the moment the most helpful contribution is the new drug to counteract the untoward effect of other new drugs."

-Dr. Walter Modell, Cornell University Medical College, from Time, May 26, 1961

January 24

"Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grass and the gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks."

-John Muir

January 25

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"

-Lee Iacocca

January 26

He prayeth well who loveth well,
Both men and bird and beast;
He prayeth best who loveth best,
All things both great and small:
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

-Coleridge

January 27

“President Bush conceded yesterday that even many of his friends have doubts about America's role in Iraq. ‘There's a lot of my friends who come and bass fish with me. They don't say it out loud. I know they're thinking it: Why?' Bush said.”

-from the News, cited in the New Yorker

January 28

"The environmental and human effects of the modern way of thinking and structuring of relationships has been near-catastrophic, weakening ecosystems, and undermining the stability and sustainability of human communities. The great challenge that lies ahead of us is to come to grips with the dark side of the modern worldview-to address the cold evil that comes of reducing all of nature and life to commercial resources that can be technologically mediated, manipulated, and reconstructed to suit the narrow objectives of utilitarianism and market efficiency."

-Jeremy Rifkin
January 29

Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.

-Gore Vidal

January 30

Spring lightens the green stalk, from thence the leaves
More airie, last the bright consummate flower.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost

January 31

"Could we have a genetically based affinity for butterflies, which are the most salient demonstrations of metamorphosis present in the environments where humans have evolved? If genetically encoded, does the expression of this image require an environmental trigger? Could the archetype remain latent, within our subconscious mind, until some element in our immediate environment calls it forth?"

-Gary Paul Nabhan, Cultures of Habit

February 1

Come when the rains
Have glazed the snow, and clothed the trees with ice,
While the slant sun of February pours
Into the bowers a flood of light.

-William Cullen Bryant

February 2

"Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy."

-Anne Frank
February 3

"Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself."

-L. W. Gilbert

February 4

"The born naturalist is one of the most lucky men in the world. Winter or summer, rain or shine, at home or abroad, walking or riding, his pleasures are always near at hand. The great book of nature is open before him and he has only to turn its leaves."

-John Burroughs
February 5

"Let us, like beings of intelligence and vision, converse about life, nature and the future of the Earth."

-Jamie Delano, Batman: ManBat

February 6

"We dwell on a largely unexplored planet."

-E. O. Wilson

February 7

"There are no medium-sized trees in the deep forest. There are only the towering ones, whose canopy spreads across the sky. Below, in the gloom, there's light for nothing but mosses and ferns. But when a giant falls, leaving a little space ... THEN there's a race -- between the trees on either side, who want to spread OUT, and the seedlings below, who race to grow UP."

-Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
February 8

"The ability to see beauty is the beginning of our moral sensibility. What we believe is beautiful we will not wantonly destroy."

-Reverend Sean Parker Dennison
February 9

"Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep-blue sky, and the clustering stars above, seem to impart a quiet to the mind."

-Jonathan Edwards
February 10

"Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it.
Let's do it, let's fall in love..."

-Cole Porter

February 11

"An intellectual is a person who has discovered something more interesting than sex."

-Aldous Huxley

February 12

"Let us permit nature to have her way, she understands her business better than we do."

-Michel De Montaigne
February 13

"And were an epitaph to be my story I'd have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: I had a lover's quarrel with the world."

-Robert Frost

February 14

"It is good to love the unknown."

-Charles Lamb, Valentine's Day

February 15

Birds, butterflies, and flowers
All make one band of paramours.

-William Wordsworth, Green Linnet

February 16

"My problems start when the smarter bears and the dumber visitors intersect."

-Steve Thompson, wildlife biologist at Yosemite National Park
February 17

How love burns through the Putting in the Seed
On through the watching for that early birth
When, just as the soil tarnishes with weed,
The sturdy seedling with arched body comes
Shouldering its way and shedding the earth crumbs.

-Robert Frost, Putting in the Seed

February 18

"Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."

-Niels Bohr
February 19

"Someone sent me a postcard picture of the earth. On the back it said, 'Wish you were here.'"

-Steven Wright
February 20

"Creationism reveals its nonscientific character in two ways: its central tenets cannot be tested and its peripheral claims, which can be tested, have been proven false. At its core, the creationist account rests on "singularities" - that is to say, on miracles. The creationist God is not the noble clock winder of Newton and Boyle, who set the laws of nature properly at the beginning of time and then released direct control in full confidence that his initial decisions would require no revision. He is, instead, a constant presence, who suspends his own laws when necessary to make the new or destroy the old. Since science can treat only natural phenomena occurring in a context of invariant natural law, the constant invocation of miracles places creationism in another realm."

-Stephen Jay Gould

February 21

"Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair."

-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophecy

February 22

"Nature is often hidden, sometimes overcome, seldom extinguished."

-Francis Bacon

February 23

"The distorted shapes and unexpected colors of mushrooms fascinated me....They were ancient, wild things. No two were ever alike, and they had no roots to tie them to one place; like curiosity, they wandered everywhere."

-Patricia A. McKillip, Winter Rose
February 24

"Conservation is sometimes perceived as stopping everything cold, as holding whooping cranes in higher esteem than people. It is up to science to spread the understanding that the choice is not between wild places or people. Rather, it is between a rich or an impoverished existence for Man."

-Thomas E. Lovejoy, World Wildlife Fund

February 25

Gardening Rule: When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.

-anon.

February 26 Spring is sprung
The grass is riz
I wonder where all
The birdies is
February 27

"Go gentle ... into the green."

-Charles de Lint, Into the Green

February 28

"There is nothing that makes its way more directly into the soul than beauty."

-Joseph Addison
March 1

"There is nothing that makes its way more directly into the soul than beauty."

-Joseph Addison
March 2

"The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget."

-Thomas Szasz

March 3

"I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed."

-James Thurber

March 4

"There is something about dolphins. It is difficult to put into words..."

-Mark Carwardine

March 5

"All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than one lovely action."

-James Russell Lowell

March 6

"People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
March 7

"Night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir tree."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Experience"

March 8

"He is happiest who hath power to gather wisdom from a flower."

-Mary Howitt

March 9

"Everyone has their own 'personal tree' to sit in. Life's circumstances sometimes seem overwhelming, but we must remember the amazing power of love. Just as the ripples in the ocean shape and form the land, from the cliffs to the tiny grains of sand, so do our actions, words, and thoughts shape and form our reality. Even more, ripples joining one another form tidal waves that change the planet. If we make sure that our every thought, word, and action are based in love then the ripples we create will bring about positive change for a positive future."

-Julia Butterfly

March 10

"I was once walking through the forest alone. A tree fell right in front of me -- and I didn't hear it."

-Steven Wright
March 11

"In the 1850's the open country everywhere around San Francisco was a beautiful wildflower garden in the spring. In the region near Lake Merced the wildflowers were so thick that it was impossible to avoid stepping on them. There were California poppies, nemophilas, violets, cream cups, owls-clover, mouse-ear chickweed, Indian paintbrush, clovers, etc. The yellow violet, Viola pedunculata, was especially common, known to children as Johnny-jump-up. Today, new roads, golf links, vegetable fields, and human habitations have driven them away and it is doubtful if a single native flower persists."

-Alice Eastwood

March 12

"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul."

-Edward Abbey

March 13

"Because we have suffered, and we are not afraid to suffer in order to survive, we are ready to give up everything, even our lives, in our struggle for justice."

-Cesar Chavez

March 14

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother."

-Albert Einstein

March 15

"Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

March 16

"Aesop's Fly, sitting on an axle of a chariot, has been much laughed at for exclaiming: 'What a dust I do raise!'"

-Thomas Carlyle

March 17

"This is one race of people for whom psychoanalysis is of no use whatsoever."

-Sigmund Freud (about the Irish)

March 18

"When one considers the prodigious achievements of the profit motive in wrecking land, one hesitates to reject it as a vehicle for restoring land. I incline to believe we have overestimated the scope of the profit motive. Is it profitable for the individual to build a beautiful home? To give his children a higher education? No, it is seldom profitable, yet we do both. These are, in fact, ethical and aesthetic premises which underlie the economic system. Once accepted, economic forces tend to align the smaller details of social organization into harmony with them.
No such ethical and aesthetic premise yet exists for the condition of the land these children must live in. Our children are our signature to the roster of history; our land is merely the place our money was made. There is as yet no social stigma in the possession of a gullied farm, a wrecked forest, or a polluted stream, provided the dividends suffice to send the youngsters to college. Whatever ails the land, the government will fix it."

-Leopold, Aldo: Round River, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993, pp. 156-157

March 19

"Beauty is the gift of God."

-Aristotle
March 20

"How fair is a garden amid the trials and passions of existence."

-Benjamin Disraeli

March 21

"Keep close to Nature's heart ... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."

-John Muir
March 22

A reader pauses
Did he really smell sweet spring
Did he just read it?

-Jeanette Young

March 23

"All nature wears one universal grin."

-Henry Fielding
March 24

It is foolish
to let a young redwood
grow next to a house.

Even in this
one lifetime, you will have to choose.

That great calm being,
this clutter of soup pots and books-

Already the first branch-tips brush at the window.
Softly, calmly, immensity taps at your life.

-Jane Hirshfield, from Given Sugar, Given Salt, 2001

March 25

"Who am I? Where am I? What am I going to do about it."

-Margaret Meade

March 26

"Wildlife conservation is always a race against time. As zoologists and botanists explore new areas, scrabbling to record the mere existence of species before they become extinct, it is like someone hurrying through a burning library desperately trying to jot down some of the titles of books that will now never be read."

-Mark Carwardine, Last Chance to See...

March 27

"Nearly half the water consumed in the United States now goes to grow feed for cattle and other livestock. To produce just one pound of grain-fed steak requires hundreds of gallons of water to irrigate feed crops consumed by the steer."

-Jeremy Rifkin, Beyond Beef

March 28

"Kindness and compassion towards all living things is a mark of a civilized society."

-Cesar Chavez

March 29

"Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man's original virtue. It is through disobedience and rebellion that progress has been made."

-Oscar Wilde

March 30

"Only when we have become nonviolent towards all life will we have learned to live well ourselves."

-Cesar Chavez

March 31

The loveliest flowers the closest cling to earth…
The happiest of Spring's happy, fragrant birth.

-John Keble, Spring Showers

April 1

Wisdom and foolishness
are practically the same.
Both are indifferent
to the opinions of the world.

-Joseph Campbell

April 2

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."

-John Muir

April 3

We make more enemies by what we say than friends by what we do.

-anon.

April 4

"Twenty percent more water than is now available will be needed to feed the additional three billion people who will be alive by 2025."

-World Commission on Water for the 21st Century

April 5

"But all conservation of wilderness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish."

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

April 6

Throw hither all your quaint enamell'd eye
That on the green turf suck the honied showers,
And purple all the ground with vernal flowers.

-John Milton, Lycides

April 7

"I'm not really a career person. I'm a gardener, basically."

-George Harrison

April 8

"Thank God I'm an atheist."

-Luis Bunuel

April 9

This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from it's rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.
This is the forest primeval; but where are the hearts that beneath it,
Leaped like the roe, when he hears in the woodland the voice of the huntsman?

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

April 10

Presentiment is that long shadow on the lawn
Indicative that suns go down
The notice to the startled grass
That darkness is about to pass.

-Emily Dickinson

April 11

"It is the marriage of the soul with nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination."

-Henry David Thoreau

April 12

"Spring is in the air. The breeze is gentle with the smell of birthing, the earth radiates freshness, the birds sing with more abandon than they have for months."

-Barbara Dean, "Wellspring"

April 13

"We're terrible animals. I think that the Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should."

-Kurt Vonnegut

April 14

In the cherry blossom's shade
there's no such thing
as a stranger.

-Issa

April 15

"The birds I heard today, which, fortunately, did not come within the scope
of my science, sang as freshly as if it had been the first morning of creation."

-Henry David Thoreau
April 16

"Where is my mind?"

-the Pixies, "Debaser"

April 17

"Before humans became civilized there were no weeds. Weeds are a product of civilization and cultivation."

-E.O. Wilson

April 18

"Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science."

-Edwin Powell Hubble

April 19

"Every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love."

-John Muir
April 20

"A river of stars is lit across the heaven."

-Shih Ching, Ode #203, trans. Ezra pound

April 21

"The poetry of the earth is ceasing never."

-Keats, "On the Grasshopper and Cricket"

April 22

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

-Margaret Mead, from origination of Earth Day, 1969

April 23

"We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap."

-Kurt Vonnegut

April 24

"I have the world's largest collection of seashells. I keep it on all the beaches of the world... Perhaps you've seen it."

-Steven Wright

April 25

"Thought is only a flash between two long nights, but this flash is everything."

-Henri Poincare

April 26

"A poet who reads his verse in public may have other nasty habits."

-Robert Heinlein

April 27

"That man's best works should be such bungling imitations of Nature's infinite perfection, matters not much; but that he should make himself an imitation, this is the fact which Nature moans over, and deprecates beseechingly. Be spontaneous, be truthful, be free, and thus be individuals! is the song she sings through warbling birds, and whispering pines, and roaring waves, and screeching winds."

-Lydia M. Child
April 28

"The laws of biology are written in the language of diversity."

-E. O. Wilson

April 29

"We have only one choice: to conserve plants and live with them or destroy them and perish after them."

-Statement of Ugandan representative to 6th Conference of Parties to the Global Convention on Biological Diversity, April 12, 2002.

April 30

"Beware of the young doctor and the old barber."

-Benjamin Franklin

May 1

"Great is work which lends dignity to man."

-Babylonian Talmud

May 2

Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I'll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

-Alfred Noyes, "The Highwayman"

May 3

"Governments are inherently incapable of appreciating what is perfect. In the name of the pragmatic and the practical, they choose the second best and end up with the third."

-Sir Edward Luytens (1869-1944), designer of British-built New Delhi

May 4

I am the only one.
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything.
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.

-Edward Everett Hale

May 5

The tiny violet flowers
Hold up the vast and tender sky on petals
That are themselves the coming and going winds.
The very shadows of a sandstone rock
And nothing but black ants on the trail.

-David Schooley, “A Peace So Delicate”

May 6

He is made one with Nature: there is heard
His voice in all her music, from the moan
Of thunder, to the song of night's sweet bird.

-Percy Bysshe Shelley, "Adonais"

May 7

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one."

-Mother Teresa

May 8

"It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese."

-Carl Sagan

May 9

"The sun shines not on us, but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us..."

-John Muir

May 10

May is a white cloud behind pine trees
Puffed out and marching upon a blue sky.
May is green as no other,
May is much sun through small leaves,
May is soft earth,
And appleblossoms,
And windows open to a south wind.

-Amy Lowell

May 11

"I'm the commander--see, I don't need to explain--I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being the president. Maybe somebody needs to explain to me why they say something, but I don't feel like I owe anybody any explanation."

-President Bush on Bob Woodward's Bush At War

May 12

"The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been kindness, beauty, and truth."

-Albert Einstein

May 13

"My Mom said she learned how to swim when someone took her out in the lake and threw her off the boat. I said, 'Mom, they weren't trying to teach you how to swim.'"

-Paula Poundstone

May 14

"Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I'm halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner."

-Lynda Montgomery

May 15

"Every thing that lives is holy."

-William Blake

May 16

The human brain now holds the key to our future. We have to recall the image of the planet from outer space: a single entity in which air, water, and continents are interconnected. That is our home.

-David Suzuki

May 17

"After a time, habituated to spending so many hours a day on my bike, I became less and less interested in my friends. I could rely on it, which is more than I could say about my buddies."

-Henry Miller, My Bike and Other Friends
May 18

"The problem with endangered species is: You clear up one and another one comes along."

-Manual Lujan, former Secretary of the Interior
May 19

"The great end of life is not knowledge but action."

-T. H. Huxley

May 20

"There is one last reason for caring, and I believe that no other is necessary. It is certainly the reason why so many people have devoted their lives to protecting the likes of rhinos, parakeets, kakapos and dolphins. And it is simply this: the world would be a poorer, darker, lonelier place without them."

-Mark Carwardine, Last Chance to See...

May 21

"In wildness is the preservation of the world...Nowadays almost all man's improvements, so called…simply deform the landscape, and make it more and more tame and cheap…

-Henry David Thoreau, Walking

May 22

"Back in 1989, a year after the publication of Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, a brilliant physicist at a Cambridge college confessed to me that he had given up on page 28. "I couldn't make head nor tail of it," he said with total candour. The comment suggests that those who enjoyed Hawking's book the most probably understood it the least."

-John Cornwell, "The London Times"

May 23

"Westerners live outdoors more than people elsewhere because outdoors is mainly what they've got. For clerks and students, factory workers and mechanics, the outdoors is freedom, just surely as it is for the folkloric and mythic figures. They don't have to own the outdoors, or get permission, or cut fences, in order to use it. It is public land, partly theirs, and that space is a continuing influence on their minds and senses. It encourages a fatal carelessness and destructiveness because it seems so limitless and because what is everybody's is nobody's responsibility. It also encourages, in some, an impassioned protectiveness: the battlegrounds of the environmental movement lie in the western public lands. Finally, it promotes certain needs, taste, attitudes, skills. It is those tastes, attitudes, and skills, as well as the prevailing destructiveness and it's corrective, love of the land, that relate real Westerners to the myth."

-Wallace Stegner, from Variations on a Theme by Crevecoeur, 1987

May 24

"Day and night I was consumed by the computing, to see whether this idea would agree with the Copernican orbits, or if my joy would be carried away with the wind. Within a few days everything worked, and I watched as one body after another fit precisely into its place among the planets."

-Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German astronomer, on his discovery of the laws of planetary motion

May 25

"If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive."

-Abraham Lincoln

May 26

"Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be."

-William Hazlitt

May 27

"I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being."

-Abraham Lincoln

May 28

"When a man's best friend is his dog, that dog has a problem."

-Edward Abbey

May 29

I meant to do my work to-day;
But a brown bird sang in the apple-tree
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.

-Richard Le Gallienne

May 30

"It was a violent case of mutual love at first sight, though neither party was aware of the fact..."

-Mark Twain

May 31

"Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism."

-David Suzuki

June 1

Quietly it came
one June afternoon.
Summer has arrived
at wood, in fields, on dune.

June 2

"Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition."

-Isaac Asimov

June 3

"Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well."

-Bonnie Wilcox

June 4

"The lion and the calf shall lie down together, but the calf won't get much sleep."

-Woody Allen

June 5

"When in doubt, duck."

-Malcolm Forbes

June 6

"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly."

-R. Buckminster Fuller

June 7

"Goodall was in Pullman to deliver the annual Lane Family Lecture in Environmental Science. Speaking Thursday evening at Beasley Coliseum, Goodall outlined her four reasons for hope the world can recover its environmental heritage: humans are smart, young people are determined, the human spirit is indomitable and nature is resilient."

-anon.

June 8

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it."

-Mark Twain

June 9

"We travel together, passengers on a little spaceship, dependent on its vulnerable reserves of air and soil; all commited for our safety to its security and peace; preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work and, I will say, the love we give our fragile craft."

-Adlai Stevenson, 1965

June 10

"Recent discoveries about apes suggest, however, that a gorilla or common chimp stands at least as good a chance being murdered as the average human."

-Jared Diamond, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee"

June 11

De sunflower ain't de daisy
And de melon ain't de rose
Why is dey all so crazy
To be sumpin' else dat grows?

-Edwin Milton Royle

June 12

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man."

-Albert Einstein

June 13

I've watched you now a full half hour
Self poised upon that yellow flower.
And little butterfly! Indeed,
I know not if you sleep or feed.
What joy awaits you, when the breeze
Has found you out among the trees.

-William Wordsworth

June 14

"The life I value is one that is connected to all things."

-Willie Nelson

June 15

"I've always found paranoia to be a perfectly defensible position."

-Pat Conroy

June 16

"Money will buy you a pretty good dog, but it won't buy the wag of his tail."

-Henry Wheeler Shaw

June 17

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."

-Groucho Marx

June 18

"In physics, you don't have to go around making trouble for yourself - nature does it for you."

-Frank Wilczek

June 19

"If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them."

-Isaac Asimov

June 20

"What is good about having a nice house without having a decent planet to put it on."

-Henry David Thoreau

June 21

"Money frees you from doing things you dislike. Since I dislike doing nearly everything, money is handy."

-Groucho Marx

June 22

"There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."

-Steven Wright

June 23

"Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done."

-Andy Rooney

June 24

"There is nobody so irritating as somebody with less intelligence and more sense than we have."

-Don Herold

June 25

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

-GK Chesterton

June 26

"I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves."

-Ludwig Wittgenstein

June 27

"We are more ready to try the untried when what we do is inconsequential. Hence the fact that many inventions had their birth as toys."

-Eric Hoffer

June 28

"A politician will always be there when he needs you."

-Richard Smolik

June 29

"This is how you spend the afternoon, and tomorrow morning, and tomorrow afternoon. Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

June 30

"Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

-Soren Kierkegaard

July 1

"I bought some used paint. It was in the shape of a house."
-Steven Wright

July 2

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

-Joni Mitchell, "Big Yellow Taxi"

July 3

"In every grain of sand there is a story of earth."

-Rachel Carson
July 4

"My God! how little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!"

-Thomas Jefferson
July 5

"Nature does nothing uselessly."

-Aristotle
July 6

"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own; and from morning to night, as from the cradle to the grave, is but a succession of changes so gentle and easy that we scarcely mark their progress."

-Charles Dickens
July 7

"I believe in making the world safe for our children, but not our children's children, because I don't think children should be having sex."

-Jack Handey, "Deep Thoughts"

July 8

"We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience."

-Howard Zahnhiser, Wilderness Act author

July 9

"Whatever is not nailed down is mine. What I can pry loose is not nailed down."

-Collis P. Huntingdon

July 10

"Take away wilderness and you take away the opportunity to be American."

-Roderick Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind

July 11

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

-J. R. R. Tolkien

July 12

"The more we know of other forms of life, the more we enjoy and respect ourselves... Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life."

-Edward O. Wilson, Biophilia: The Human Bond with other species

July 13

"Come into the garden, Maud,
For the black bat, night, has flown"

-Alfred, Lord Tennyson

July 14

"Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 15

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself--and you are the easiest person to fool."

-Richard Feynman, California Institute of Technology physicist and Nobel laureate

July 16

"Ordinarily he was insane, but he had lucid moments when he was merely stupid."

-Heinrich Heine

July 17

"If scientific reasoning were limited to the logical processes of arithmetic, we should not get very far in our understanding of the physical world. One might as well attempt to grasp the game of poker entirely by the use of the mathematics of probability."

-Vannevar Bush

July 18

"Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

-Edward Abbey

July 19

"We scientists have fantasies of being uniquely qualified to make great discoveries. Alas, reality is cruel: most of us are replaceable. For the vast majority of scientific contributions, if scientist X hadn't achieved it that year, scientist Y would have achieved the same result or something very similar soon thereafter."

-Jared Diamond

July 20

"Man was made at the end of the week's work when God was tired."

-Mark Twain

July 21

"The most important scientific revolutions all include, as their only common feature, the dethronement of human arrogance from one pedestal after another of previous convictions about our centrality in the cosmos."

-Stephen Jay Gould, Dinosaur in a Haystack

July 22

"Society works not because we have consciously invented it, but because it is an ancient product of our evolved predispositions. It is literally in our nature."

-Matt Ridley

July 23

"I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale."

-Marie Curie

July 24

"When we can't dream any longer we die."

-Emma Goldman

July 25

"Though boys throw stones at frogs in sport, the frogs do not die in sport, but in earnest."

-Bion

July 26

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure."

-Clarence Darrow
July 27

"Weaving together the large and small fragments of natural habitat on both public and private lands is the only way to fully protect America's natural heritage. Even an acre of old timber, a remnant wetland, or an isolated spring often harbors hundreds of species, including many of threatened status. By inventing new economic incentives for conserving these special places on private lands, the spirit of wilderness can be taken literally to the grassroots and made more fully part of the national passion. Recognition and reward can engage the attention and win the support of landowners and local communities. These are the practical steps we must take to join our daily lives more fully with the natural world."

-E.O. Wilson, The Diversity of Life

July 28

"He inherited some good instincts from his Quaker forebears, but by diligent hard work, he overcame them."

-James Reston [about Richard 'Milhous' Nixon]
July 29

"No computer has ever been designed that is ever aware of what it's doing:  but most of the time, we aren't either."

-Marvin Minsky
July 30

"The political and commercial morals of the United States are not merely food for laughter; they are an entire banquet."

-Mark Twain

July 31

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

-Winston Churchill

August 1

I give her sadness and the gift of pain,
a new moon madness and a love of rain.

-Dorothy Parker "The Godmother"

August 2

Pardon me
Thou bleeding piece of earth
That I am meek and gentle
With these butchers.

- Shakespeare

August 3

"A modest little person, with much to be modest about."

-Winston Churchill
August 4

"When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man we call him a vandal. When he destroys one of the works of god we call him a sportsman."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

August 5

"Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us."

-Jerry Garcia

August 6

"Anyone who thinks humans are not capable of so fouling their own nest that the land and the waters can no longer be productive just hasn't been paying attention."

-Molly Ivins

August 7

"An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child."

-Carl Jung

August 8

"Environmentalists were no fun. They were like prohibitionists at the fraternity party...The tippping point will be occurring when the environment is no longer seen as a nag, but as a positive force in people's lives."

-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

August 9

"I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something."

-Jackie Mason

August 10

"We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong."

-Sir Arthur Eddington

August 11

"If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?"

-anon.
August 12

"In the natural world, beautiful usually means deadly. Beautiful plus a casual demeanor always means deadly."

-E.O. Wilson, Naturalist

August 13

"Deviation from Nature is deviation from happiness."

-Samuel Johnson

August 14

"Some national parks have long waiting lists for camping reservations. When you have to wait a year to sleep next to a tree, something is wrong."

-George Carlin

August 15

"When you're addicted to drugs, you're told to cut off the supply. But when you're addicted to oil, you try to find more."

-Amory Lovins

August 16

"Good breeding consists in concealing how much we think of ourselves and how little we think of the other person."

-Mark Twain

August 17

"No bird soars too high, if he soars with his own wings."

-William Blake

August 18

"Five buzzards rise and circle in a sky of gathering grey cloud - a shifting pentagram of dark birds. They call in high, sharp voices, as silvered as the afternoon light.
There is some wing-flipping sparring. The birds' calls ring through the air as far below apples fall from the trees. A hummingbird hawk-moth visits late flowers, hovering, darting, vanishing like some shared exotic dream. On dusty paths iridescent green-bronze ground beetles run like predatory metal vehicles. A magnificent emperor dragonfly zooms through the air, flinging himself at every corner of his empire, leaving invisible beams of raw energy through space. All these animals have a powerful presence and a way of living that makes our own look feeble and ill-adapted. So what happened to crane-flies?
In through the open window comes a daddy-long-legs, a wraith cursed with a comedy body, too much legs with too little wings. It jerks and dithers to reach the light bulb in a spindly, suicidal joke. There is something arcane about the misfit crane-flies and there are thousands of them around at the moment. After spending all that time underground, munching grass roots, the grubs - leatherjackets - have transformed, on some predetermined signal, to act out the punchline of their lives. In the day they cluster on warm walls. At night they seek out light bulbs and candle flames, as if feeding on light itself is enough, especially light that will kill them. I am developing a great respect for daddy-long-legs, in whom I recognise so much of ourselves."

- Paul Evans, Guardian Weekly, 26/9/06

August 19

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe."

-John Muir

August 20

"You woke up in the morning and thought: here I am where I ought to be."

-Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa

August 21

"Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."

-Elie Wiesel

August 22

"Something in the insect seems to be alien to the habits, morals, and psychology of this world, as if it had come from some other planet: more monstrous, more energetic, more insensate, more atrocious, more infernal than our own."

-Maurice Maeterlinck (1862–1949)

August 23

"There is only one satisfying way to boot a computer."

-J.H. Goldfuss

August 24

"I have the heart of a child. I keep it in a jar on my shelf."

-Robert Bloch

August 25

La Marseillaise

Allons enfants de la Patrie,            Ye sons of France, awake to glory,
Le jour de gloire est arrive          Hark, hark, what myriads bid you rise!
Contre nous, de la tyrannie,              Your children, wives & grandsires hoary,
L'etendard sanglant est leve            Behold their tears and hear their cries!
L'etendard sanglant est leve.           Behold their tears and hear their cries!
Entendez vous, dans les campagnes       Shall hateful tyrants mischief breeding
Mugir ces farouches soldats.            With hireling hosts, a ruffian band
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras            Affright and desolate the land,
Egorger vos fils, vos compagnes.         While peace and liberty lie bleeding?
Aux armes citoyens!                        To arms, to arms, ye brave!
Formez vos bataillons,                       Th'avenging sword unsheathe!
Marchon, Marchons!                  March on!  March on!
Qu'un sang impur                    All hearts resolved
Abreuve nos sillons                  On victory or death.

-English translation of first verse by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

August 26

"My theory of evolution is that Darwin was adopted."

-Steven Wright

August 27

"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."

-George Bernard Shaw

August 28

"No human thing is of serious importance."

-Plato

August 29

"Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe."

-HG Wells

August 30

"Of all the patterns in nature, one of the simplest, yet hardest to unpick, is that the further you travel from the tropics, the fewer species there are. This trend is found both by land and by sea, and applies to a vast range of different organisms. Despite the pattern's simplicity, though, its explanation is elusive, and the quest to find that explanation is one of the enduring themes of ecology....By a process of elimination, the three researchers were left with the conclusion that, by pushing metabolic rates up, tropical heat causes more mutation and thus more speciation. In other words, evolution happens at a faster rate in Kenya than, say, in Kansas. It does, though, occur in Kansas, too--whatever some of its citizens might think."
-Excerpted from The Economist, 6 May 2006

August 31

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

-Upton Sinclair

September 1

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

-Rabindranath Tagore

September 2

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

-Arthur Schopenhauer

September 3

"Nature knows no pause in progress and development, and attaches her curse on all inaction."

-Goethe

September 4

"That all things are changed, and that nothing really perishes, and that the sum of matter remains exactly the same, is sufficiently certain."

-Sir Francis Bacon

September 5

When you are deluded
and full of doubt, even a
thousand books of scripture
are not enough.
When you have realized
understanding, even one
word is too much.

-Fen-Yang

September 6

"Make the Pie Higher"

I think we all agree, the past is over.
This is still a dangerous world.
It's a world of madmen and uncertainty
and potential mental losses.

Rarely is the question asked
Is our children learning?
Will the highways of the Internet become more few?
How many hands have I shaked?

They misunderestimate me.
I am a pitbull on the pantleg of opportunity.
I know that the human being and the fish can coexist.
Families is where our nation finds hope, where our wings take dream.

Put food on your family!
Knock down the tollbooth!
Vulcanize society!
Make the pie higher! Make the pie higher!

-poem composed of actual quotes from George W. Bush

September 7

"Grab the broom of anger and drive off the beast of fear."

-Zora Neale Hurston

September 8

"Why should I give my Readers bad lines of my own when good ones of other people's are so plenty?"

-Benjamin Franklin

September 9

"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."

-Chinese proverb

September 10

"One result of the evolution of our sun through the red giant phase will very likely be the reduction of our earth to a bleak, charred cinder."

-Carl Sagan, Intelligent Life in the Universe, 1966

September 11

"What if someone gave a war and nobody came?"

-Allen Ginsberg

September 12

"The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the government."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 14, 1938, Fireside Chat

September 13

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary."

-William Faulkner [about Ernest Hemingway]
September 14

"Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"

-Ernest Hemingway [about William Faulkner]
September 15

"I've seen a look in dogs' eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts."

-John Steinbeck

September 16

"Evolution is the blind shuffle of DNA, filtered by success of reproduction."

-Hattie Ellis

September 17

"When land is divided and developed, it ceases being land. It becomes covered, consumed, sealed. It becomes its own grave."

-Joy Williams, One Acre

September 18

"The goal of life is living in agreement with nature."

-Zeno, 335 B.C.

September 19

"As it turns out, red squirrels like to nest and store food in witches' brooms.  One of their favorite foods is a quite different fungus, a truffle-like species that grows underground.  In the course of digging up the mushrooms, eating some and carrying others to their nests, the squirrels drop dung pellets full of spores, seeding the fungus across the forest floor.

"Mushrooms, remember, are only the fruiting bodies of certain fungi.  The organism itself is mainly a web of long, thin threads spread throughout the soil.  When those threads associate with the roots of a tree, they are called mycorrhizae.  Nearly all trees support mycorrhizae, which in turn extract moisture and nutrients from pores in the soil too microscopic for even the tree's finest root hairs to penetrate.  This is one of the most important symbiotic relationships in nature.  The particular species of fungus spread by the squirrels forms the mycorrhizae that associate with white spruce.  They are a key to its ability to survive on cold, nutrient-poor soils at the very northern edge of treeline.
 
"When you consider that the rust fungus requires a second host to complete its life cycle, and that this other host is the arctic huckleberry bush, a prime food source for grizzly bears, foxes, ptarmigans, and an array of smaller birds and mammals, you can see that an odd-looking clump of needles on a white spruce is much more than an unfortunate case of blight.  It is an intersection in an almost inconceivably wide and elaborate network of paths."


-Douglas H. Chadwick, "Seeking Meanings," Endangered Species, Vol. 3 #3, Summer 1993

September 20

"The important work of moving the world forward does not wait to be done by perfect men."

-George Eliot

September 21

Flowers are words
Which even a baby may understand.

-Arthur C. Coxe, The Singing of Birds

September 22

"And when I get real, real bored, I like to drive downtown and get a great parking spot, then sit in my car and count how many people ask me if I'm leaving."

- Steven Wright
September 23

Across the lonely beach we flit,
One little sandpiper and I;
And fast I gather, bit by bit,
The scattered driftwood, bleached and dry.
The wild waves reach their hands for it,
The wild wind raves, the tide runs high,
As up and down the beach we flit;
One little sandpiper and I.

-Celia Thaxter
September 24

"Yet people are beginning to suspect that the greatest freedom is not achieved by sheer irresponsibility.  The earth is common ground and we are its overlords, whether we hold title or not. Gradually the idea is taking form that the land must be held in safe keeping, that one generation is to some extent responsible to the next, and that it is contrary to the public good to allow an individuals to destroy almost beyond repair any part of the soil or the water or even the view!"

- E. B. White

September 25

"One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done."

-Marie Curie

September 26

"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water."

-Loren Eiseley

September 27

"The truly brave, When they behold the brave oppressed with odds, Are touched with a desire to shield and save:-- A mixture of wild beasts and demi-gods Are they--now furious as the sweeping wave, Now moved with pity; even as sometimes nods The rugged tree unto the summer wind, Compassion breathes along the savage mind."

-Lord Byron, Don Juan (canto VIII, st. 106)

September 28

"We are here because one odd group of fishes had a peculiar fin anatomy that could transform into legs for terrestrial creatures; because the earth never froze entirely during an ice age; because a small and tenuous species, arising in Africa a quarter of a million years ago, has managed, so far, to survive by hook and by crook. We may yearn for a 'higher' answer - but none exists."

-Stephen Jay Gould

September 29

"I'm a vegetarian for health reasons: the health of the chickens."

-Isaac Bashevis Singer

September 30

"Nature, like an enthusiastic gardener, could not resist the temptation to plant flowers everywhere."

-John Muir

October 1

"In October the great restlessness came, the Zugunruhe, the restlessness of birds before migration. After a long, unseasonable hot spell, one morning dawned suddenly cold. The birds were excited, stammering new songs all day long. Titmice, which had hidden in the leafy shade of mountains all summer, perched on the gutter; chickadees staged a conventicle in the locusts, and a sparrow, acting very strange, hovered like a hummingbird inches above a roadside goldenrod."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

October 2

"Nature speaks in symbols and signs."

-John Greenleaf Whittier

October 3

"It is difficult beyond description to conceive that space can have no end; but it is more difficult to conceive an end. It is difficult beyond the power of man to conceive an eternal duration of what we call time; but it is more impossible to conceive a time when there shall be no time."

-Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason (Part 1)

October 4

"The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible."

-Jean Kerr

October 5

"Healing the broken bond between our young and nature is in our self-interest, not only because aesthetics or justice demand it, but also because our mental, physical, and spiritual health depend on it."

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

October 6

"The coward calls the brave man rash, the rash man calls him a coward."

-Aristotle

October 7

"It can seem as you look out that it's just chaos and that we behave in terrible ways and we never really seem to get better. But we have to remember that compassion and love and altruism is equally deeply rooted in our primate heritage. They are just as evident in chimpanzees as the brutal, aggressive side of chimpanzee nature. We humans, therefore, have a choice ahead of us, we don't have to go the aggressive route. We can push and push and push towards love and compassion. That is where I believe human destiny ultimately is taking us."

-Jane Goodall

October 8

"One man scorned and covered with scars still strove with his last ounce of courage to reach the unreachable stars; and the world was better for this."

-Don Quixote

October 9

"There's a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause."

-P.J. O'Rourke

October 10

"Scientists are to science what masons are to cathedrals."

-E.O. Wilson, the Creation

October 11

"Indecision may or may not be my problem."

-Jimmy Buffett

October 12

In Sitka, because they are fond of them,
people have named the seals. Every seal
is named Earl because they are killed one
after another by the orca, the killer
whale; seal bodies tossed left and right
into the air. “At least he didn't get
Earl,” someone says. And sure enough,
after a time, that same friendly,
bewhiskered face bobs to the surface.
It's Earl again. Well, how else are you
to live except by denial, by some
palatable fiction, some little song to
sing while the inevitable, the black and
white blindsiding fact, comes hurtling
toward you out of the deep?

-Louis Jenkins, “Earl”

October 13

"Zwar der Tapfere nennt sich Herr der Lander Durch sein Eisen, durch sein Blut."
"The brave man, indeed, calls himself lord of the land, through his iron, through his blood."

-Ernst Moritz Arndt

October 14

"Akela, the great gray Lone Wolf who led all the Pack by strength and cunning, lay out at full length on his rock, and below him sat forty or more wolves of every size and color, from badger-colored veterans who could handle a buck alone, to young black three-year-olds who thought they could."

-Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book

October 15

"Indecision may or may not be my problem."

-Jimmy Buffett

October 16

"Not just any city can claim to have formed in a trench where the slab of a great ocean dived toward the center of the earth, where large pieces of vari-colored country came together, and where competent rock was crushed to scaly clay. After the churning stopped and whole mixture was lifted into the weather, the more solid chunks very soon stood high and the softer stuff washed down...."

-John McPhee, Assembling California
October 17

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
Which like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

-William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”

October 18

"Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character."

-George Bernard Shaw

October 19

SAM: What'd you like, Normie?
NORM: A reason to live. Give me another beer.

-Cheers

October 20

"A bone to the dog is not charity. Charity is the bone shared with the dog, when you are just as hungry as the dog."

-Jack London

October 21

"I think computer viruses should count as life. I think it says something about human nature that the only life we have created so far is purely destructive. We've created life in our own image."

-Steven Hawking

October 22

"Whoever has not in youth collected plants and insects, knows not half the halo of interest which lanes and hedgerows can assume. Whosoever has not sought for fossils, has little idea of the poetical associations that surround the places where imbedded treasures were found... Sad, indeed, is it to see how men occupy themselves with trivialities, and are indifferent to the grandest phenomena--care not to understand the architecture of the Heavens, but are deeply interested in some contemptible controversy about the intrigues of Mary Queen of Scots!"

-Herbert Spencer

October 23

"True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about and few have seen."

-La Rochefoucauld

October 24

Tomorrow never comes.

October 25

"There is nothing, Sir, too little for so little a creature as man. It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible."

-Samuel Johnson

October 26

murder for a jar of red rum

-palindrome

October 27

Quantity of beauty required to launch a single ship: 1 Millihelen.

-Schott's Original Miscellany

October 28

"When combined, all ants in the world taken together weigh about as much as all human beings."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

October 29

"I was familiar with storms, and enjoyed them, knowing well that in right relations with them they are ever kindly."

-John Muir

October 30

"We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune."

-Theodore Roosevelt

October 31

"Brave men are all vertebrates; they have their softness on the surface and their toughness in the middle."

-Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron), Don Juan (canto VIII, st. 106)

November 1

"Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself."

-L.W. Gilbert

November 2

"Out of this wood do not desire to go."

-William Shakespeare, "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

November 3

"Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees."

-David Letterman

November 4

"There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before."

-Robert Lynd

November 5

"The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park looks as though it had been contrived overnight of gossamer and the wings of moths."

-Margot Patterson Doss

November 6

"At Saturday noon, on November third, a few days before the last general election, I rowed a small skiff into the current of the Colorado River, near the town of Moab, Utah, and disappeared for ten days. By choice. Since I lacked the power to make a somewhat disagreeable world of public events disappear, I chose to disappear from that world myself... I preferred this kind of solitude not out of selfishness but out of generosity; in my sullen mood I was doing my fellow humans (such as they are) a favor by going away."

-Edward Abbey, River Solitaire: A Daybook

November 7

"Which month is cruelest?"
I.  Newton, Cambridge, England
T.S. Eliot, treasurer of the Dead Poets Society, replies:
" April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain.  November, also very bad."

- From Scientific American , April 2003 "Ask the Experts" column

November 8

"In the end, we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, we will understand only what we are taught."

-Baba Dioum, Senegalese conservationist

November 9

Way back in the days when the grass was still green
and the pond was still wet
and the clouds were still clean,
and the song of the Swomee-Swans rang out in space...
one morning, I came to this glorious place.
And I first saw the trees!

-Dr. Seuss, the Lorax

November 10

"He may be mad, but there's method in his madness. There nearly always is method in madness. It's what drives men mad, being methodical."

-GK Chesterton

November 11

"One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

-Woody Allen

November 12

"Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind."

-Marston Bates

November 13

"It was Andrew Lawson who, in 1895, named the rock Franciscan. He assumed that they were a conventional formation with traceable stratigraphy-with an eroded structure that could nonetheless be deciphered and spatially reconstructed. One might as well empty a cement mixer and try to number the pebbles in the order in which they entered the machine....."

-John McPhee, Assembling California
November 14

"I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

November 15

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork."

-Mae West
November 16

"When we are alone on a starlit night; when by chance we see the migrating birds in autumn descending on a grove of junipers to rest and eat; when we see children in a moment when they are really children; when we know love in our own hearts; or when, like the Japanese poet Basho, we hear an old frog land in a quiet pond with a solitary splash -at such times the awakening, the turning inside out of all values, the ‘newness,' the emptiness and the purity of vision that make themselves evident provide a glimpse of the cosmic dance."

-Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

November 17

"Wilderness is rich with liberty."

-Wordsworth

November 18

"Nature is not a place to visit, it is home."

-Gary Snyder

November 19

"People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have the things about us."

-Iris Murdoch
November 20

"It doesn't make a difference what temperature a room is, it's always room temperature."

-Steven Wright

November 21

"Who does not thank for little will not thank for much."

-Estonian Proverb
November 22

"Gratitude is the sign of noble souls."

-Aesop Fables
November 23

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

-Thornton Wilder
November 24

"Courtesies of a small and trivial character are the ones which strike deepest in the grateful and appreciating heart."

-Henry Clay
November 25

"After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say 'I want to see the manager.'"

-William S. Burroughs

November 26

"I like to skate on the other side of the ice ..."

-Steven Wright
November 27

At my door the pale horse stands
To carry me to unknown lands.

-John Hay

November 28

"To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other."

-Jack Handy

November 29

"The children the world almost break become the adults who save it."

-Frank Warren

November 30

"I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart."

-ee cummings

December 1

"Conservation, viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and the land."

-Aldo Leopold

December 2

"True bravery is shown by performing without witness what one might be capable of doing before all the world!"

-Francois Duc de la Rochefoucauld

December 3

A bird the size
of a leaf fills
the whole lucid
evening with
his note, and flies.

-Wendell Berry

December 4

"Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well- warmed, and well-fed."

-Herman Melville

December 5

"A species must be saved in many places if it is to be saved at all."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

December 6

"Each tree has its own name and its own personality. You have only to touch them and open your mind. Make your mind empty of all things that are about you, blank as a blue sky, and wait for the tree to give you its thoughts."

-Morgan Llywelyn, Lion of Ireland

December 7

"Let our people travel light and free on their bicycles."

-Edward Abbey

December 8

"One hour of life, crowded to the full with glorious action, and filled with noble risks, is worth whole years of those mean observances of paltry decorum, in which men steal through existence, like sluggish waters through a marsh, without either honor or observation."

-Walter Scott

December 9

"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power."

-David Brin

December 10

"All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today."

-Chinese proverb

December 11

"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

-Benjamin Franklin

December 12

"Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind."

-Helen Steiner Rice

December 13

Heap on the wood!-the wind is chill; But let it whistle as it will,
We'll keep our Christmas merry still.

-Sir Walter Scott

December 14

"It's a dangerous business going out your front door."

-JRR Tolkien

December 15

"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic."

-Joseph Stalin

December 16

"I would like to go into perfectly new and wild country. I wish to lose myself amid reeds and sedges and wild grasses that have not been touched."

- Thoreau

December 17

"I can only think of one experience which might exceed in interest a few hours spent under water, and that would be a journey to Mars."

-William Beebe, The Arcturus Adventure

December 18

"If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?"

-Steven Wright

December 19

"Outer space is no place for a person of breeding."

-Lady Violet Bonham Carter

December 20

"Household tasks are easier and quicker when they are done by somebody else."

-James Thorpe

December 21

"Why do you have to be a nonconformist like everybody else?"

-James Thurber

December 22

"Stuffed deer heads on walls are bad enough, but it's worse when they are wearing dark glasses and have streamers in their antlers because then you know they were enjoying themselves at a party when they were shot."

-Ellen DeGeneres

December 23

"Some of the little magic left in the world is infused in trains."

-Jack Kodiak

December 24

"Night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir tree."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Experience"

December 25

"Don't expect too much of Christmas Day. You can't crowd into it any arrears of unselfishness and kindliness that may have accrued during the past twelve months."

-Oren Arnold

December 26

"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."

-Aristotle

December 27

"When most people step beyond the city, what they first hear is silence. But if they listen closely, they can hear voices: Birdsong. The incessant chirp and buzz of insects. Water gurgling in a stream. A frog parliament, arguing down by a pond. Summer sounds.
It's in the winter that the silence is more profound. Sometimes it seems like all that exists is the sound of the wind. The world is dreaming, hidden under the ice and snow, waiting for spring.
Wonder and Mystery are caught in a kind of winter these days. We don't have time for them anymore; they no longer seem relevant. But their relevance can't be measured by the same yardstick that we use to measure everything else. Understanding, not what they are, but that they are, is what's important.
Remembering them now is almost a gift."

-Charles de Lint, Hedgework & Guessery
December 28

"Do not blame God for having created the tiger, but thank him for not having given it wings."

-Indian Proverb

December 29

The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings.

-Joyce Kilmer

December 30

"No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."

-H.L. Mencken

December 31

"I tend to live in the past because most of my life is there."

-Herb Caen

2008
January 1

From the cowardice that shrinks from new truth,
From the laziness that is content with half­truths,
From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truths,
O God of Truth, deliver us.

-ancient prayer

January 2

"The world is dangerous not because of those who do harm, but because of those who look at it without doing anything. Nothing that I can do will change the structure of the universe. But maybe by raising my voice I can help the greatest of all causes ... goodwill among men and peace on earth."

-Albert Einstein

January 3

"A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule."

-Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991

January 4

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

-Thornton Wilder
January 5

"How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world."

-Shakespeare

January 6

"Conservation, viewed in its entirety, is the slow and laborious unfolding of a new relationship between people and the land."

-Aldo Leopold

January 7

"When you observe you start seeing things."

-Yogi Berra

January 8

"I care to live only to entice people to look at nature's loveliness."

-John Muir

January 9

I dreamt—marvelous error—
that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my past mistakes.

-Antonio Machado, “Last Night As I Was Sleeping”

January 10

"Valor grows by daring, fear by holding back."

-Publilius Syrus

January 11

"Zoo: An excellent place to study the habits of human beings."

-Evan Esar

January 12

"Our good fortune will only last as long as our natural resources"

-Will Rogers

January 13

"When one considers the prodigious achievements of the profit motive in wrecking land, one hesitates to reject it as a vehicle for restoring land. I incline to believe we have overestimated the scope of the profit motive. Is it profitable for the individual to build a beautiful home? To give his children a higher education? No, it is seldom profitable, yet we do both. These are, in fact, ethical and aesthetic premises which underlie the economic system. Once accepted, economic forces tend to align the smaller details of social organization into harmony with them. No such ethical and aesthetic premise yet exists for the condition of the land these children must live in. Our children are our signature to the roster of history; our land is merely the place our money was made. There is as yet no social stigma in the possession of a gullied farm, a wrecked forest, or a polluted stream, provided the dividends suffice to send the youngsters to college. Whatever ails the land, the government will fix it."

-Aldo Leopold, Round River

January 14

"Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor."

-William Cowper

January 15

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."

-Helen Keller

January 16

Earth gives life and seeks the man who walks gently upon it.

-Hopi legend

January 17

Stones and trees speak slowly
and may take a week
to get out a single sentence.
And there are few men,
unfortunately, with the
patience to wait
for an oak to finish a thought.

-Garrison Keillor, “Buds”

January 18

"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility, there are so few of us left."

-Oscar Levant
January 19

The earth is a garden and each of us only need
care for our own part for life to be breathed back
into the planet, into the soil, into ourselves.

-John Jeavons

January 20

In the hope of reaching the moon
men fail to see the flowers
that blossom at their feet.

-Albert Schweitzer

January 21

"If man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live."

-Dr. Martin Luther King

January 22

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit."

-Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC)

January 23

"In the beginning of everything we had fireworks of unimaginable beauty. Then there was an explosion followed by the filling of the heavens with smoke. We came too late to do more than visualize the splendor of creation's birthday."

-George Lemaitre, Belgian cosmologist, The New York Times, Jan. 12, 1933

January 24

My life is like a stroll upon the beach
As near the ocean's edge as I can go.

-Thoreau, “The Fisher's Boy”

January 25

"If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough."

- Mario Andretti

January 26

"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from."

-Al Franken

January 27

"On one occasion I saw two of these monsters (whales) probably male and female, slowly swimming, one after the other, within less than a stone's throw of the shore (Terra Del Fuego), over which the beech tree extended its branches."

-Darwin

January 28

"When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers."

-African proverb

January 29

"Be cheerful, even after considering all the facts."

-Wendell Berry

January 30

"It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing."

-Elizabeth Kolbert, The Climate of Man, New Yorker, 9 May 2005

January 31

"Heaven is by favor; if it were by merit your dog would go in and you would stay out. Of all the creatures ever made [man] is the most detestable. Of the entire brood, he is the only one... that possesses malice. He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain."

-Mark Twain

February 1

"Whether hunting is right or wrong, a spiritual experience, or an outlet for the killer instinct, one thing it is not is a sport. Sport is when individuals or teams compete against each other under equal circumstances to determine who is better at a given game or endeavor. Hunting will be a sport when deer, elk, bears, and ducks are... given 12-gauge shotguns. Bet we'd see a lot fewer drunk yahoos (live ones, anyway) in the woods if that happened."

-R. Lerner, letter, Sierra, March-April 1991

February 2

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."

-Sir Winston Churchill

February 3

"He who wonders discovers that this in itself is wonderful."

-M.C. Escher

February 4

The Pedigree of Honey
Does not concern the Bee­
A Clover, any time, to him,
Is Aristocracy­

-Emily Dickinson

February 5

"I like to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God must speaks to us every hour, if we only will tune in."

-George Washington Carver

February 6

"Henceforth space by itself, and time itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality."

-Hermann Minkowski, lecturer in Cologne, 1908, Einstein's mathematics professor

February 7

"There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad."

-Salvador Dali

February 8

"I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves."

-Che Guevara

February 9

"Once my husband invited guests to dinner on the day I had just purchased a large quantity of pinkie mice at a local reptile show. Because several hundred of my largest tarantulas were housed in our formal dining room, conversation at dinner that evening was punctuated by the squeals of dying mice. It was an experience our guests seemed to find unnerving."

-Joy Reed, "Oh, Give Me a Home Where the A. hentzi Roam," Forum Magazine of the American Tarantula Society, vol. 13, no. 3, 2004

February 10

"Spring would not be spring without bird songs."

-Francis M. Chapman

February 11

"We are bits of stellar matter that got cold by accident, bits of a star gone wrong."

-Sir Arthur Eddington

February 12

"If your parents never had children, chances are you won't, either."

-Dick Cavett

February 13

Love and smoke are two things which can't be concealed.

-French proverb

February 14

"May I print a kiss upon your lips?" I said,
And she nodded her full permission;
So we went to press and I rather guess
We printed a full edition.

-Joseph Lilienthal

February 15

"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on ammo."

-Infantry Journal

February 16

"We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures."

-Thornton Wilder
February 17

"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."

-Cicero
February 18

"[W]e seem ultimately always thrown back on individual ethics as the basis of conservation policy. It is hard to make a man, by pressure of law or money, do a thing which does not spring naturally from his own personal sense of right and wrong."

-Aldo Leopold: Conservationist in Mexico, American Forests, March 1937. Reproduced in Aldo Leopold's Southwest, edited by David E. Brown & Neil B. Carmony, University of New Mexico Press, 1990, pg. 207

February 19

"Si quis in caelum ascendisset, ibique solem, et lunam, et sidera prope vidisset, hoc tamen sibi injucundum fore, ni aliquem qui narraret habuisset."

"If someone had ascended to the heavens, and had had a close view of the sun, the moon and the stars, this would nevertheless give him no pleasure if he had no one to whom he could recount it."

-Cicero

February 20

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon.

-Edward Lear "The Owl and the Pussycat"

February 21

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
has broken Nature's social union.

-Robert Burns

February 22

"God is subtle, but not malicious."

-Einstein

February 23

"If the landscape reveals one certainty, it is that the extravagant gesture is the very stuff of creation. After the extravagant gesture of creation in the first place, the universe has continued to deal exclusively in extravagances, flinging intricacies and colossi down aeons of emptiness, heaping profusions on profligacies with ever-fresh vigor. The whole show has been on fire from the word go. I come down to the water to cool my eyes. But everywhere I look I see fire; that which isn't flint is tinder, and the whole world sparks and flames."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

February 24

"From a grain of sand to a great mountain, all is sacred. Yesterday and tomorrow exist eternally upon this continent. We natives are the guardians of this sacred place."

-Peter Blue Cloud, Mohawk

February 25

"In the end more than they wanted freedom, they wanted security. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free."

-Edward Gibbon (1737-1794)

February 26

"Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom."

-George Bernard Shaw

February 27

"There will come a time when the world will look back to modern vivisection in the name of science, as they do now to burning at the stake in the name of religion."

-Henry J. Bigelow, M.D. (1818­1890)

February 28

"If a ferret bites you it is nearly always your own fault."

-Phil Drabble

February 29

"When the gods want to punish us they answer our prayers."

-Oscar Wilde

March 1

"These temple destroyers, devotees of raving commercialism, seem to have perfect contempt for nature. Instead of lifting their eyes to the God of the Mountains, they lift them to the Almighty Dollar."

-John Muir

March 2

"Oh joy, rapture! I've got a brain."

-Scarecrow, The Wizard of Oz

March 3

"There's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos."

-Jim Hightower

March 4

"God and Country are an unbeatable team; they break all records for opression and bloodshed."

-director Luis Bunuel

March 5

"The world is a beautiful book, but of little use to him who cannot read it."

-Goldoni

March 6

"Great criminals bear about them a kind of predestination which makes them surmount all obstacles."

-Dumas

March 7

"When a woman has ceased to be quite the same to us, it matters little how different she becomes."

-Landor

March 8

"These are the times that try men's souls."

-Thomas Paine

March 9

"Every day people are straying away from church and going back to God."

-Lenny Bruce

March 10

I can't go on.
You must go on.
I'll go on.

-Samuel Beckett

March 11

Hoch klingt das Lied vom braven Mann,
Wie Orgelton und Glockenklang;
Wer hohes Muths sich ruhmen kann Den lohnt nicht Gold, den lohnt Gesang.

Song of the brave, how thrills thy tone
As when the Organ's music rolls;
No gold rewards, but song alone,
The deeds of great and noble souls.

-Gottfried Augustus Burger, "Lied von Braven Mann"

March 12

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers."

-Pablo Picasso

March 13

"When I came to ponder the keys to their survival, the field widened, and I realised that elephant ecology and survival can only be considered in relation to what men believe and how they behave."

-Ian Douglas Hamilton, “Among the Elephants”

March 14

"The hills have risen rapidly and have therefore eroded steeply. They're still rising rapidly. San Francisco streets were drawn on paper, without regard to geology or topography. There is one reaction. You laugh..."

-John McPhee, Assembling California

March 15

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children."

-Audubon

March 16

"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed... if we pollute the last clean air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence."

-Wallace Stegner

March 17

"It is better to exist unknown to the law."

-Irish Proverb

March 18

"Happiness is the ability to recognize it."

-Carolyn Wells

March 19

"Before a war military science seems a real science, like astronomy; but after a war it seems more like astrology."

-Rebecca West

March 20

"One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people."

-Dick Gregory

March 21

"We can allow satellites, planets, suns, universes, nay whole systems of universes, to be governed by laws, but the smallest insect, we wish to be created at once by special act."

-Charles Darwin

March 22

"Nature writes, gardeners edit."

-Roger Swain

March 23

"I married Miss Right. It was only later that I found her first name was Always."

-Guy Noir (Garrison Keillor)

March 24

"Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you."

-Frank Lloyd Wright

March 25

"Love is the self-delusion we manufacture to justify the trouble we take to have sex."

-Dan Greenburg

March 26

Describe him?...That's hard. I don't know if I can.
He was shortish. And oldish.
And brownish. And mossy.
And he spoke with a voice
that was sharpish and bossy.
“Mister!” he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.”

-Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

March 27

"This'll be interesting."

-Jack Kodiak

March 28

"Natural selection is not the only process that changes organisms over time. But is the only process that seemingly designs organisms over time."

-Stephen Pinker, "How The Mind Works"

March 29

"And ‘tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes."

-William Wordsworth, Lines Written in Early Spring

March 30

"To create a little flower is the labour of ages."

-William Blake, Proverbs of Hell

April 1

"To be a fool at the right time is also an art."

-anon.

April 2

This great purple butterfly,
In the prison of my hands,
Has a learning in his eye
Not a poor fool understands.

-William Butler Yeats, "Another Song of a Fool"

April 3

Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
the flowers appear on the earth;
the time of the singing of birds is come,
and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

-King Solomon, Old Testament

April 4

"He has the attention span of a lightning bolt."

-Robert Redford
April 5

"If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength."

-Rachel Carson

April 6

"I hope you love birds too. It is economical. It saves going to heaven."

-Emily Dickinson

April 7

"Nature is the art of God."

-Dante Alighieri

April 8

"The optical tube...it has pleased me to call, after the model of the telescope, the microscope, because it permits a view of minute things."

-John Faber, naturalist, 1625

April 9

"What is the color of the wind?"

-Zen koan

April 10

"Synthetic pesticides for example, target basic physiological processes, but are so crudely nonspecific in their application that, each year, pesticide use results in about 220,000,000 human poisonings and 220,000 fatalities worldwide. By one estimate, the environmental and public health costs of pesticides exceed nine billion dollars per year in the United States alone."

-May Berenbaum, Friendly Fire, 2004

April 11

"Nothing exists nor happens in the visible sky that is not sensed in some hidden manner by the faculties of Earth and Nature: (so that) these faculties of the spirit here on earth are as much affected as the sky itself."

-Johannes Kepler, De Stella Nova, 1609

April 12

"I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it."

-Rita Mae Brown

April 13

"A species must be saved in many places if it is to be saved at all."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

April 14

"Greater San Francisco, the most beautiful urban landscape in the United States, just will not be inconvenienced by a system of sibling faults. Less than a year after the major earthquake of 1989, a modest (1400 square foot) two-bedroom house in the Marina, the most devastated residential district in San Francisco, could be had for five hundred and sixteen thousand dollars, a fall of barely ten percent from pre-earthquake prices..."

-John McPhee, Assembling California

April 15

"Half of the modern drugs could well be thrown out of the window, except that the birds might eat them."

-Dr. Martin Henry Fischer

April 16

"Well, folks, you'll soon see a baked Appel."

-George Appel, on his way to the electric chair, 1928

April 17

"Just because something doesn't do what you planned it to do doesn't mean it's useless."

-Thomas A. Edison

April 18

"A clear breeze has no price, the bright moon no owner."

-Song Hun

April 19

"When we are with Nature, we are awake, and we discover many interesting things and reach many a mark we are not aiming at."

-John Muir

April 20

"Hanging is too good for a man who makes puns; he should be drawn and quoted."

-Fred Allen

April 21

"Let us a little permit Nature to take her own ways; she better understands her own affairs than we."

-Montaigne

April 22

"A tree's a tree ­ how many more do you need to look at?"

-Ronald Reagan, during his campaign for governor of California. Reagan was elected by an overwhelming majority.

April 23

"Heroing is one of the shortest-lived professions there is."

-Will Rogers

April 24

"Watch out for that thing."

-Jack Kodiak

April 25

"To believe is to know you believe, and to know you believe is not to believe."

-Jean-Paul Sartre

April 26

"As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but Nature's sources never fail. Like a generous host, she offers her brimming cup in endless variety, served in a grand hall, the sky its ceiling, the mountains its walls, decorated with glorious paintings and enlivened with the bands of music ever playing."

-John Muir

April 27

"We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive."

-Aldo Leopold, Round River

April 28

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest! . . . .
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung.

-William Collins, Ode, written in 1746

April 29

Resist much
Obey little

-Whitman

April 30

As the highwayman's life is the fullest of zest,
So the highwayman's death is the briefest and best;
He dies not as other men die, by degrees,
But at once! without flinching- and quite at his ease.

-William Harrison Ainsworth, 1834

May 1

"You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred."

-Woody Allen

May 2

"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty."

-John Adams

May 3

"At the present rate of progress, it is almost impossible to imagine any technical feat that cannot be achieved - if it can be achieved at all - within the next few hundred years."

-Arthur C. Clarke

May 4

"There are plenty of good five-cent cigars in the country. The trouble is they cost a quarter. What this country needs is a good five-cent nickel."

-Franklin P. Adams

May 5

"I used to work in a fire hydrant factory. You couldn't park anywhere near the place."

-Steven Wright

May 6

"If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me"

-Jimmy Buffett

May 7

"Patience is the companion of wisdom."

-Augustine

May 8

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

-Henry David Thoreau

May 9

"Nature does nothing uselessly."

-Aristotle

May 10

"She's descended from a long line her mother listened to."

-Gypsy Rose Lee

May 11

"He is not only dull himself, he is the cause of dullness in others."

-Samuel Johnson
May 12

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it."

-Moses Hadas
May 13

"Thank God men cannot as yet fly and lay waste the sky as well as the earth!"

-Henry David Thoreau

May 14

This planet is not terra firma.
It is a delicate flower and it must be cared for.
It's lonely.
It's small.
It's isolated, and there is no resupply.
And we are mistreating it.

-Scott Carpenter, astronaut
May 15

"It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up."

-W. Somerset Maugham

May 16

"Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones."

-Bertrand Russell

May 17

"The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried up at once; a shower is always falling; vapor rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."

-John Muir

May 18

"Without natural resources, life itself is impossible."

-Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service

May 19

"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."

-Gaylord Nelson

May 20

"A computer lets you make more mistakes faster than any invention in human history--with the possible exceptions of handguns and tequila."

-Mitch Ratliffe

May 21

And was there not one moment in time
when our liberated adventurer
might have felt himself to be
a new unique form of life on earth
Was there not one moment when he felt
a quivering a wavering vibe
between himself and all breathing beings
and a deep ineffable delight
engulfing him
as if he were not a man separate and apart
from the rest of creation
but a part of pure nature
without the hubris to destroy it—

-Lawrence Ferlinghetti

May 22

"The rancher (with a few honorable exceptions) is a man who strings barbed wire all over the range; drills wells and bulldozes stockponds; drives off elk and antelope and bighorn sheep; poisons coyotes and prairie dogs; shoots eagles, bears, and cougars on sight; supplants native grasses with tumbleweed, snakeweed, povertyweed, cowshit, anthills, mud, dust, and flies. And then leans back and grins at the TV cameras and talks about how much he loves the American West."

-Edward Abbey, from a speech in Missoula, Montana

May 23

Two birds fly past.
They are needed somewhere.

-Robert Bly

May 24

We don't need a lot of money,
We'll be sleeping on the beach,
Keeping oceans within reach,
Whatever private oceans we can conjure up for free.

-Over the Rhine

May 25

One ought,
every day at least,
to hear a little song,
read a good poem,
see a fine picture,
and,
if it were possible,
to speak a few reasonable words.

-Goethe

May 26

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."

-Dwight D. Eisenhower

May 27

"The mouth of a perfectly happy man is filled with beer."

-Ancient Egyptian wisdom

May 28

"The best way to be beautiful is to choose your parents well."

-Candice Bergen

May 29

"I think biology must be one of the most satisfying careers because the things you are studying are so absolutely and endlessly real and interesting and directly important. You never have to doubt the validity and interest of what you are doing."

-Peter Raven

May 30

I sing my heart out to the wide open spaces
I sing my heart out to the infinite sea
I sing my vision to the sky-high mountains
I sing my song to the free.

-Pete Townshend "Song is Over"

May 31

"Nature has neither kernel nor shell; she is everything at once."

-Goethe

June 1

"There is no excellent beauty that does not have some strangeness in the proportion."

- Francis Bacon

June 2

"In 1965 executives at Shell wanted to know what the world would look like in the year 2000.  They consulted experts who speculated about fusion-powered hovercrafts and "all sorts of fanciful technological stuff".  When the company asked the scientist James Lovelock, he predicted that the main problem would be the environment.  "It will be worsening then to such an extent that it will seriously affect their business.  And of course that's almost exactly what's happened", says Lovelock.
"Lovelock, 88, has been predicting..since the mid-1960s, and his accuracy has made him one of Britain's most respected independent scientists.  He invented a device that detected CFCs, which helped track the growing hole in the ozone layer, and introduced the Gaia hypothesis, a theory that the Earth is a self-regulating super-organism.  Initially ridiculed, it now forms the basis of almost all climate science.
"For decades, his advocacy of nuclear power appalled fellow environmentalists, but recently many have come around to his way of thinking.  His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the norm, causing global devastation; that by 2040 much of Europe will be Saharan; and parts of London will be underwater.  The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report deploys less dramatic language but its calculations aren't a million miles from his.
"...More alarming even than his climate predictions is his utter certainty that almost everything we're trying to do about it is wrong...the Daily Mail launched a campaign to rid Britain of plastic shopping bags.  The initiative sits comfortably within the current canon of eco-ideas premised on the calculation that individual lifestyle adjustments can still save the planet.  This is, Lovelock says, a deluded fantasy.  "It's just too late for it.  Perhaps if we'd gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped.  But we don't have time."  Recycling is "almost certainly a waste of time and energy", while having a "green lifestyle" amounts to "ostentatious grand gestures".  He distrusts ethical consumption.  "Because always, in the end, it turns out to be a scam.  Or if it wasn't one in the beginning, it becomes one."...He saves his thunder for the emptiest false promise:  renewable energy.  "You're never going to get enough energy from wind to run a society such as ours.  Windmills!  Oh no.  No way of doing it.  You can cover the whole country with the blasted things, millions of them.  Waste of time."
"...The sustainability brigade are insane to think we can save ourselves by going back to nature; our only chance will come not from less technology, but more.  Nuclear power, he argues, can solve our energy problem.  The bigger challenge will be food.  "Maybe they'll synthesise food...He fears we wont invent the necessary technologies in time, and expects "about 80%" of the world's population to be wiped out by 2100.
"...What would Lovelock do now, (the writer) asks, if he were me?  He smiles and says:  "Enjoy life while you can.  Because if you're lucky it's going to be 20 years before it hits the fan."

-Guardian Weekly, excerpted by Jake Sigg

June 3

"Let us talk sense to the American people. Let us tell them the truth, that there are no gains without  pains."

-Adlai Stevenson

June 4

"Matter tells spacetime how to curve, and spacetime tells matter how to move."

-John A. Wheeler

June 5

"Which is it, is man one of God's blunders or is God one of man's?"

-Friedrich Nietzsche

June 6

"The mathematician does not study pure mathematics because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it and he delights in it because it is beautiful."

-Henri Poincare

June 7

"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you got ‘til it's gone?"

-Joni Mitchell

June 8

"The true mystery of the world is not in the invisible, but in the visible."

-Oscar Wilde

June 9

"Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge."

-Paul Gauguin

June 10

"He's simply got the instinct for being unhappy highly developed."

-Saki

June 11

"Idleness is not doing nothing. Idleness is being free to do anything."

-Floyd Dell

June 12

"It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that's pretty important."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

June 13

"Most men are within a finger's breadth of being mad."

-Diogenes the Cynic

June 14

"If you want to go on with this silly adventure it's yours not mine."

-Bilbo Baggins

June 15

"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."

-Louis Sabin

June 16

"There was a time when a fool and his money were soon parted, but now it happens to everybody."

-Adlai Stevenson

June 17

Only that day dawns to which we are awake.
There is more day to dawn.
The sun is but a morning star.

-Henry David Thoreau

June 18

"…water drops have worn the stones of Troy and blind oblivion swallowed cities up."

-Shakespeare

June 19

"Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere."

- Blaise Pascal

June 20

"The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."

-Samuel Johnson

June 21

"We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems."

-John W. Gardner (1912-2002)

June 22

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision."

-Lynn Lavner

June 23

"No man's life, liberty or fortune is safe while our legislature is in session."

-Benjamin Franklin

June 24

"In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful."

-Leo Tolstoy

June 25

"No, sir: There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn."

-Samuel Johnson

June 26

"Communism is like one big phone company."

-Lenny Bruce

June 27

"If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little."

-George Carlin

June 28

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?"

-Mark Twain
June 29

"The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it."

-Francois de La Rochefoucauld

June 30

"God made everything out of nothing, but the nothingness shows through."

-Paul Valery

July 1

"I look at the geological record as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume alone, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines."

-Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

July 2

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."

-Anais Nin

July 3

"She saw objectives, not obstacles."

-Wallace Stegner

July 4

"When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him whose?"

-Don Marquis

July 5

"A technique succeeds in mathematical physics, not by a clever trick, or a happy accident, but because it expresses some aspect of a physical truth."

-O. G. Sutton

July 6

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."

-Nikola Tesla

July 7

"If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, how will you ever manage?"

-Marquise de Sévigné (French writer and lady of fashion) February 11, 1677

July 8

"The universe is wider than our views of it."

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

July 9

They are not long, the days of wine and roses:
Out of a misty dream
Our path emerges for a while, then closes
Within a dream.

-Ernest Dowson, 1867-1900

July 10

"Babies don't need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach... it pisses me off! I'll go over to a little baby and say 'What are you doing here? You haven't worked a day in your life!'"

-Steven Wright
July 11

"Statistics: The only science that enables different experts using the same figures to draw different conclusions."

-Evan Esar

July 12

I send thee a shell from the ocean-beach;
But listen thou well, for my shell hath speech.
Hold to thine ear
And plain thou'lt hear
     Tales of ships.

-Charles Henry (John Paul) Webb (1834‹1905), With a Nantucket Shell

July 13

And the cat's in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man in the moon.

-Harry Chapin, "Cat's In the Cradle"

July 14

"The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 15

"Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence."

-Robert Frost

July 16

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

-Dylan Thomas

July 17

"By ignorance the truth is known."

-Henry Suso, The Little Book of Truth (1300-65)

July 18

"Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that he sometimes has to eat them."

-Adlai Stevenson

July 19

"Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exits elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us."

-Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes

July 20

I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull'd in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in.

-William Shakespeare, “A Midsummer Night's Dream”

July 21

"Beauty is unbearable, drives us to despair, offering us for a minute the glimpse of an eternity that we should like to stretch out over the whole of time."

-Albert Camus

July 22

Rest not! Life is sweeping by; go and dare before you die.
Something mighty and sublime, leave behind to conquer time.

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

July 23

"[....] We were eating lunch on a high rimrock, at the foot of which a turbulent river elbowed its way. We saw what we thought was a doe fording the torrent, her breast awash in white water. When she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. A half-dozen others, evidently grown pups, sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and playful maulings. What was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the center of an open flat at the foot of our rimrock. In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack, but with more excitement than accuracy; how to aim a steep downhill shot is always confusing. When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable side-rocks. We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes‹something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view. Since then I have lived to see state after state extirpate its wolves. I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails. I have seen every edible bush and seedling browsed, first to anaemic desuetude, and then to death. I have seen every edible tree defoliated to the height of a saddlehorn. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise. In the end the starved bones of the hoped-for deer herd, dead of its own too-much, bleach with the bones of the dead sage, or molder under the high-lined junipers.

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There
July 24

"Bird taxonomy is a difficult field because of the severe anatomical constraints imposed by flight. There are only so many ways to design a bird capable, say, of catching insects in mid-air, with the result that birds of similar habitats tend to have very similar anatomies, whatever their ancestry. For example, American vultures look and behave much like Old World vultures, but biologists have come to realize that the former are related to storks, the latter to hawks, and that their resemblances result from their common lifestyle."

-Jared Diamond, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee"

July 25

"Oh, he occasionally takes an alcoholiday."

-Oscar Wilde, a remark concerning his brother's fondness for drink

July 26

"I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately."

-George Carlin

July 27

"The honey is sweet, but the bee has a sting."

-Benjamin Franklin

July 28

"The door had been forced, as forced as the dialogue during the interview portion of 'Jeopardy!'"

-anon.

July 29

"I've just trodden in something rural."

-Terry Pratchett, Lords and Ladies

July 30

"I wandered to the well. Water has its moods, flowing or still; it can lure you like a lover, or look as bleak as a broken heart. I pushed the faded vines aside and dipped my hand into the water. Wind rippled it, and my splashing; it would not give me my reflection. But it tasted of those great dreaming clouds, and of the bright winds and broken pieces of blue sky its trembling waters caught.
It tasted of the last sun before winter."

-Patricia A. McKillip, Winter Rose

July 31

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

-Martin Luther King Jr.,Strength to Love, 1963

August 1

"I feel nearly certain ...that any civilization we contact will be far wiser than we. To think we are the best the universe could manage - the mediocrity of it all!"

-Paul Horowitz, physicist, cited by Gregg Easterbrook, Atlantic, August 1988

August 2

Our whatever
Who art somewhere
Hallowed be thy name or names
as the case may be

-Garrison Keillor, inter-denominational prayer

August 3

"If your morals make you dreary, depend upon it, they are wrong."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

August 4

"The last fallen mahogany would lie perceptibly on the landscape, and the last black rhino would be obvious in its loneliness, but a marine species may disappear beneath the waves unobserved and the sea would seem to roll on the same as always."

-G. Carleton Ray in "Biodiversity", National Academy Press, 1988

August 5

"The actual flower is the plant's highest fulfilment, and are not here exclusively for herbaria, county floras and plant geography: they are here first of all for delight."

-John Ruskin

August 6

"Everything is vague to a degree you do not realize till you have tried to make it precise."

-Bertrand Russell

August 7

Come ye into the summer woods;
There entereth no annoy;
All greenly wave the chestnut leaves,
And the earth is full of joy.

-Mary Howitt

August 8

"I always feel rejuvenated by a touch of adventure."

-Baron Munchausen

August 9

"Art has roots in nature. In natural ecosystems, masses of the dominant plant species lend the landscape its visual cohesiveness, while scattered drifts of plants adapted to special niches add the diversity that guarantees ecosystem stability. In a garden, a strong framework of trees and shrubs defines the space, while grasses and wildflowers add the grace notes that make it unique. Unity and variety are complementary parts of the whole.  Strong lines and repetition are unifying elements, while a mix of complementary plants keep things interesting. Harmony, growing from a sense of place and respect for natural processes, is the essence of ecogardening. It allows for participation in the cycle of the seasons, the comings and goings of birds and insects, the change from leafy canopy to stark skeletons of tree limbs against a usually blue but sometimes brooding sky. It is having places to be idle in the cool shade of a tree or vine canopy and places to bask in the warmth of the mellow winter sun. It is always having a few weeds to pull when pulling hair isn't socially acceptable, but never having so many weeds that they aren't fairly easy to ignore when you want to be in the garden but not work in it."

-Judith Phillips, Natural by Design

August 10

"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike."

-John Muir

August 11

"Can any of you seriously say the Bill of Rights could get through Congress today? It wouldn't even get out of committee."

-F. Lee Bailey

August 12

"My house is made out of balsa wood. When no one is home across the street, except the little kids, I come out and lift my house up over my head. I tell them to stay out of my yard or I'll throw it at them."

- Steven Wright
August 13

How sweet I roamed from field to field,
And tasted all the summer's pride.

-William Blake, “Song”

August 14

"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican."

-H. L. Mencken

August 15

"Natura enim non imperatur, nisi parendo."
"Nature cannot be ordered about, except by obeying her."

-Sir Francis Bacon

August 16

"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."

-Aesop (6th century B.C.)

August 17

"A calamity is a time of great opportunity."

-Chinese maxim

August 18

"The lack of popular interest in the natural history sciences, failing some other cultivated interest, is unfortunate both for the individual and for the community....
The natural surroundings of Californians are singularly rich and varied. A scientific interest in at least certain features of our natural environment, as for example the trees, shrubs or herbaceous plants, directs one to useful and agreeable intellectual activity. Accurate and detailed knowledge of even a small area lifts the possessor out of the commonplace and enables him directly or indirectly to contribute to the well-being and happiness of his community."

-Willis Jepson, Trees of California, 1923

August 19

"Art is science made clear."

-Jean Cocteau

August 20

"Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft--and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor."

-Werner von Braun

August 21

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

-Philip K. Dick

August 22

"The man who cannot wonder,' wrote Carlyle, ‘were he President of innumerable Royal Societies, and carried the whole Mecanique Celeste and Hegel's Philosophy, and the epitome of all laboratories and Observatories with their results, in his single head, ­is but a Pair of Spectacles behind which there is no Eye. Let those who have Eyes look through him, then he may be useful."

-from Great Essays in Science

August 23

"There are some who can live without wild things and some who cannot. Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question of whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, 1949

August 24

"A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and of giving to them only that degree or certainty which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure most of the ills from which the world suffers."

-Bertrand Russell

August 25

"When the well's dry, we'll know the value of water."

-Benjamin Franklin

August 26

"America is built on a tilt and everything loose rolls toward California."

-Mark Twain

August 27

"The polar bear is adaptable. If the ice goes away, I'm sure they'll survive."

- Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska

August 28

"Man is a clever animal who behaves like an imbecile."

-Albert Schweitzer

August 29

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them, half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer; but if he spends his whole day as a speculator shearing off those woods and making earth bald before her time, he is esteemed as an industrious and enterprising citizen."

-Henry David Thoreau

August 30

"Are you aware of the beautiful sunset and the clean, salt smell of the sea?"

-Theodore Isaac Rubin

August 31

“No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: the officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets.”

-Edward Abbey

September 1

"The squirrel hoards nuts and the bee gathers honey, without knowing what they do, and they are thus provided for without selfishness or disgrace."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 2

"A perfect summer day is when the Sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken."

-James Dent

September 3

"If we are saying that the loss of species is inherently bad--I don't think we know enough about how the world works to say that."

-Craig Manson, Assistant Secretary at the Interior Department who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act. (in Sierra, March-April 2004)

September 4

"If plants, including many food and forage crops, as well as natural floras, must have insects to exist, then human beings must have insects to exist."

-E. O. Wilson, forward to The Forgotten Pollinators

September 5

"I would not be satisfied to have my kids choose to be religious without trying to argue them out of it, just as I would not be satisfied to have them decide to smoke regularly or engage in any other practice I considered detrimental to mind or body."

-Isaac Asimov, "Yours, Isaac Asimov"

September 6

"Oh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! He chortled in his joy."

-Lewis Carroll

September 7

"The government tells us we need flood control and comes to straighten the creek in our pasture. The engineer on the job tells us the creek is now able to carry off more flood water, but in the process we lost our old willows where the cows switched flies in the noon shade, and where the owl hooted on a winter night. We lost the little marshy spot where our fringed gentians bloomed.
Some engineers are beginning to have a feeling in their bones that the meanderings of a creek not only improve the landscape but are a necessary part of the hydrologic functioning. The ecologist sees clearly that for similar reasons we can get along with less channel improvement on Round River."

-Aldo Leopold, Round River

September 8

"You can cut it down. You can tear out its roots. But the forest's never really gone."

-Charles de Lint, Spiritwalk

September 9

"Man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much... the wheel, New York , wars, and so on, whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely the dolphins believed themselves to be more intelligent than man for precisely the same reasons."

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

September 10

"I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more."

-John Burroughs

September 11

The wild hawk stood with the down on his beak,
And stared with his foot on the prey.

-Tennyson

September 12

"Why is this thus? What is the reason for this thusness?"

-Artemus Ward

September 13

"Civilization no longer needs to open up wilderness; it needs wilderness to open up the still largely unexplored human mind."

-David Rains Wallace

September 14

"A healthy society requires the sense not of ownership but of belonging."

-Wallace Stegner

September 15

"Men have become the tools of their tools."

-Henry David Thoreau

September 16

"Trust in God, but keeping rowing to shore."

-Russian proverb

September 17

"At the core of...[the]...struggle lies longstanding tension between religiosity and modernity that makes the US exceptional among Western nations. In no other country with America's wealth and constitutional guarantees of individual liberty and regional autonomy does religion play such a central role, with 86% of people believing in miracles, 89% believing in heaven, and 73% believing in the devil and hell."

- Gary Younge in Guardian Weekly, 15-21 April 2004

September 18

"Know one thing well, and it will develop your perceptions in all areas."

-Giacomo Patri

September 19

"Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship."

-Harry S Truman

September 20

"The world is governed more by appearances than realities, so that it is fully as necessary to seem to know something as to know it."

-Daniel Webster

September 21

"Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing."

-Redd Foxx

September 22

"The superior man is polite but not cringing; the common man is cringing but not polite."

-Confucius, Analects

September 23

"Sacred cows make the best hamburger."

-attributed to Abbie Hoffman

September 24

"All in all, nothing human is worth taking very seriously; nevertheless..."

-Plato, Republic

September 25

"A man should never be ashamed to own he has been in the wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that he is wiser today than he was yesterday."

-Alexander Pope

September 26

"People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they just like to pee a lot."

-Capital Brewery, Middleton, WI

September 27

"In many countries you remember your meals, while in other­and I think more interesting­places, your remember your illnesses."

-Paul Theroux

September 28

"The true university of these days is a collection of books."

-Thomas Carlyle

September 29

"A good conscience is the testimony of a good life and the reward of it."

-Thomas a Kempis

September 30

"Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed."

-William James

October 1

"The brain is a three pound mass you can hold in your hand that can conceive of a universe a hundred billion light-years across."

-Marian C. Diamond

October 2

"In science, "fact" can only mean "confirmed to such a degree that it would be perverse to withhold provisional assent." I suppose that apples might start to rise tomorrow, but the possibility does not merit equal time in physics classrooms."

-Stephen Jay Gould

October 3

"The lofty oak from a small acorn grows."

-Lewis Duncombe, translation of De Minimis Maxima

October 4

"Dogs come when they're called; cats take a message and get back to you."

-Mary Bly

October 5

"I hope the son-of-a-bitch who logged that is roasting in hell."

-Franklin Roosevelt, after seeing the destruction of the Olympic Peninsula in 1937 Peninsula in 1937

October 6

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

-Thomas Sowell

October 7

"Beloved Pan, and all ye other gods who haunt this place, give me beauty in the inward soul; and may the outward and the inward man be at one. May I reckon the wise to be the wealthy, and may I have such a quantity of gold as none but the temperate can carry...For me that prayer is enough."

-Socrates

October 8

"In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move."

-Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

October 9

"When British cabinet members were asked about their religious allegiances last December, following Tony Blair's official conversion to Roman Catholicism, it turned out that more than half of them are not believers. The least equivocal about their atheism were the health secretary, Alan Johnson, and the foreign secretary, David Miliband.

The fact that Miliband is an atheist is a matter of special interest given the likelihood that he may one day, and perhaps soon, occupy No. 10. In our present uncomfortable climate of quarrels between pushy religionists and resisting secularists--or attack-dog secularists and defensive religionists--which side you are on determines how you see it.  There are many reasons why it would be a great advantage to everyone to have an atheist prime minister.  

Atheist leaders are not going to think they are getting messages from Beyond telling them to go to war. They will not cloak themselves in supernaturalistic justifications, as Blair came perilously close to doing when interviewed about the decision to invade Iraq. Atheist leaders will be sceptical about the claims of religious groups to be more important than other civil society organisations in doing good, getting public funds, meriting special privileges and exemptions from laws, and having seats in the legislature and legal protection from criticism.

...Religion is a matter of choice in that, unlike race, age, gender, or disability, you can change it. True, most people's faith was driven into them when they were small children, and belief can be hard to shake off if your community will reject or hurt you for your apostasy. But it is still fundamentally voluntary. As such it should pay its own way and take its place in the queue along with everyone else. That is something that an atheist prime minister might say, and we might all breathe a great deal more easily as a result."
- There is no room for the divinity at No. 10, by AC Grayling, Guardian Weekly 29.08.08

October 10

There are no unsacred places;
there are only sacred places
and desecrated places.
-Wendell Berry, from “How To Be A Poet”

October 11

"Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution."

-Theodosius Dobzhansky

October 12

"Why is the alphabet in that order? Is it because of that song?"

-Steven Wright

October 13

"All the beautiful sentiments in the world weigh less than one lovely action."

-James Russell Lowell

October 14

"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."

-Confucius
October 15

"Of course there's more to Science than just hurting animals, but frankly its the part I like best."

-Scientist, in "Dilbert"

October 16

"With equal passion I have sought knowledge. I have wished to understand the hearts of men. I have wished to know why the stars shine. And I have tried to apprehend the Pythagorean power by which number holds sway about the flux."

-Bertrand Russell

October 17

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."

-Thomas A. Edison

October 18

"It wasn’t worth it."

-dying words of Louis B. Mayer

October 19

"A casual stroll through lunatic asylums shows that faith does not prove anything."

-Nietzsche

October 20

"Society is a partnership…not only between those who are living, but between those who are…to be born."

-18th-century British parliamentarian and philosopher Edmund Burke

October 21

"The modern spectacle of vanished forests and eroded lands, wasted petroleum and ruthless mining…is evidence of what an age without veneration does to itself and its successors."

-Russell Kirk

October 22

"Try to learn something about everything and everything about something."

-Thomas H. Huxley

October 23

The tall Oak, towering to the skies,
The fury of the wind defies,
From age to age, in virtue strong.
Inured to stand, and suffer wrong.

-James Montgomery, “The Oak”

October 24

"Speak but little and well, if you would be esteemed as a man of merit."

-Trench

October 25

"What we think, we become."

-Buddha

October 26

"Verifiable knowledge makes its way slowly, and only under cultivation, but fable has burrs and feet and claws and wings and an indestructible sheath like weed-seed, and can be carried almost anywhere and take root without benefit of soil or water."

- Wallace Stegner, Beyond the Hundredth Meridian

October 27

"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

-Sinclair Lewis

October 28

"People who want to share their religious views with you almost never want you to share yours with them."

-Dave Barry

October 29

"We have reached a point where the value we do add to our economy is now being outweighed by the value we are removing, not only from future generations in terms of diminished resources, but from ourselves in terms of unlivable cities, deadening jobs, deteriorating health, and rising crime. In biological terms, we have become a parasite and are devouring our host."

-Paul Hawken

October 30

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."

-Albert Einstein, What I Believe, 1930

October 31

"What happens if you get scared half to death twice?"

-Steven Wright
November 1

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old."

-Franz Kafka

November 2

"All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem."

-Martin Luther King, Jr., 'Strength to Love,' 1963

November 3

"Why is it that conservation is so rarely practiced by those who must extract a living from the land? It is said to boil down, in the last analysis, to economic obstacles. Take forestry as an example: the lumberman says he will crop his timber when stumpage values rise high enough, and when wood substitutes quit underselling him. He said this decades ago. In the interim, stumpage values have gone down, not up; substitutes have increased, not decreased. Forest devastation goes on as before. I admit the reality of this predicament. I suspect that the forces inherent in unguided economic evolution are not all beneficent. Like the forces inside our own bodies, they may become malignant, pathogenic. I believe that many of the economic forces inside the modern body-politic are pathogenic in respect to harmony with land."

-Aldo Leopold, Round River

November 4

"Now, I say to you today my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

-Martin Luther King Jr., Speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

November 5

"We have spent the prime of our lives in procuring [for the youth of America] the blessing of liberty. Let them spend their lives in showing that it [freedom] is the great parent of science and of virtue; and that a nation will be great in both, always in proportion as it is free."

-Thomas Jefferson
November 6 "I have a map of the united states .... it's original size ... it says one mile equals one mile."
-Steven Wright
November 7

"Way back in the days when the grass was still green
and the pond was still wet
and the clouds were still clean,
and the song of the Swomee-Swans rang out in space ...
one morning, I came to this glorious place.
And I first saw the trees!"

-Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

November 8

"Write on your hearts that every day is the best day of the year."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

November 9

"It's no exaggeration to say that the undecided could go one way or another."

-George Bush
November 10

A flower falls,
even though we love it,
and a weed grows
even though we do not love it.

-Dogen, Japanese Buddhist monk and philosopher (1200-1253)

November 11

"Every increased possession loads us with new weariness."

-John Ruskin

November 12

"The founding fathers were great thinkers. How did their project degenerate into George Bush and Sarah Palin?"

-George Monbiot, Guardian Weekly 07.11.08

November 13

"Why fear death? It is the most beautiful adventure of life."

-dying words of Charles Frohman, 1915

November 14

"I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

-Alice Walker, The Color Purple

November 15

"A morning-glory at my window satisfies me more than the metaphysics of books."

-Walt Whitman

November 16

"Everything is water."

-Thales of Miletus

November 17

"And when, on the still cold nights, he pointed his nose at a star and howled long and wolflike, it was his ancestors, dead and dust, pointing nose at star and howling down through the centuries and through him."

-Jack London, The Call of the Wild

November 18

"Somewhere along the scale from bacteria to humans, we have to decide where killing becomes murder, and where eating becomes cannibalism."

-Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee

November 19

"I might be in the basement. I'll go upstairs and check."

-M. C. Escher

November 20

"May you live all the days of your life."

-Jonathon Swift

November 21

"I like to play indoors better ‘cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are."

-a fourth grader in San Diego, from Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

November 22

When I see birches bend to left and right…
I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

-Robert Frost

November 23

Here is the vast, savage, howling mother of ours,
Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children,
as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned
from her breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively
An interaction of man on man.

-Henry David Thoreau

November 24

"There's a lot of different ways to look at weeds and it's really more a set of characteristics in order to define what a weed is. Generally it's a plant that grows in an area that has a lot of disturbance caused by humans. Plants that are fast growing that reproduce really quick and they just thrive in areas where other plants wouldn't."
Rick studies plants which have medicinal value. And it turns out a lot of them can be classified as "weeds".
"There's about 101 plant species that are used for pharmaceuticals. Of those about one third that are pharmaceuticals actually come from weeds. Well if you look at the total world's flora only about 3 percent of all plant species are considered weeds. So the fact that one third of all plants that are used for pharmaceuticals are weeds means it's about an order of magnitude higher then what we'd expect."
"Weeds generally have negative connotations because they're growing in areas where people don't want them to be and because they do grow relatively fast and invade where other plants are trying to grow. People don't like to see them in yards and gardens and areas like that. However, a lot of these plants for the very reason that they're so fast and thrive in disturbed areas are the same reasons that they have bioactive compounds that might be useful as medicinals."

-Rick Stepp, an assistant professor at the University of Florida in Gainesville, heard on NPR's Pulse of the Planet

November 25

"I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it."

-Jack Handey

November 26

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit."

-Harry S. Truman

November 27

"Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful."

-Buddha

November 28

"If the doors of perception were cleansed, we would see everything as it truly is, infinite."

-William Blake, Essays

November 29

"What hidden meaning in this riddle lies?"

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Faust

November 30

Holidays should always be like this,
free from over-emphasis,
time for soul to stretch and spit
before the world comes back on it.

-Louis MacNeice, Epilogue for W.H. Auden

December 1

"I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more."

-John Burroughs

December 2

"I bet I can live to a hundred if only I can get outdoors again."

-Geraldine Page as Carrie Watts, in The Trip to Bountiful

December 3

"He knows nothing, and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career."

-George Bernard Shaw

December 4

"The supreme reality of our time is the vulnerability of our planet."

-John F. Kennedy

December 5

"It is with the coming of man that a vast hole seems to open in nature, a vast black whirlpool spinning faster and faster, consuming flesh, stones, soil, minerals, sucking down the lightning, wrenching power from the atom, until the ancient sounds of nature are drowned out in the cacophony of something which is no longer nature, something instead which is loose and knocking at the world’s heart, something demonic and no longer planned—escaped it may be—spewed out of nature, contending in a final giant’s game against its master."

-Loren Eiseley

December 6

"From wonder into wonder existence opens."

-Lao-tzu

December 7

"The Earth isn’t dying, it’s being killed, and the people who are doing it have names and addresses."

-Earth First

December 8

"ars est celare artem"

"it is art to conceal art"

December 9

"There are moments when art almost attains the dignity of manual labor."

-Oscar Wilde

December 10

"Like most I exploit what it gives and I do with it what I please....Nature to me is like my house or even like my cluttered room. It has things in it which can be played with. I say play away, do what you want with it, it's your house."

-a young man from Potomac, Maryland; from Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv

December 11

"Place is what takes me out of myself, out of the limited scope of human activity, but this is not misanthropic. A sense of place is a way of embracing humanity among all of its neighbors. It is an entry into the larger world."

-Robert Michael Pyle

December 12

"So important are insects and other land-dwelling arthropods that if all were to disappear, humanity probably could not last more than a few months."

-Edward O. Wilson

December 13

"Children live through their senses. Sensory experiences link the child’s exterior world with their interior, hidden, affective world. Since the natural environment is the principal source of sensory stimulation, freedom to explore and play with the outdoor environment through the senses in their own space and time is essential for healthy development of an interior life…."

-Robin Moore, director of the National Learning Initiative

December 14

"Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat."

-John Lehman

December 15 "It seems to me that what environmental education must do is frame the thoughts and feelings of our children so they may learn, over time, to care for and protect our world. As it is, most of our educational focus is on the skills needed for young people to become part of the work force, and to be good citizens. Environmental love is best taught over time, so the neurons necessary to form this love slowly build up, so that peer pressure forms a part of this love.  It is important to understand how the mass of young people have grown up taking our environment for granted, how they have learned to abuse it. What is it about our public school system that creates adults who feel entitled to clear cut forests, to pass laws that allow coal plants to poison our skies? How can we counter this, yet still train kids for jobs? Environmentalists such as David Brower have done amazing things against great odds, but now we must build a solid base of ordinary people who know they must create a sustainable world, and that can only be done steadily from childhood on. First love, then a desire to take action."

-Jim LeCuyer

December 16 "Ten thousand fools proclaim themselves into obscurity, while one wise man forgets himself into immortality."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

December 17

"We are the children of the earth and removed from her our spirit withers."

-George MacCaulay Trevelyan

December 18 "All collapsed, and the great shroud of the sea rolled on as it had five thousand years ago."

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

December 19

"No one can possibly have lived through the Great Depression without being scarred by it. No amount of experience since the depression can convince someone who has lived through it that the world is safe economically."

-Isaac Asimov

December 20

"In my simplicity, I remember wondering why every gentleman did not become an ornithologist."

-Charles Darwin
December 21

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."

-Albert Camus

December 22

"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power."

-David Brin

December 23

"I hope that while so many people are out smelling the flowers, someone is taking the time to plant some."

-Herbert Rappaport

December 24

In man’s most dark extremity
Oft succor dawns from Heaven.

-Walter Scott, The Lord of the Isles (canto I, st. 20)

December 25

"Fears in modern-city dwellers protect us from dangers that no longer exist, and fail to protect us from dangers in the world around us. We ought to be afraid of guns, driving fast, driving without a seatbelt, lighter fluid, and hair dryers near bathtubs, not of snakes and spiders. Public safety officials try to strike fear in the hearts of citizens using everything from statistics to shocking photographs, usually to no avail. Parents scream and punish to deter their children from playing with matches or chasing a ball into the street, but when Chicago schoolchildren were asked what they were most afraid of, they cited lions, tigers and snakes, unlikely hazards in the Windy City."

-Stephen Pinker, "How The Mind Works"

December 26

"Thank God for the things I do not own."

-Teresa de Avila

December 27

"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is not more to the point than the fact than a drunken man is happier than a sober one."

-George Bernard Shaw

December 28

"In childhood and boyhood this ecstasy overtook me when I was happy out of doors...A silver haze shimmered and trembled over the lime trees. The air was laden with their fragrance. The temperature was like a caress. I remember...that I climbed up a stump and felt suddenly immersed in Itness. I did not call it by that name. I had no need for words. It and I were one. Surely most children are like that."

-Bernard Berenson

December 29

"You've achieved success in your field when you don't know whether what you're doing is work or play."

-Warren Beatty

December 30

"I played around our yard some and talked to the fence posts, sung songs and made the weeds sing..."

-Woody Guthrie

December 31

There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover;
and the song of the phoebe bird,
And the Third-month lambs and the sow’s pink-faint litter;
and the mare’s foal and the cow’s calf, …

-Walt Whitman

2009
January 1

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."

-Goethe

January 2

"It's a beautiful night...you can almost see the stars."

- J. Frank Parnell, Repo Man

January 3

"The core of the naturalist intelligence is the human ability to recognize plants, animals, and other parts of the natural environment, like clouds or rocks. All of us can do this; some kids (experts on dinosaurs) and many adults (hunters, botanists, anatomists) excel at this pursuit. While the ability doubtless evolved to deal with natural kinds of elements, I believe that it has been hijacked to deal with the world of man-made objects. We are good at distinguishing among cars, sneakers, and jewelry, for example, because our ancestors needed to be able to recognize carnivorous animals, poisonous snakes, and flavorful mushrooms."

-Howard Gardner, Harvard University

January 4

"What happened, what we think happened in distant memory, is built around a small collection of dominating images. In one of my own from the age of seven, I stand in the shallows of Paradise Beach, staring down at a huge jellyfish in water so still and clear that its every detail is revealed as though it were trapped in glass."

-Edward O. Wilson, Naturalist

January 5

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure;
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

-William Wordsworth

January 6

"The mountain says you live in a particular place. Though it’s a small area, just a square mile or two, it took me many trips to even start to learn its secrets. Here there are blueberries, and here there are bigger blueberries… You pass a hundred different plants along the trail—I know maybe twenty of them. One could spend a lifetime learning a small range of mountains, and once upon a time people did."

-Bill McKibben, The Age of Missing Information

January 7

"Some of us worship in churches, some in synagogues, some on golf courses."

-Adlai Stevenson

January 8

"I spent, as you know, a year and a half in a clergyman's family and heard almost every Tuesday the very best, most earnest and most impressive preacher it has ever been my fortune to meet with, but it produced no effect whatever on my mind."

-Alfred Russel Wallace

January 9

“Today, I am convinced more than ever that this is the time and that we are the ones we have been waiting for-generations of conscious beings from all walks of life with the courage, communications, and know how to change the world for the better. We are the Architects of A New Dawn and this is what we came here to do."

-Carlos Santana

January 10

"Far away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

-Louisa May Alcott

January 11

"This we know: All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth, Man did not weave the web of life. He is merely a strand on it. Whatever he does to the web he does to himself."

-Chief Seattle

January 12

"Everyone now agrees that a physics lacking all connection with mathematics…would only be an historical amusement, fitter for entertaining the idle than for occupying the mind of a philosopher."

-Franz Karl Achard (1753-1821)

January 13

"When asked about the word ‘hike’ John Muir replied, “I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter not hike.” When Christians, making a pilgrimage during the middle ages, were asked where they were going they would  reply ‘A la sainte terre’,  ‘To the Holy Land.’  They became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers.  Muir seldom hurried. He would stop to get acquainted with individual trees. He would hail people passing by and make them get down on hands and knees if necessary to examine some tiny seedling or to see the beauty of some little bed of almost microscopic flowers.
The goal is not to be the first to the trails end, it is to experience the trail."

-excerpt from The Mountain Trail and Its Message, Albert W. Palmer, 1911

January 14

"When a honeybee dies it releases a death pheromone, a characteristic odour that signals the survivors to remove it from the hive. The corpse is promptly pushed and tugged out of the hive. The death pheromone is oleic acid. What happens if a live bee is dabbed with a drop of oleic acid? Then no matter how strapping and vigourous it might be, it is carried kicking and screaming out of the hive."

-Carl Sagan, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors"

January 15

"[...] Montague Stevens saw only the surface of the land he hunted over. His active days afield coincided with the advent of erosion in the cow country, but he did not see it. The better to keep up with his hounds, he practiced riding his horse across the cavernous arroyos which were then invading the fertile valleys, but he did not recognize the invasion as something new in history, nor did he perceive its cause: the terrific overgrazing practiced by the early cowmen. Small wonder, then, that less intelligent men still fail to perceive that something more important than bears is departing from the western range. New Mexico's grizzlies succumbed visibly to trap, gun, and poisoned bait, but New Mexico's fertile valleys slipped down the Rio Grande in the night. Neither will return."

-Aldo Leopold, Review of "Meet Mr. Grizzly", Journal of Forestry, March 1944

January 16

"If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleo-climate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 [in the atmosphere] will need to be reduced from its current 385 ppm [parts per million] to at most 350 ppm."

-NASA scientist James Hansen

January 17

"For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged, by better information or fuller consideration, to change opinions, even on important subjects, which I once thought right but found to be otherwise."

-Benjamin Franklin

January 18

"It must be for truth’s sake, and not for the sake of its usefulness to humanity, that the scientific man studies Nature."

-Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873)

January 19

"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 20

"I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."

-Martin Luther King, Jr., speech at Civil Rights March on Washington, August 28, 1963

January 21

The Republicans spent your Social Security on their war
"Yeehaw" is not a foreign policy
The Patriot Act - protecting your rights by taking them away
Bush deserves a third term:  prison
Slapping a yellow ribbon on the back of your gas-guzzling SUV during a war for oil makes you look like an asshole
They won't stop lying as long as you're still believing them
Be nice to America - or we'll bring democracy to your country
September 11, 2001 - 15 Saudis, 0 Iraqis
Try being informed instead of just opinionated
Stop using Jesus as an excuse for being a narrow-minded, bigoted dick

-bumpersticker relics from the former administration

January 22

"Recently…a great nature study movement has sprung up amongst us and in this movement the study of insects must play an important part….Subjects for observation are never lacking, and , although some prejudice exists against them as insignificant crawling creatures and in large part nuisances and pests from a human standpoint, yet their structure is wonderful, their life histories are most interesting, and among them may be found a wealth of material for the study of broad life problems of the utmost biographical importance."

-L. O. Howard, 1901

January 23

"Unless social sciences can be as creative as natural science, our new tools are not likely to be of much use to us."

-Edgar Douglas Adrian

January 24

"It was another glad awakening to fresh breezes, vast expanses of level greensward, bright sunlight, and impressive solitude utterly without visible human beings or human habitations, and an atmosphere of such amazing magnifying properties that trees that seemed close at hand were more than three miles away."

-Mark Twain, Roughing It

January 25

"Let China sleep, for when she wakes the world will shake."

-Napoleon

January 26

"The universe must be such as to admit the creation of observers within it."

-Brandon Carter, physicist, quoted by Henry Simmons, Mosaic, Fall 1990

January 27

"Adaptations are for the good of the genes that implement them, and one of the best demonstrations of this is the 50-50 ratio of males to females. If organisms were designed to benefit the species, they would not waste half the available food on sons, who can't directly replenish the species with babies. Any necessary genetic variation could easily be supplied by a few studs. Organisms pump out sons because whenever females are more plentiful, the genes of mothers and fathers who bear sons have a reproductive field day, and the mixture settles at 50-50. If the species suffers, that's just too bad."

-Stephen Pinker

January 28

"Without wilderness, the world's a cage."

-David Brower

January 29

"If the Lord Almighty had consulted me before embarking upon his creation, I should have recommended something simpler."

-a response attributed to Alfonso X (1221-1284 AD), King of Leon and Castile, on having the Ptolemaic system of astronomy explained to him

January 30

"I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated."

-Paul Alderson

January 31

"Someday I want to be rich. Some people get so rich they lose all respect for humanity. That's how rich I want to be."

-Rita Rudner

February 1

"Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it."

-Marcus Aurelius, Meditation

February 2

"The dangers of life are infinite, and safety is among them."

-Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe, Essays

February 3

"The beauty and genius of a work of art may be reconceived, though its first material expression be destroyed; a vanished harmony may yet again inspire the composer; but when the last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another heaven and another earth must pass before such a one can be again."

-William Beebe, 1906

February 4

“Whenever we touch nature we get clean. People who have got dirty through too much civilization take a walk in the woods, or a bath in the sea. Entering the unconscious, entering yourself through dreams, is touching nature from the inside and this is the same thing, things are put right again.”

-C. G. Jung

February 5

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.”

-George Bernard Shaw

February 6

"What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse."

-Edward Abbey

February 7

"My garden, also, what little time I can be at Tuskegee, is another source of rest and enjoyment. Somehow I like, as often as possible, to touch nature, not something that is artificial or an imitation, but the real thing. When I can leave my office in time so that I can spend thirty or forty minutes in spading the ground, in planting seeds, in digging about the plants, I feel that I am coming into contact with something that is giving me strength for the many duties and hard places that await me out in the big world. I pity the man or woman who has never learned to enjoy nature and to get strength and inspiration out of it."

-Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery

February 8

"I sometimes think that general and popular Treatises are almost as important for the progress of science as original work."

-Charles Darwin, in a letter to Thomas Henry Huxley

February 9

"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf."

-H. L. Mencken

February 10

"Our species and its ways of thinking are a product of evolution, not the purpose of evolution."

-Edward O. Wilson

February 11

There is one thing certain. The man
who attempts to work among bees with
his breath tainted with whisky, or alcohol
in any form, will be very apt to learn
the bees are prohibitionists.

- Sioux County Herald, September 13, 1888

February 12

“The city would never be so young again, or so bright, so fun loving, so full of self-confidence. The lights were going out all over Europe, and the rest of the world was fearful of being drawn into a raging war, but in brash San Francisco, all was brightness, music, and dancing across the hills."

-Herb Caen, forward to San Francisco Invites the World

February 13 2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
February 14

"Come my beloved, let us go to the fields. If the pomegranate trees are in flower then I shall give you the gift of my Love."

-Song of Songs: 7:12

February 15

"Science is simply commonsense at its best ­that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic."

-Thomas Huxley

February 16

"A world without rodents would be a very different world. It is less likely to come to pass than a world dominated by rodents and free of people. If nuclear war destroys humanity and most of the rest of life, a good bet for survival in the short term, and for evolutionary ancestry in the long term, is rats. I have a post-Armageddon vision. We and all other large animals are gone. Rodents emerge as the ultimate post-human scavengers. They gnaw their way through New York, London and Tokyo, digesting spilled larders, ghost supermarkets and human corpses and turning them into new generations of rats and mice, whose racing populations explode out of the cities and into the countryside. When all the relics of human profligacy are eaten, populations crash again, and the rodents turn on each other, and on the cockroaches scavenging with them. In a period of intense competition, short generations perhaps with radioactivity enhanced mutation-rates boost rapid evolution. With human ships and planes gone, islands become islands again, with local populations isolated save for occasional lucky raftings: ideal conditions for evolutionary divergence. Within 5 million years, a whole range of new species replace the ones we know. Herds of giant grazing rats are stalked by sabre-toothed predatory rats. Given enough time, will a species of intelligent, cultivated rats emerge? Will rodent historians and scientists eventually organise careful archaeological digs (gnaws?) through the strata of our long-compacted cities, and reconstruct the peculiar and temporarily tragic circumstances that gave ratkind its big break."

-Richard Dawkins, The Ancestor's Tale

February 17

"All the plants of a given country are at war with one another."

-Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

February 18

"In the beginning there was nothing. God said, 'Let there be light!' And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better."

-Ellen DeGeneres

February 19

“A cobweb in the attic gathers dust, and it is ugly. But a cobweb in the outdoors gathers dewdrops that scintillate in the sun. Get out. Find your hope. Read the Earth. It is an extraordinary book: full color, stereo sound, wonderful aromas, the win. It is an extraordinary planet.”

-David Brower and Steve Chapple, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

February 20

"To write honestly and with conviction anything about the migration of birds, one should oneself have migrated. Somehow or other we should dehumanize ourselves, feel the feel of feathers on our body and wind in our wings, and finally know what it is to leave abundance and safety and daylight and yield to a compelling instinct, age-old, seeming at the time quite devoid of reason and object."  

-William Beebe, American naturalist

February 21

"Everything that depends on the action of nature is by nature as good as it can be."

-Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

February 22

"Most scientists today began their careers as children, chasing bugs and snakes, collecting spiders, and feeling awe in the presence of nature. Since such untidy activities are fast disappearing, how, then, will our future scientists learn about nature?"

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

February 23

"Invasive species issues are the most important issues in the universe. The known universe--there may be something big going on in Alpha Centauri we haven't figured out, but...It took 257 million years for us to evolve five continents' worth of diversity. It will take a few hundred years to lose that. If we fail to act, we're going to have one continent's worth of diversity. Forever."

-Dan Gluesenkamp, "Non-Invasive Ways to do Holidays in Hawaii"
February 24

"Thirteen years after the legendary confrontation over the theory of evolution between Bishop Samuel Wilberforce ('Soapy Sam') and Thomas Henry Huxley ('Darwin's bulldog'), Wilberforce died in 1873 in an equestrian fall. Huxley quipped to physicist John Tyndall, 'For once, reality and his brain came into contact and the result was fatal.'"

-from Skeptic column in Scientific American, August 2006

February 25

"‘Here is the fruit of my leisured ease, the magnum opus of my latter years!’ He picked up the volume from the table and read out the whole title, Practical Handbook of Bee Culture, with Some Observations upon the Segregation of the Queen. ‘Alone I did it. Behold the fruit of pensive nights and laborious days when I watched the little working gangs as once I watched the criminal world of London.’"

-Sherlock Holmes, “His Last Bow”

February 26

"We’ll work on anything without a backbone—except politicians."

-Scott Hoffman Black, director of the Xerces Society

February 27

"But despite all the recent advances in basic research and its practical achievements, American science—and the funding for it—is lagging.
The public’s understanding of science as the key to a productive and healthy future remains woefully limited, and our public schools, with slashed budgets, have been facing critical shortages of science teachers, science labs and lab tools."

-David Perlman, San Francisco Chronicle, February 3, 2009

February 28

“Night and day the river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert. Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing round the sun that humans call the earth. Joy, shipmates, joy.”

-Edward Abbey, The Hidden Canyon:  A River Journey

March 1

"Nature has been taken over by thugs who care absolutely nothing about it. We need to take nature back."

-Rasheed Salahuddin

March 2

"I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority."

-E. B. White

March 3

"San Diego County, larger in size and population than some states, is an ecological and sociological microcosm of America. It is, in fact, a place with more endangered and threatened species than any other county in the continental United States. The United Nations declared it one of the Earth’s twenty-five “hot spots” of biodiversity. Yet, as of this writing, not one of the forty-three school districts within this county offers a single elective course in local flora and fauna."

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

March 4

Magna opera Domini exquisite in omnes voluntates eius.
The works of the Lord are great; sought out of all those that have pleasure therein.

-Over the entrance to the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge

March 5

"Don’t overestimate the decency of the human race."

-H. L. Mencken

March 6

I'm going, I'm going, where the water tastes like wine,
We can jump in the water, stay drunk all the time.

Canned Heat, "Going Up The Country"

March 7

“Sic nos bees planto mellis, tamen non pro ourselves.”
“So we the bees make honey, but not for ourselves.”

-woodcut, late 1600‘s

March 8

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: 
Come see my shining palace built upon the sand!

-Edna St Vincent Millay, "Second Fig"

March 9

"When I find myself in the company of scientists, I feel like a shabby curate who has strayed by mistake into a drawing room full of dukes."

-Wystan Hugh Auden, The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays (1965)

March 10

"Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

March 11

"One should always play fairly when one has the winning cards."

-Oscar Wilde

March 12

“You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the government. And, with due respect to these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.”

-George Bernard Shaw

March 13

"A great deal of the universe does not need any explanation. Elephants, for instance. Once molecules have learnt to compete and to create other molecules in their own image, elephants, and things resembling elephants, will in due course be found roaming around the countryside…Some of the things resembling elephants will be men."

-Peter William Atkins, The Creation (1981)

March 14

"He that plants trees loves others besides himself."

-English proverb

March 15

"What does not benefit the hive is no benefit to the bee."

Antoninus Marcus Aurelius

March 16

"He who gets a name for early rising can stay in bed until midday."

-Irish Proverb

March 17

"Whiskey was invented so the Irish wouldn't rule the world."

-anon.

March 18

“I'm actually certain that we're in the midst of a mass extinction. Geologically, there have been five periods in which upwards of 20 percent of the Earth's species, in one case maybe 90 percent of the Earth's species, went extinct, and there've been about 20 or so others in which anywhere from two to 10 percent of species have gone extinct. And certainly over the last few hundred years there are enough extinctions to qualify us in the second category. There's documentary evidence, in some cases, for this.
And it's an ongoing process. It's not slowing down -- if anything, it appears to be accelerating. So I think it's quite possible that we'll eventually be in a situation that qualifies as one of the great mass extinctions.”

-Daniel Simberloff, professor of environmental studies and director of the Institute for Biological Invasions at the University of Tennessee

March 19

"Consider, for example, the question of "accessibility." An area that cannot be reached is obviously not being put to use. On the other hand, one reached too easily becomes a mere "resort" to which people flock for purposes just as well served by golf courses, swimming pools, and summer hotels. Parks are often described as "recreation areas" and so they are. But the term "recreation" as ordinarily used does not imply much stress upon the kind of experience which Grand Canyon, despite the flood of visitors that comes to it, still does provide:  namely, the experience of being in the presence of nature's ways and nature's work."

-Joseph Wood Krutch, What Men? What Needs?

March 20

Safe upon the solid rock the ugly houses stand: 
Come see my shining palace built upon the sand!

-Edna St Vincent Millay, Second Fig

March 21

"I am of course a skeptic about the divinity of Christ and a scorner of the notion that there is a God who cares how we are or what we do."

-Kurt Vonnegut

March 22

"You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns; you have to get used to an inhuman scale; you have to understand geological time."

-Wallace Stegner, From Thoughts in a Dry Land (1972)

March 23

"It is not clear that intelligence has any long-term survival value."

-Steven Hawking

March 24

"God gave us a penis and a brain, but only enough blood to run one at a time."

-Robin Williams

March 25

"The wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit."

-Joseph Wood Krutch, Today and All Its Yesterdays, 1958

March 26

"All other things have a portion of everything, but Mind is infinite and self-ruled, and is mixed with nothing but is all alone by itself."

-Anaxagoras, Greek natural philosopher (c.500-428 BC)

March 27

"Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t deal with drugs."

-Lily Tomlin

March 28

"Aridity, more than anything else, gives the western landscape its character. It is aridity that gives the air its special dry clarity; aridity that puts brilliance in the light and polishes and enlarges the stars; aridity that leads grasses to evolve as bunches rather than as turf, aridity that exposes the pigmentation of the earth and limits, almost eliminates the color of chlorophyll...To eyes trained on universal chlorophyll, gold or brown hills may look repulsive. Sagebrush is an acquired taste, as are raw earth and alkali flats...You have to get over the color green; you have to quit associating beauty with gardens and lawns..."

-Wallace Stegner

March 29

"Should the research worker of the future discover some means of releasing this [atomic] energy in a form which could be employed, the human race will have at its command powers beyond the dream of scientific fiction, but the remotest possibility must always be considered that the energy once liberated will be completely uncontrollable and by its intense violence detonate all neighboring substances. In this event, the whole of the hydrogen on earth might be transformed at once and the success of the experiment published at large to the universe as a new star."

-Francis William Aston, “Mass Spectra and Isotopes”, Nobel lecture, 12 December 1922

March 30

‘Every moment dies a man,/ Every moment one is born’
I need hardly point out to you that this calculation would tend to keep the sum total of the world’s population in a state of perpetual equipoise whereas it is a well-known fact that the said sum total is constantly on the increase. I would therefore take the liberty of suggesting that in the next edition of your excellent poem the erroneous calculation to which I refer should be corrected as follows:
‘Every moment dies a man / And one and a sixteenth is born.’ I may add that the exact figures are 1.167, but something must, of course, be conceded to the laws of metre.

-Charles Babbage, unpublished letter to Tennyson in response to his “Vision of Sin” (1842)

March 31

"The good neighbor looks beyond the external accidents and discerns those inner qualities that make all men human and, therefore, brothers."

-Martin Luther King Jr., 'Strength to Love,' 1963

April 1

"Get ready for a new Scientific American. No more discussions of how science should inform policy. If the government commits blindly to building an anti-ICBM defense system that can't work as promised, that will waste tens of billions of taxpayers' dollars and imperil national security, you won't hear about it from us. If studies suggest that the administration's antipollution measures would actually increase the dangerous particulates that people breathe during the next two decades, that's not our concern. No more discussions of how policies affect science either--so what if the budget for the National Science Foundation is slashed? This magazine will be dedicated purely to science, fair and balanced science, and not just the science that scientists say is science. And it will start on April Fools' Day."

-editorial in Scientific American, April 2005

April 2

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream. Wandering by lone sea breakers, and sitting by desolate streams. World losers and world forsakers, for whom the pale moon gleams. Yet we are movers and the shakers of the world forever it seems."  

-Arthur C. Coxe

April 3

"Deserve your dream."

-Octavio Paz

April 4

"He loved maps, and in his hall there hung a large one of the Country Round with all his favorite walks marked on it in red ink."

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

April 5

For glad spring has begun,
And to the ardent sun
The earth, long time so bleak,
Turns a frost-bitten cheek.

-Celia Thaxter

April 6

“One day if I go to heaven...I’ll look around and say, ‘It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco.’”

-Herb Caen

April 7 There was an old lady who swallowed a spider
that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly.
I don't know why she swallowed the fly.
Perhaps she'll die.
April 8

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

-Henry Van Dyke

April 9

"What do you consider the largest map that would be really useful?"
"About six inches to the mile."
"Only six inches!" exclaimed Mein Herr. "We very soon got to six yards to the mile. Then we tried a hundred yards to the mile. And then came the grandest idea of all! We actually made a map of the country on the scale of a mile to the mile!"
"Have you used it much?" I enquired.
"It has never been spread out, yet," said Mein Herr: "the farmers objected; they said it would cover the whole country and shut out the sunlight! So we now use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well."

-Lewis Carroll, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded

April 10

"The machine has divorced man from the world of nature to which he belongs, and in the process he has lost in large measure the powers of contemplation with which he was endowed.  A prerequisite for the preservation of the canons of humanism is a reestablishment of organic roots with our natural environment and, related to it, the evolution of ways of life which encourage contemplation and the search for truth and knowledge. The flower and vegetable garden, green grass, the fireplace, the primeval forest with its wondrous assemblage of living things, the uninhabited hilltop where one can silently look at the stars and wonder—all of these things and many others are necessary for the fulfillment of man’s psychological and spiritual needs. To be sure, they are of no “practical value” and are seemingly unrelated to man’s pressing need for food and living space.
But they are as necessary to the preservation of humanism as food is necessary to the preservation of human life."

-Harrison Brown

April 11

"Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!"

-Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

April 12

"Something in us that requires the gladdening of spring in order to cheerfully accommodate the quiet of our rainless California summers."

-Judith Larner Lowery, Gardening With a Wild Heart

April 13

We’re made so, that we love
First, when we see them painted, things we have passed
Perhaps a hundred times, nor cared to see

-Fra Lippo Lippi

April 14

"If the world were to end tomorrow and we could choose to save only one thing as the explanation and memorial to who we were, then we couldn't do better than the Natural History Museum, although it wouldn't contain a single human. The systematic Linnean order, the vast inquisitiveness and range of collated knowledge and beauty would tell all that is the best of us."

-AA Gill, "The London Times"

April 15

"The evolution of the universe as a whole has no end, and it may have had no beginning."

-Andrei Linde, physicist, Inflation and Quantum Cosmology, 1990

April 16

"Don't expect me to do the right thing, make me do it."

-Former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt

April 17

"One merges in another, groups melt into ecological groups until the time when what we know as life meets and enters what we think of as non-life: barnacle and rock, rock and earth, earth and tree, tree and rain and air. And it is a strange thing that most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical outcrying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really the understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing, related inextricably to all reality, known and unknownable...."

-John Steinbeck, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

April 18

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.

-Julian Grenfell

April 19

"Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties, with which nature hath furnished them to the shame of art."

-Izaak Walton

April 20

"Darkness is as essential to our biological welfare, to our internal clockwork, as light itself."

-Verlyn Klinkenborg, "Our Vanishing Night," National Geographic

April 21

"Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had."

-Michael Crichton

April 22

“To me the question of the environment is more ominous than that of peace and war.  We will have regional conflicts and use of force, but world conflicts I do not believe will happen any longer.  But the environment, that is a creeping danger.  I’m more worried about global warming than I am about any major military conflict.”

-Hans Blix, head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, 12 March 2003

April 23

"If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends, and nature; and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature. Nature we have always with us, an inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination‹health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and joy to the soul."

-John Burroughs (1837­1921), American writer and naturalist

April 24

"The wonders of the sea are as marvelous as the glories of the heavens. Among the revelations which scientific research has lately made, none are more interesting to the student of nature, or more suggestive to the Christian philosopher, than those which relate to the bed of the ocean."

-Matthew Fontaine Maury, Physical Geography of the Sea, 1858

April 25

"Ant workers are the chief predators of insects and spiders. They form the cemetery squads of creatures their own size, collecting over 90 percent of the dead bodies to carry back to their nests. By transporting seeds for food and discarding some of them uneaten in and around the nests, they are responsible for the dispersal of large numbers of plant species. They move more soil than earthworms, and in the process circulate vast quantities of nutrients vital to the health of the land ecosystems."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

April 26

"We are each made more healthy - physically and psychologically - by regular contact with wild animals, plants, and landscapes."

-Allen Fish, Director of the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory

April 27

"It is always distressing when outraged morality does not possess the strength of arm to administer direct chastisement on the sinner."

-W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence

April 28

"Most of us need to be humbled more often, to be reminded that nature is not only more complex than we think, it is more complex than we can think."

-Gary Paul Nabhan

April 29

My papa says that I was blest
For if that music found me,
I'd be witch-cast like all the rest.
This town grows old around me.
I cannot say I did not hear
That sound so haunting hollow--
I heard, I heard, I heard it clear...
I was afraid to follow.

-Shel Silverstein

April 30

"Pity the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."

-Don Marquis

May 1

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

-William Blake, “Auguries of Innocence”

May 2

"[What is the] extinction of a condor to a child who has never seen a wren?"

-Robert Michael Pyle

May 3

"I am the grass; I cover all"

-Carl Sandburg, “Grass”

May 4

God Bless the grass
That grows through the crack
They roll the concrete over it
To try and keep it back
The concrete gets tired
Of what it has to do
It breaks and it buckles
And the grass grows through.
God bless the grass

-Malvina Reynolds (1900-1978), from her song God Bless the Grass

May 5

"The real work of men was hunting meat. The invention of agriculture was a giant step in the wrong direction, leading to serfdom, cities, and empire. From a race of hunters, artists, warriors, and tamers of horses, we degraded ourselves to what we are now: clerks, functionaries, laborers, entertainers, processors of information."

-Edward Abbey

May 6

The well rising without sound,
the spring on a hillside,
the plowshare brimming through the deep ground
everywhere in the field —

The sharp swallows in their swerve
flaring and hesitating
hunting for the final curve
coming closer and closer —

The swallow heart from wing beat to wing beat
counseling decision, decision:
thunderous examples. I place my feet
with care in such a world.

-William Stafford, 'The Well Rising'

May 7

"It is always sunrise somewhere..."

-John Muir

May 8

The earth is waking at the voice of May,
The new grass brightens by the trodden way,
The woods wave welcome to the sweet spring day,
And the sea is growing summer blue.

-Elizabeth A. Allen

May 9

"For unnumbered centuries of human history the wilderness has given way. The priority of industry has become dogma. Are we as yet sufficiently enlightened to realize that we must now challenge that dogma, or do without our wilderness? Do we realize that industry, which has been our good servant, might make a poor master? Let no man expect that one lone government bureau is able‹even tho it be willing‹to thrash out this question alone....Our remnants of wilderness will yield bigger values to the nation's character and health than they will to its pocketbook, and to destroy them will be to admit that the latter are the only values that interest us."

-Aldo Leopold, 1925

May 10

"Wildness is a fragile thing. Man can break it, but not make it. And we are quite capable, in our own time, of using up all the choices America will ever have between saving and spending what is left of its unmarred natural heritage..."

-David Brower
May 11

"It is not down on any map, true places never are."

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick

May 12

"Other animals do not need a purpose in life...the human animal cannot do without one. Can we not think of the aim of life as being simply to see?"

-John Gray

May 13

"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe."

-Carl Sagan

May 14

"But what pleasure it is to know that there is back county for them to retreat to, that nobody is going to push roads through that wilderness, that no RVs or trail bikes or tote goats will roar through those forests and stink up that clean air. The best thing we have learned from nearly five hundred years of contact with the American wilderness is restraint, the willingness to hold our hand: to visit such places for our souls' good, but leave no tracks."

-Wallace Stegner, Crossing Into Eden, 1989

May 15

"If we are saying that the loss of species is inherently bad-I don't think we know enough about how the world works to say that."

-Craig Manson, former assistant secretary at the Interior Department who oversees the Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act. (in Sierra, March-April 2004)

May 16

"How strange and wonderful is our home, our earth, with its swirling vaporous atmosphere, its flowing and frozen liquids, its trembling plants, its creeping, crawling, climbing creatures, the croaking things with wings that hang on rocks and soar through the fog, the furry grass, the scaly seas."

-Edward Abbey

May 17

"He that lives upon hope will die fasting."

-Benjamin Franklin

May 18

Talent is nurtured aye in solitude,
But character amid the tempests of the world.

-Goethe

May 19

"If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark."

-St. John of the Cross

May 20

"Love: A temporary insanity cured by marriage."

-Ambrose Bierce

May 21

"To be matter of fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy - and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful."

-Robert A. Heinlein

May 22

"There grewe an aged tree on the greene; A goodly Oake sometime had it bene, With armes full strong and largely displayed, But of their leaves they were disarayde The bodie bigge, and mightely pight, Thoroughly rooted, and of wond'rous hight; Whilome had bene the king of the field, And mochell mast to the husband did yielde, And with his nuts larded many swine: But now the gray mosse marred his rine; His bared boughes were beaten with stormes, His toppe was bald, and wasted with wormes, His honour decayed, his brauches sere."

-Edmund Spenser, Shepherd's Callender
May 23

"Nobody sees a flower, really. It is so small it takes time­we haven't time­and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time."

-Georgia O'Keeffe

May 24

"We must be true inside, true to ourselves, before we can know a truth that is outside us."

-Thomas Merton
May 25

“With a resolute whisper, Lobos Creek flowed past our home on its mile-long journey to the ocean. It was bordered, at times covered, with watercress and alive with minnows, tadpoles, and a variety of larvae. Water bugs skimmed the open surfaces and dragonflies darted above the streambed. In spring, flowers were rampant and fragrant. In heavy fog the creek was eerie, rippling out of nowhere and vanishing into nothingness.”

-from Ansel Adams’ 1985 autobiography. Adams grew up near Lobos Creek in the early 1900s.

May 26 "I brooded by the hour together over the map, all the details of which I well remembered. Sitting by the fire in the housekeeper's room, I approached that island, in my fancy, from every possible direction; I explored every acre of its surface; I climbed a thousand times to that tall hill they call the Spyglass, and from the top enjoyed the most wonderful and changing prospects. Sometimes the isle was thick with savages, with whom we fought; sometimes full of dangerous animals that hunted us; but in my fancies nothing occurred to me so strange and tragic as our actual adventures."
- Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island
May 27

"[I]f in a city we had six vacant lots available to the youngsters of a certain neighborhood for playing ball, it might be "development" to build houses on the first, and the second, and the third, and the fourth, and even the fifth, but when we build houses on the last one, we forget what houses are for. The sixth house would not be development at all, but rather it would be mere short-sighted stupidity. "Development" is like Shakespeare's virtue, "which grown into a pleurisy, dies of its own too-much." In objection to the dedication of the Gila as a permanent wilderness hunting ground, it has been truly said that a part of the area which would be "locked up" bears valuable stands of timber. I admit that this is true. Likewise, might our sixth lot be a corner lot, and hence very valuable for a grocery store or a filling station. I still insist it is the last lot for a needed playground, and this being the case, I am not interested in grocery stores or filling stations, of which we have a fair to middling supply elsewhere."

-Aldo Leopold, A Plea for Wilderness Hunting Grounds, Outdoor Life, November 1925

May 28

"If A Tree Falls In The Forest, And No One Is Around To Hear It, Does Climate Change?"

-anon.

May 29

“With all its eyes the natural world looks out into the Open. Only our eyes are turned backward, and surround plant, animal, child like traps, as they emerge into their freedom. We know what is really out there only from the animal’s gaze; for we take the very young child and force it around, so that it sees objects—not the Open, which is so deep in animals’ faces. Free from death. We, only, can see death; the free animal has its decline in back of it, forever, and God in front, and when it moves, it moves already in eternity, like a fountain.
Never, not for a single day, do we have before us that pure space into which flowers endlessly open. Always there is World and never Nowhere without the No: that pure unseparated element which one breathes without desire and endlessly knows….And we: spectators, always, everywhere, turned toward the world of objects, never outward. It fills us. We arrange it. It breaks down. We rearrange it, then break down ourselves.”

-Rainer Maria Rilke, “The Eighth Elegy”

May 30

Where you tend a rose, my lad,
A thistle cannot grow.

-Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

June 1

"Do not depend on the hope of results . . .you June have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect. As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results, but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself. . . .you gradually struggle less and less for an idea and more and more for specific people. . . In the end, it is the reality of personal relationship that saves everything."

-Thomas Merton

June 2

"...Firefighting's dominance over the Forest Service became apparent in 2008 as its share of the Forest Service's budget crept to almost 50 %. That's up from 17 % only 15 years ago. Firefighting costs are a cancer eating away at the Forest Service, robbing dollars from campground and trail maintenance, stream restoration, wildlife protection and every other Forest Service program. Some members of Congress wanted to solve the firefighting problem in 2008 by throwing yet more money at it. The aptly named FLAME Act (Federal Land Assistance, Management and Enhancement Act), apparently patterned after the Wall Street bail-out, proposed creation of a new slush fund that would guarantee the Forest Service unlimited access to tax dollars for firefighting purposes. This ill-conceived bill died in the Senate in 2008, only to be reintroduced early in 2009 as the Forest Service and some western state legislators seek to use the Forest Service's war on fire to justify unlimited federal spending to protect a few remote trophy homes."

-excerpt from 2008 Annual Report of Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics

June 3

"The smallest, simplest free-living cell plays a critical role in the cycling of oceanic carbon, a part that is only now becoming clear. The sheer abundance of Pelagibacter ubique means the bacterium is a major consumer of the organic carbon in the oceans, which nearly equals the amount of carbon dioxide in the entire atmosphere. As the bug consumes the dissolved carbon, it produces nutrients required by algae for growth; the algae then convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Ocean algae are responsible for producing about half the photosynthetic oxygen on the planet."

-Scientific American, December 2005

June 4

"If we do not begin to preserve them (native wildflowers), the time will come when they will become extinct and live only in history."

-Theodore Payne, 1916

June 5

"Beyond a critical point in a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. This is as true of humans in the finite space of a planetary ecosystem as it is of gas molecules in a sealed flask. The human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive."

-Frank Herbert, Dune

June 6

"Every journey has a secret destination of which the traveler is unaware."

-Martin Buber

June 7

"The greatest mystery is not that we have been flung at random between the profusion of matter and of the stars, but that within this prison we can draw from ourselves images powerful enough to deny our nothingness."

-Andre Malraux (1901-1976)

June 8

"Our children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water comes from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens."

-Wendell Berry

June 9

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things
We murder to dissect.

Enough of science and of art:
Close up these barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

-Wordsworth

June 10

The careful insect midst his works I view,
Now from the flowers exhaust the fragrant dew,
With golden treasures load his little thighs,
And steer his distant journey through the skies.

-John Gay

June 11

"Science is nothing but trained and organized common sense, differing from the latter only as a veteran may differ from a raw recruit: and its methods differ from those of common sense only as far as the guardsman's cut and thrust differ from the manner in which a savage wields his club."

-Thomas H. Huxley

June 12

"Science, or para-science, tells us that geraniums bloom better if they are spoken to. But a kind word every now and then is really quite enough. Too much attention, like too much feeding, and weeding and hoeing, inhibits and embarrasses them."

-Victoria Glendinning

June 13

"Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another."

-Juvenal

June 14

"The sonatas of Mozart are unique; they are too easy for children, and too difficult for artists."

-Arthur Schnabel

June 15

"But nature -that is, biological evolution - has not fitted man to any specific environment. On the contrary, ... he has a rather crude survival kit; and yet -this is the paradox of the human condition - one that fits him to all environments. Among the multitude of animals which scamper, fly, burrow and swim around us, man is the only one who is not locked into his environment. His imagination, his reason, his emotional subtlety and toughness, make it possible for him not to accept the environment but to change it."

-Jacob Bronowski

June 16

"As long as men are free to ask what they must; free to say what they think; free to think what they will; freedom can never be lost and science can never regress."

-J. Robert Oppenheimer

June 17

"Each succeeding generation of biologists has markedly different expectations of what is natural, because they study increasingly altered systems that bear less and less resemblance to the former, preexploitation versions."

-Paul Dayton in "Science" 1998

June 18

"The interpretations of science do not give us this intimate sense of objects as the interpretations of poetry give it; they appeal to a limited faculty, and not to the whole man. It is not Linnaeus or Cavendish or Cuvier who gives us the true sense of animals, or water, or plants, who seizes their secret for us, who makes us participate in their life; it is Shakspeare [sic]…Wordsworth…Keats…Chateaubriand…Senancour."

-Mathew Arnold (1865)

June 19

"The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds -- how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday-lives -- and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!"

-John Burroughs

June 20

"One of the indictments of civilizations is that happiness and intelligence are so rarely found in the same person."

-William Feather

June 21

Our father which art in heaven
Stay there
And we will stay on earth
Which is sometimes so pretty.

-Jacques Prevert

June 22

"What we call Man's power over Nature turns out to be a power exercised by some men over other men with Nature as its instrument."

-C. S. Lewis

June 23

Life may be short, but it is also wide.

-anon.

June 24

"Today’s children, growing up on lawns and pavements, will not even have nostalgia to guide them, and soon the animals will not only be missing, but forgotten."

-Sara Stein, Noah’s Garden

June 25

"We can do as much as we can to prevent them, but the reality is we will always have oil spills."

-Steve Edinger, Office of Oil Spill Prevention and Response

June 26

"Health is the capacity of the land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort to understand and preserve this capacity."

-Aldo Leopold

June 27

"Butterflies are self propelled flowers."

-R. H. Heinlein

June 28

"The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same."

-Carlos Castaneda

June 29

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?"

-Ernest Gaines

June 30

Any work of science, no matter what its point of departure, cannot become fully convincing until it crosses the boundary between the theoretical and the experimental: Experimentation must give way to argument, and argument must have recourse to experimentation.

-Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), The New Scientific Spirit (1934)

July 1

Just imagine
Waking up one day,
Looking out your window starting to say...
No bad smells
No smoke
No noise
No trash
No junk
No muddy waters.

Just imagine
No dead birds because of
No dead trees because of
No dead people because of
No place to play because of

Be happy!
Be safe!
And just imagine a kid
Living by the Anacostia River.

-“Anacostia River,” by El'Jay Johnson, age 8

July 2

"The wild creatures I had come to Africa to see are exhilarating in their multitudes and colors, and I imagined for a time that this glimpse of the earth’s morning might account for the anticipation that I felt, the sense of origins, of innocence and mystery, like a marvelous childhood faculty restored."

-Peter Matthiessen, The Tree Where Man Was Born

July 3

"Many people would sooner die than think. In fact they do."

-Bertrand Russell

July 4

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

-Thomas Jefferson

July 5

"Total physical and mental inertia are highly agreeable, much more so than we allow ourselves to imagine. A beach not only permits such inertia but enforces it, thus neatly eliminating all problems of guilt. It is now the only place in our overly active world that does."

-John Kenneth Galbraith, Foreword to Gloria Steinem, The Beach Book (1963)

July 6

"Fossil energy is the worst discovery man ever made, and his disruption of the carbon-oxygen cycle is the greatest of his triumphs over nature. Through thinner and thinner air we labor toward our last end, conquerors finally of even the earth chemistry that created us."

-Wallace Stegner, 1969, Conservation Equals Survival

July 7

"I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains…."

-John Muir

July 8

"Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future and crimes from society."

-Benjamin Franklin

July 9

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

-Humphrey Bogart

July 10

"One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

July 11

"It is not half so important to know as to feel when introducing a young child to the natural world."

-Rachel Carson

July 12

"In the relation of man with the animals, with the flowers, with the objects of creation, there is a great ethic, scarcely perceived as yet, which will at length break forth into light and which will be the corollary and complement to human ethics."

-Victor Hugo

July 13

"Life results from the non-random survival of randomly varying replicators."

-Richard Dawkins

July 14

"They have poisoned the Thames and killed the fish in the river. A little further development of the same wisdom and science will complete the poisoning of the air, and kill the dwellers on the banks....I almost think it is the destiny of science to exterminate the human race."

-Thomas Love Peacock, Gryll Grange, 1860

July 15

"Who will speak for Planet Earth?"

-Carl Sagan
July 16

"Nature is an endless combination and repetition of a very few laws. She hums the old well-known air through innumerable variations."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
July 17

"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring, it was peace."

-Milan Kundera

July 18

"I do not feel obliged to believe that same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended for us to forego their use."

-Galileo

July 19

"It is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatsoever for supposing it is true."

-Bertrand Russell

July 20

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."

-Mark Twain

July 21

"Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language."

-Henry James

July 22

"Let Nature be your teacher."

-William Wordsworth

July 23

I read about the evils of drinking so I gave up on reading.

-Henny Youngman

July 24

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."

-John Muir

July 25

It is not the language of painters
but the language of nature which one should listen to….
The feeling for the things themselves,
for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.

-Vincent Van Gogh

July 26

"Do not cease to drink beer, to eat, to intoxicate thyself, to make love, and to celebrate the good days."

-Ancient Egyptian Credo

July 27

"There are many other (besides testosterone) behaviour-eliciting hormones fundamental for humen well-being, including estrogen and progesterone in females. The fact that complex behavioural patterns can be triggered by a tiny concentration of moleculas coursing through the bloodstream, and that different animals of the same species generate different amounts of these hormones, is something worth thinking about when it's time to judge such matters as free will, individual responsibility, and law and order."

-Carl Sagan, "Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors"

July 28

"Another day it occurred to me that time as we know it doesn't exist in a lawn, since grass never dies or is allowed to flower and set seed. Lawns are nature purged of sex or death. No wonder Americans like them so much."

-Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991

July 29

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

-Dr. Thomas Fuller

July 30

"A man’s life should be as fresh as a river. It should be the same channel but a new water every instant."

-Thoreau

July 31

"The most effective way to connect our children to nature is to connect ourselves to nature….If children sense genuine adult enthusiasm, they’ll want to emulate that interest—even if, when they’re teenagers, they pretend to lose it."

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

August 1

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening but this wasn't it."

-Groucho Marx
August 2

"We protect the spineless. We see ourselves as equal opportunity -anything without a backbone."

-Xerces Society motto

August 3

"They who drink beer will think beer."

-Washington Irving

August 4

"France has culture but no civilization. England has civilization but no culture. The United States has neither. Canada has both."

-Robin Mathews

August 5

"Animals give me more pleasure through the viewfinder of a camera than they ever did in the crosshairs of a gunsight. And after I've finished "shooting," my unharmed victims are still around for others to enjoy. I have developed a deep respect for animals. I consider them fellow living creatures with certain rights that should not be violated any more than those of humans."

-Jimmy Stewart

August 6

"You are what you eat, so why be a vegetable. Eat someone stronger and more good looking than you are."

-The Swami from Miami

August 7

"The sojourning habit of the people [here]... is shown in their want of interest in the fixed qualities of the place. Nobody knows what the trees and plants are."

-Frederick Law Olmsted

August 8

“He respects Owl, because you can't help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn't spell it right.”

-A. A. Milne

August 9

"The physicist is the atom's way of knowing about atoms."

-George Wald

August 10

“Alone and warming his five wits, the white owl in the belfry sits.”

-Tennyson

August 11

"My ancestors were Puritans from England. They arrived in the United States in the hope of finding greater restrictions than were permissible under the English law at the time."

-Garrison Keillor

August 12

"If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in."

-Rachel Louise Carson

August 13

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain.

-Thomas Gray
August 14

"You reached for that honey pot, and you got stung."

-Harold A. Ackerman

August 15

"The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to emotionally comprehend the exponential function."

-Edward Teller

August 16

"Teaching children about the natural world should be treated as one of the most important events in their lives."

-Thomas Berry

August 17

"We are healthy only to the extent that our ideas are humane"

-Kilgore Trout

August 18

"Never knock on Death's door: ring the bell and run away! Death really hates that!"

-Matt Frewer

August 19

Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement = 1 bananosecond.

-anon.

August 20

The ants toil for no Master
Sufficient to their Need
The daily commerce of the Nest
The storage of their Seed
They meet-and exchange Messages-
But none to none-bows down
They-like God's thoughts-speak each to each-
Without-external-crown.

- A. S. Byatt, Possession

August 21

The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.

-Ryokan

August 22

"The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature, and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As long as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles."

-Anne Frank

August 23

"Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything."

-Francis Bacon

August 24

"The rule is perfect: in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane."

-Mark Twain

August 25

"Science can lead to truth; only the imagination can lead you towards meaning."

-C. S. Lewis

August 26

"The formation of different languages and of distinct species and the proofs that both have been developed through a gradual process, are curiously parallel."

-Charles Darwin

August 27

O, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines,
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools and the learned clan;
For what are they all, in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet?

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

August 28

"Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there."

-E. H. Gombrich

August 29

"Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers."

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

August 30

"You don't get anything clean without getting something else dirty."

-Cecil Baxter

August 31

"I bought some batteries, but they weren't included."

-Steven Wright

September 1

"[Nature] is the only place where miracles not only happen, but happen all the time."

-Thomas Wolfe

September 2

"Every green natural place we save saves a fragment of our sanity and gives us a little more hope that we have a future."

-Wallace Stegner

September 3

"All through Autumn we hear a double voice: one says everything is ripe; the other says everything is dying. The paradox is exquisite. We feel what the Japanese call “aware”—an almost untranslatable word meaning something like “beauty tinged with sadness.” Some days we have to shoulder against a marauding melancholy."

-Gretel Ehrlich, The Solace of Open Spaces

September 4

"Many thanks for sending me the book Biology of the Striped Skunk…Frankly, I doubt whether I shall read it or not, unless I happen to have some intimate contact with a skunk which may induce me to learn more about him."

-Roger Adams, undated letter to a member of the Natural History Survey

September 5

"… we have not merely escaped from something but also into something…we have joined the greatest of all communities, which is not that of man alone but of everything which shares with us the great adventure of being alive."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

September 6

"The bent of our time is towards science, towards knowing things as they are…"

-Mathew Arnold, On the Study of Celtic Literature (1867)

September 7

"I have come across among the scientists and curators that the right way to die is slumped in front of the microscope at an extremely old age. In the right hand the quill pen will just have scratched out the last description of a huge and complex group of organisms. The old boy or girl will have a vague smile upon that wrinkled but deeply distinguished face: a job well done."

-Richard Fortey, Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum

September 8

Colorado Stratification
Layer by layer
History revealed--
Hungry river writes exposé!

-Ernest A. Peterson

September 9

"1977's Empire of the Ants acknowledges the human susceptibility to pheromonic influence:  "Giant ants...use pheromones to enslave the local human population and to compel the humans to operate a sugar factory for them."  In Florida, this same phenomenon is called agribusiness."

-Steve Mirsky in Scientific American, October 2004

September 10

"Both science and art are primarily spiritual activities, whatever practical applications may be derived from their results. Disorder, lack of meaning, are spiritual not physical discomforts, order and sense spiritual not physical satisfactions."

-Wystan Hugh Auden, The Dyer’s Hand and Other Essays (1965)

September 11

"A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are for. Sail out to sea and do new things."

-Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

September 12

"The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a machine."

-Sir James Jeans (1877-1946)

September 13

“’Hello, Rabbit,’ he said. ‘Is that you?’
‘Let’s pretend it isn’t,’ said Rabbit, ‘and see what happens.’”

-A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

September 14

"We have nothing to fear but sanity itself."

-Robin Williams

September 15 "Reality is just a crutch for people who can’t deal with drugs."

-Lily Tomlin

September 16

"It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge."

-Enrico Fermi

September 17

"The wilderness is not a reservoir of resources to be exploited, it is the geography of hope."

-Wallace Stegner

September 18

"Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life."

-Rachel Carson

September 19

"In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such."

-Aldo Leopold

September 20

"One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast... a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it's still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for awhile and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: You will outlive the bastards."

-Edward Abbey

September 21

"Eventually, most of us figure out that it’s people, not nature, who create morality, values, ethics—and even the idea that nature itself is something worth preserving. We choose to be shepherds and stewards, or we don’t. We will live wisely—preserving water and air and everything else intrinsic to the equations we’re only beginning to understand—or we won’t, in which case Nature will fill the vacuum we leave. She is exquisite, and utterly indifferent."

-Seth Norman

September 22

"Looking eastward from the summit of Pacheco Pass one shining morning, I found before me a landscape....that after all my wanderings still appears as the most beautiful I have ever beheld. At my feet lay the Great Central Valley of California, level and flowery, like a lake of pure sunshine, forty or fifty miles wide, five hundred miles long, one rich furred garden of yellow compositae. And from the eastern boundary of this vast golden flower-bed rose the mighty Sierra, miles in height, and so gloriously colored and so radiant, it seemed not clothed with light, but wholly composed of it, like the wall of some celestial city. Along the top and extending a good way down was a rich pearly-gray belt of snow; below it a belt of blue and dark purple, marking the extension of the forests; and strtetching along the base of the range a broad belt of rose-purple; all these colors, from the blue sky to the yellow valley, smoothly blending as they do in a rainbow, making a wall of light ineffably fine..."

-John Muir, April 1868

September 23

I didn't know the names
of the flowers - now
my garden is gone.

-Allen Ginsberg

September 24 "First, they destroyed the Carolina parakeet, and I did not speak out because I was not a Carolina parakeet. Next, the Florida red wolf was made extinct, and I said nothing because I am homo sapiens, not Canis rufus floridanus. Then they took the habitat of the silver trout, the Santa Barbara song sparrow, and the Wisconsin cougar, but I inhabited elsewhere and had no concern and did not get involved. 
Then my environment began to deteriorate and decay - and there were no other species to whom I could look for protection."
-Adapted by Judge Fred Biery
September 25

"Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it."

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

September 26

Insects have their own point of view about civilization
A man thinks he amounts to a great deal
But to a flea or a mosquito
A human being is merely something good to eat

-Don Marquis, Archy and Mehitabel (1927)

September 27

Books to the ceiling,
Books to the sky,
My pile of books is a mile high.
How I love them! How I need them!
I'll have a long beard by the time I read them.

-Arnold Lobel

September 28

"A witty saying proves nothing."

-Voltaire

September 29

"For the environmental movement, an opportunity arises to appeal to more than the usual constituencies, to go beyond utilitarian arguments to a more spiritual motivation: conservation is, at its core, a spiritual act."

-Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods

September 30

"When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion."

-Abraham Lincoln

October 1

"I cannot think of a more tasteless undertaking than to plant trees in a naturally treeless area, and to impose an interpretation of natural beauty on a great landscape that is charged with beauty and wonder, and the excellence of eternity."

-Ansel Adams

October 2

"Streets abandoned by traffic become grass-grown like rural lanes and are obliterated.  Forests decay, harvests perish, flowers vanish, but grass is immortal."

-John James Ingalls, 1827

October 3

"There’s an elegiac quality in watching [American wilderness] go, because it’s own myth, the American frontier, that’s deteriorating before our eyes. I feel a deep sorrow that my kids will never get to see what I’ve seen, and their kids will see nothing; there’s a deep sadness whenever I look at nature now."

-Peter Matthiessen

October 4

"Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns."

-George Eliot

October 5

"The American attitude toward the environment has been shaped by the Biblical edict to ‘subdue the Earth.’ But we believe that God gave us the responsibility to care for the land, not subdue it, that we are only visitors on the land, and that we need to pass it on with care."

-Henry Bierlink, Director of Concerned Christian Citizens

October 6

"The groups working on molecular biology and theoretical ecology have been highly successful within their own circles and have branched into many specialties. These specialists have produced many breakthroughs important to those respective fields. However..this reductionist approach has contributed rather little toward actual solutions for the increasingly severe global realities of declining populations, extinctions, or habitat loss…We must reinstate natural science courses in all our academic institutions to insure that students experience nature first-hand and are instructed in the fundamentals of the natural sciences."

- Paul Dayton

October 7 "Earthquakes don't kill people," joke seismologists, "buildings do."
October 8

"It would be understandable for some people to hear the language of dominion and see it as causal of a rapacious attitude. But human beings didn’t need scripture to rape the natural world. Yes, it’s important to think in terms of stewardship instead of domination, but I have always made the point that given the power of human agency over nature now, we have dominion whether we like it or not."

-Paul Gorman, founder and director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment

October 9

A Song of the good green grass!
A song no more of the city streets;
A song of farms - a song of the soil of fields.
A song with the smell of sun-dried hay,
where the nimble pitchers handle the pitch-fork;
A song tasting of new wheat, and of fresh-husk'd maize.

-Walt Whitman

October 10

"Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."

-Matthew 18:3

October 11

"The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land. This sounds simple: do we not already sing our love for and obligation to the land of the free and the home of the brave? Yes, but just what and whom do we love? Certainly not the soil, which we are sending helter-skelter downriver. Certainly not the waters, which we assume have no function except to turn turbines, float barges, and carry off sewage. Certainly not the plants, of which we exterminate whole communities without batting an eye. Certainly not the animals, of which we have already extirpated many of the largest and most beautiful species. A land ethic of course cannot prevent the alteration, management, and use of these 'resources,' but it does affirm their right to continued existence, and, at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, 1948
October 12

"Adventure is just bad planning."

-Roald Amundsen

October 13

Editors:  In the February 2006 News Scan section, you expressed surprise that the Dalai Lama would favor science if it came to a conflict with his Buddhist beliefs.  This goes to the very heart of Buddhist philosophy, which insists that you don't accept anything on faith, but base your beliefs on your own experience.  In fact, Buddhists don't speak of 'faith', they speak of 'confidence'.  The Zen, typically, express this irreverently:  "If, while on the Path you meet the Buddha, kill him"; ie, don't trust someone who wants you to believe something you can't verify, just because it comes from someone who purports to be the Buddha.  Buddhism, at bottom, is not a belief system and is a natural ally of science.

-Jake Sigg, San Francisco, California

October 14

"The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men."

-Leonardo Da Vinci

October 15

"To pretend, I actually do the thing: I have therefore only pretended to pretend."

-Jacques Derrida

October 16

"The known is finite, the unknown infinite. Intellectually we stand on an islet in the midst of an illimitable ocean of inexplicability. Our business in every generation is to reclaim a little more land."

-T. H. Huxley, 1887

October 17

"Civilization exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice."

-Will Durant

October 18

“Nature teaches more than she preaches. There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.”

-John Burroughs

October 19

“The annual federal firefighting budget is threatening to top $2 billion by 2009. Each year this figure grows, as does the number of homes built in the wildland-urban interface.”

-Forest magazine, Spring 2008

October 20

"Every time a child says 'I don't believe in fairies,' there is a little fairy somewhere that falls down dead."

-James Matthew Barrie

October 21

To change your life;
­Start immediately
­Do it flamboyantly
­No exceptions

-William James

October 22

“What we need is a complete overhaul of assumptions about human nature. Too many economists and politicians model human society on the perpetual struggle they believe exists in nature, but which is a mere projection. Like magicians, they first throw their ideological prejudices into the hat of nature, then pull them out by their very ears to show how much nature agrees with them. It’s a trick for which we have fallen for too long. Obviously, competition is part of the picture, but humans can’t live by competition alone.”

-Frans de Waal , The Age of Empathy:  Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society

October 23

Eye of newt and toe of frog,
Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
Adder's fork and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg and owlet's wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

-William Shakespeare

October 24

"It is a profitable thing, if one is wise, to seem foolish."

-Aeschylus

October 25

"As an evolutionary biologist, I have learned over the years that most people do not want to see themselves as lumbering robots programmed to ensure the survival of their genes. I don't think they will want to see themselves as digital computers either. To be told by someone with impeccable scientific credentials that they are nothing of the kind can only be pleasing."

-John Maynard Smith

October 26

"Actually, there is a sense in which polygynous marriage has not been the historical norm - even where polygyny is permitted, multiple wives are generally reserved for a relatively few men who can afford them or qualify via formal rank. For eons and eons, most marriages have been monogamous, even though most societies haven't been."

-Robert Wright, "The Moral Animal"

October 27

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth.  He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.
He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it.
He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind.

-N. Scott Momaday

October 28

"The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself."

-James Thurber

October 29

"...the greatest beauty is organic wholeness, the wholeness of life and things, the divine beauty of the universe. Love that, not man apart from that..."

-Robinson Jeffers

October 30

"To our engineers this flora is merely weeds and brush; they ply it with grader and mower. Through processes of plant succession predictable by any botanist, the prairie garden becomes a refuge for quack grass. After the garden is gone, the highway department employs landscapers to dot the quack with elms, and with artistic clumps of Scotch pine, Japanese barberry, and Spiraea. Conservation committees enroute to some important convention whiz by and applaud this zeal for roadside beauty."

-Aldo Leopold, 1949

October 31

"He will kill mice and he will be kind to Babies when he is in the house, just as long as they do not pull his tail too hard. But when he has done that, and between times, and when the moon gets up and night comes, he is the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to him. Then he goes out to the Wet Wild Woods or up the Wet Wild Trees or on the Wet Wild Roofs, waving his wild tail and walking by his wild lone."

-Rudyard Kipling, The Cat That Walked by Himself

November 1

"Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul."

-Edward Abbey

November 2

"If visitors ask for it to be served, we will dissuade them." Xiong Yumei, deputy director of the Beijing Tourism Bureau, referring to the city's ban on Olympic-designated restaurants serving dog-meat, a common dish. Other restaurants can keep dog on the menu if they insist, but have been advised to drop it.

-The Economist, 19 July 2008

November 3

"It is vain to do with more what can be done with fewer."

-William of Ockham

November 4

"To the wise, therefore, a fact is true poetry, and the most beautiful of fables."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

November 5

There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and freshness of a dream.

-Wordsworth, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood”

November 6

"There is an old Pawnee notion that when you are in your thirties and forties you are “on top.” The idea is that at this age you can view grandly, the fhe fullness of your strength, both the uphill struggle of youth and the downhill slide of age."

-Annie Dillard, Teaching A Stone to Talk

November 7

"I want to have children and I know my time is running out: I want to have them while my parents are still young enough to take care of them."

-Rita Rudner

November 8

"The race of mankind would perish did they cease to aid each other. We cannot exist without mutual help. All therefore that need aid have a right to ask it from their fellow-men; and no one who has the power of granting can refuse it without guilt."

-Walter Scott

November 9

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."

-George Orwell

November 10

"Last night I stayed up late playing poker with Tarot cards. I got a full house and four people died."

-Steven Wright

November 11

"Invasive species issues are the most important issues in the universe. The known universe--there may be something big going on in Alpha Centauri we haven't figured out, but...It took 257 million years for us to evolve five continents' worth of diversity. It will take a few hundred years to lose that.

-Dan Gluesenkamp, "Non-Invasive Ways to do Holidays in Hawaii"
November 12

"Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

November 13

“Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph.”

-Ansel Adams

November 14

"Near by is the graceful loop of an old dry creek bed. The new creek bed is ditched straight as a ruler; it has been ‘uncurled’ by the county engineer to hurry the run-off. On the hill in the background are contoured strip-crops; they have been ‘curled’ by the erosion engineer to retard the run-off. The water must be confused by so much advice."

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

November 15

"Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something."

-Henry David Thoreau

November 16

"I am about to die and am not afraid to die. I thank you for your attention and I pray you to take no more trouble for me. Let me go quietly, I cannot last long."

-George Washington’s dying words

November 17

"To cherish what remains of the Earth and to foster its renewal is our only legitimate hope of survival."

-Wendell Berry

November 18

"Go to the ant thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise."

-Proverbs 6:6

November 19

"Science is facts; just as houses are made of stones, so is science made of facts; but a pile of stones is not a house and a collection of facts is not necessarily science."

-Henri Poincaire

November 20

"I adore simple pleasures, they are the last refuge of the complex."

-Oscar Wilde

November 21

"If we eat hamburgers for a thousand years, we will become blond. And when we become blond we can conquer the world."

-Den Fujita, chief of McDonald’s Japanese operations

November 22

"There is an incomparable day that comes once a year on the bay. It arrives not according to any man-made calendar, but like the date of Easter is determined by what happens in the sky. Like Easter, too, it is a day of awakening, but it comes always in the fall of the year. It is the first clear day after the first rain.
One morning the rains are gone; the mists are washed away; and with a sudden crescendo the bay is brilliant with new life. The wind is sharp and cold; the air sparkles like burnished glass; the bay radiates with an intensity of light not seen since winter. The cliffs and rocks of the Golden Gate are fringed with white breakers, and the light glitters and dances across the cobalt surface, flecked with whitecaps like coconut on a cake.
All the bay seems to sing in the morning light, in the sharp invigorating radiance of this superlative moment of the year. Around its shores three million people are going to work, feeling in their pulses the quickening splendor of this shining day."

-Harold Gilliam, San Francisco Bay, 1957

November 23

"Gold, n.: A soft malleable metal relatively scarce in distribution. It is mined deep in the earth by poor men who then give it to rich men who immediately bury it back in the earth in great prisons, although gold hasn't done anything to them."

-Mike Harding

November 24

"Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them, the rest of us could not succeed..."

-Mark Twain

November 25

"The frog does not drink up the pond in which it lives."

-American Indian Proverb

November 26

"I think that the dying pray at the last not ‘please,’ but ‘thank you,’ as a guest thanks his host at the door."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

November 27

"Whatever we can do as individuals to change the way we live at this suddenly very late date does seem utterly inadequate to the challenge. It’s hard to argue with Michael Specter, in a recent New Yorker piece on carbon footprints, when he says: “Personal choices, no matter how virtuous [N.B.!], cannot do enough. It will also take laws and money.” So it will. Yet it is no less accurate or hardheaded to say that laws and money cannot do enough, either; that it will also take profound changes in the way we live. Why? Because the climate-change crisis is at its very bottom a crisis of lifestyle — of character, even. The Big Problem is nothing more or less than the sum total of countless little everyday choices, most of them made by us (consumer spending represents 70 percent of our economy), and most of the rest of them made in the name of our needs and desires and preferences."

-Michael Pollan

November 28

"We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy."

-Wallace Stegner

November 29

"...Of the millions of insect species that inhabit our planet, only a tiny fraction, far less than 1%, have been studied chemically.  Our chemical ignorance of insects, and of invertebrates in general, has practical implications.  Invertebrates are largely ignored in searches for chemicals of use, such as medicinals.
In our very limited studies at Cornell University, we have discovered cardiotonic substances in fireflies, sedatives in millipedes, and hormone analogs in carrion beetles.  There is no telling what molecules or molecular processes might be uncovered if invertebrates were to be screened as intensely for chemicals as microorganisms and plants are.  Truly frightening is the prospect that so many potentially useful chemicals from invertebrates will vanish as a consequence of species extinction before they have been discovered...."

-Thomas Eisner, 'Insects:  The Master Chemists' in the Winter 1992 issue of Wings, journal of the Xerces Society

November 30

"Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her, and powerless to separate ourselves from her, and powerless to penetrate beyond her...We live in her midst and know her not. She is incessantly speaking to us, but betrays not her secrets...The spectacle of nature is always new, for she is always renewing the spectators"

-Goethe

December 1

"Over the past 12 years I have learned that a tree needs space to grow, that coyotes sing down by the creek in January, that I can drive a nail into oak only when it is green, that bees know more about making honey than I do, that love can become sadness, and that there are more questions than answers."

-Sue Hubbell, A Country Year

December 2

"My wish, indeed my continuing passion, would be not to point the finger in judgment but to part a curtain, that invisible shadow that falls between people, the veil of indifference to each other's presence, each other's wonder, each other's human plight."

-Eudora Welty

December 3

"Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

-President Barack Obama, Remarks to the United Nations General Assembly, September 23, 2009

December 4

The light was what it was all about
I would not go in till the light went out
It would not go out till I came in.

-Robert Frost

December 5

"You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers…a certain free margin…helps your enjoyment of these things."

-Walt Whitman, Specimen Days

December 6

The sedge is withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.

-Keats

December 7

On the ragged edge of the world
I’ll roam.
And the home of the wolf
Will be my home.

-Robert N. Service

December 8

"Exit, pursued by a bear."

-William Shakespeare (1564-1616), Stage direction in "The Winter's Tale"

December 9

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."

-Ghandi

December 10

"Without a sound formation on natural history, we risk producing narrow-minded ecologists. Naturalists are closer to poets than to engineers, and it is the intuition based on first-hand experience and common sense that produces the better leaps of thought."

-Paul Dayton and Enric Sala

December 11

"It is well that war is so terrible, or we would get too fond of it."

-Robert E. Lee

December 12

"The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

December 13

"One knows so well the popular idea of health. The English country-gentleman galloping after a fox‹the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable."

-Oscar Wilde

December 14

The mountain burned black
in mourning around the stony offspring
of a planet's fiery skull --

But, do not worry in the dinge,
for, charred roots now sprout
in secret midnight moisturing fogs,
uncounted seeds are stirring beneath these ashes,
tender in the crumbled crust.
And still the creekbeds waver
in a silent heat
with cicadas and beetle,
frogs, slugs and snakes,
hidden hearts still beating
toward the seeping of springs.

And deeper in the dead scrub, a tiny river
bubbling down the loam's silence
between still burning waxmyrtle roots,
pulsing under fire rotting wood,
coursing new little worts, mosses and lichens.

Febrilating canyons beat
in league with the flickering flame of stars
and back into all beginnings--
Spreading all voiceless shadows
up the ridges and down
into the night's renewal.
Across all the perched crags of death,
humble bearers of the dirt's birth.

-David Schooley, “Aftermath” 8/08

December 15

"Dirac politely refused Robert’s [Robert Oppenheimer's] two proffered books: reading books, the Cambridge theoretician announced gravely, ‘interfered with thought’."

-Luis W. Alvarez, Alvarez: Adventures of a Physicist (1987), 87

December 16

"There is nothing useless in nature; not even uselessness itself."

-Montaigne

December 17

"For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us who, in a city, are always aware of the abused and abased earth below the pavement, walking on grass, watching the flight of birds, or finding the first spring dandelion are rights as old and unalienable as the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We belong to no cult. We are not Nature Lovers. We don’t love nature any more than we love breathing. Nature is simply something indispensable, like air and light and water, that we accept as necessary to living, and the nearer we can get to it the happier we are."

-Louise Dickenson Rich

December 18

"There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance."

-Socrates

December 19

"Perpetual devotion to what a man calls his business, is only to be sustained by perpetual neglect of many other things."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

December 20

Sam: "What do you know there, Norm?"
Norm: "How to sit. How to drink. Want to quiz me?"

-Cheers

December 21

"She had lost the art of conversation but not, unfortunately, the power of speech."

-George Bernard Shaw

December 22

"Since Britain lies far north toward the pole, the nights are short in summer, and at midnight it is hard to tell whether the evening twilight still lingers or whether dawn is approaching, since the sun at night passes not far below the earth in its journey round the north back to the east. Consequently the days are long in summer, as are the nights in winter when the sun withdraws into African regions."

-Bede, English monk/scholar
December 23

"A scoundrel’s worst fear is a society without money: for in such a society he would only get the respect he deserves."

-Benjamin Franklin

December 24

"When I heated my home with oil, I used an average of 800 gallons a year. I have found that I can keep comfortably warm for an entire winter with slightly over half that quantity of beer."

-Dave Barry

December 25

"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God..."

-Walt Whitman

December 26

"My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed. I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world."

-Adrienne Rich

December 27

"Fata Viam Invenient"
(Fate will find a way)

-Virgil, The Aeneid

December 28

"When men come to like a sea-life, they are not fit to live on land."

-Samuel Johnson

December 29

"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people."

-Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from Birmingham Jail" (1963)

December 30

"As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this."

-Paul Robeson

December 31

"It’s sometimes harder to be a good man than it is to be a great man."

-Jack Kodiak

2010
January 1

"The problem of restoring to the world original and eternal beauty, is solved by the redemption of the soul. The ruin or the blank, that we see when we look at nature, is in our own eye. The axis of vision is not coincident with the axis of things, and so they appear not transparent but opake. The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself. He cannot be a naturalist, until he satisfies all the demands of the spirit. Love is as much its demand, as perception. Indeed, neither can be perfect without the other. In the uttermost meaning of the words, thought is devout, and devotion is thought. Deeps calls unto deep. But in actual life, the marriage is not celebrated. There are innocent men who worship God after the tradition of their fathers, but their sense of duty has not yet extended to the use of all their faculties. And there are patient naturalists, but they freeze their subject under the wintry light of the understanding. Is not prayer also a study of truth, --a sally of the soul into the unfound infinite? No man ever prayed heartily, without learning something. But when a faithful thinker, resolute to detach every object from personal relations, and see it in the light of thought, shall, at the same time, kindle science with the fire of the holiest affections, then will God go forth anew into the creation."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

January 2

"Human beings, because we’re so clever, have removed every single one of those [population] limiting factors…. So nothing controls our increase in numbers except our own wish. Since I first started making television programs, the population of the world has increased four three times. That’s an extraordinary notion. Can it increase four times? Can it increase five times? The Earth is a finite size. So a point will eventually come when we run out of food, when we run out of space and when we will have destroyed most of the natural world. So ought we to do something about it before it happens?"

-David Attenborough, speaking on September 24 2009 during the Society for Vertebrate Paleontology’s annual meeting

January 3

"I had no idea there was so much going on in Heywood’s meadow."

-Thoreau

January 4

"If not checked many of our current practices put at serious risk the future that we wish for human society and the plant and animal kingdoms,and may so alter the living world that it will be unable to sustain life in the manner that we know."

-Union of Concerned Scientists
January 5

The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.

-Sam Walter Foss

January 6

"Just as nature abhors a vacuum, the mind abhors randomness. Automatically we see pictures in the stars above us; we hear voices in the white noise of a river, music in the wind. As naturally as beavers build dams and spiders spin webs, people draw maps, in the sky and in the sand."

-George Johnson, Fire in the Mind (1995)

January 7

"I am convinced that man has suffered in his separation from the soil and from the other living creatures of the world; the evolution of his intellect has outrun his needs as an animal, and as yet he must still, for security, look long at some portion of the earth as it was before he tampered with it."

-Gavin Maxwell

January 8

"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer."

-Frank Zappa

January 9

"Indeed, a teeming bay, a-hum with the music of a thousand flying Scoters, is an orchestra in itself and needs no help of wind or wave to write its score upon the ear."

-William Leon Dawson

January 10

"Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking."

-Goethe

January 11

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”

-Winnie the Pooh

January 12

"I decided that my means were sufficient to enable me to devote myself to botany, a determination which I never, during the long period of my subsequent career, had on any occasion any reason to repent of."

-George Bentham

January 13

"The fate of individual human beings may not now be connected in a deep way with the rest of the universe, but the matter out of which each of us is made is intimately tied to processes that occurred immense intervals of time and enormous distances in space a way from us. Our Sun is a second or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star stuff."

-Carl Sagan, The Cosmic Connection: an Extraterrestrial Perspective, 1973

January 14

"Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty - a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture."

-Bertrand Russell

January 15

"Support your right to arm bears."

-Cleveland Amory

January 16

"It is, I find, in zoology as it is in botany: all nature is so full, that that district produces the greatest variety which is the most examined."

-Gilbert White

January 17

"The game of history is usually played by the best and the worst over the heads of the majority in the middle."

-Eric Hoffer

January 18

"Segregation is the adultery of an illicit intercourse between injustice and immorality."

-Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19

“Every animal knows more than you do.”

-Native American Proverb (Nez Perce)

January 20 “Those who claim to care about the well-being of human beings and the preservation of our environment should become vegetarians for that reason alone. They would thereby increase the amount of grain available to feed people elsewhere, reduce pollution, save water and energy, and cease contributing to the clearing of forests.”
“When non-vegetarians say that ‘human problems come first’ I cannot help wondering what exactly it is that they are doing for human beings that compels them to continue to support the wasteful, ruthless exploitation of farm animals.”
-Peter Singer, Animal Liberation
January 21

"The wish to believe, even against evidence, fuels all the pseudosciences from astrology to creationism."

-Isaac Asimov

January 22

"When our philosophers are asked what is the use of these countless myriads of fixed stars, of which a small part would be sufficient to do what they all do, they coolly tell us that they are made to give delight to their eyes."

-Bernard Le Bovier Sieur de Fontenelle, French philosopher (1657-1757)

January 23

"Nature is trying very hard to make us succeed, but nature does not depend on us. We are not the only experiment."

-R. Buckminster Fuller

January 24

"All Nature is but Art, unknown to thee."

-Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Man" in Four Epistles

January 25

"They are slaves who fear to speak For the helpless and the weak."

-James Russell Lowel

January 26

"The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young."

-Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

January 27

"The destruction of the forest is the beginning of the end of our world."

-O. R. Melling, The Light-Bearer's Daughter
January 28

"All cold-blooded animals...spend an unexpectedly large proportion of their time doing nothing at all, or at any rate nothing in particular."

-Charles Elton

January 29

“We do not float above the biosphere in some higher spiritual or technoscientific plane.  Life swarms around us, and even in us…For many reasons, not least our own well-being, we need to take better care of the rest of life.  Biodiversity…will pay off in every sphere of human life, from medical to economic, from our collective security to our spiritual fulfillment.”

-Edward O. Wilson, in foreword to Sustaining Life:  How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity
January 30

"This is one little episode in the funeral of the native flora, which in turn is one episode in the funeral of the floras of the world. Mechanized man, oblivious of floras, is proud of his progress in cleaning up the landscape on which, willy-nilly, he must live out his days. It might be wise to prohibit at once all teaching of real botany and real history, lest some future citizen suffer qualms about the floristic price of his good life."

-Leopold, Aldo, A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, 1948

January 31

"He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something."

-anon.

February 1

"Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a good shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree-and there will be one.
If his back be strong and his shovel sharp, there may eventually be ten thousand. And in the seventh year he may lean upon his shovel, and look upon his trees, and find them good.
God passed on his handiwork as early as the seventh day, but I notice He has since been rather noncommittal about its merits. I gather either that He spoke too soon, or that trees stand more looking upon than do fig leaves and firmaments."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, 1948
February 2

"Volunteers are the backbone, heart, and soul of the restoration movement. And whatever the eventual results of their labors may be, working to revive damaged ecosystems is transforming and strengthening their relationship with the rest of nature."

-William K. Stevens, Miracle Under the Oaks

February 3 St. Swithin’s Day, if it does rain
Full forty days, it will remain
St. Swithin’s Day, if it be fair
For forty days, t'will rain no more.
February 4

"You will need three or four days to follow it out. The last part will be on foot. Prepare for this. Prepare for the impact of nothing. Get on the regimen of tea and biscuits and dried fruit. On the third or fourth day, when you are ready to quit, you will know you are on your way. When your throat is so thick with dust that you cannot breathe you will be almost halfway there. When the soles of your feet go numb with the burning and you cannot walk you will know that you have made no wrong turns. When you can no longer laugh at all it is only a little further. Push on.
It will not be as easy as it sounds. When you have walked miles to the head of a box canyon and find yourself with no climbing rope, no pitons, no one to belay you, you are going to have to improvise. When the dust chews a hole in your canteen and sucks it dry without a sound you will have to sit down and study the land for a place to dig for water. When you wake in the morning and find a rattlesnake has curled up on your chest to take advantage of your warmth you will have to move quickly or wait out the sun's heat."

-Barry Holstun Lopez, Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven

February 5

“There is nothing more practical in the end than the preservation of beauty.”

-President Teddy Roosevelt, on visiting the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains

February 6

"We are a remnant people in a remnant country. We have used up the possibilities inherent in the youth of our nation; the new start in a new place with new vision and new hope….We have come, or are coming fast, to the end of what we were given."

-Wendell Berry

February 7

"The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and a little child shall lead them."

-Isaiah

February 8

"It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously."

-Peter Ustinov

February 9

"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later."

-Mitch Hedberg

February 10

"Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come."

-Chinese proverb

February 11

"Scenes de Ballet came about thanks to a commission from a surprising source, the impresario Billy Rose (most famous for Carmen Jones, Ziegfeld Follies/Diamond Horseshoe--whose spectacles relied heavily upon scantily clad, statuesque show girls), who decided in 1944 to risk a plunge into the world of high culture with a revue called The Seven Lively Arts. For a dance number featuring Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, he wanted a score by Stravinsky. Rose liked the score when it was played to him on the piano, but Stravinsky's orchestral style bothered him and this led to a famous telegraphic exchange. After the first preview in Philadelphia, Rose sent Stravinsky a message assuring him his score had been a "great success...but could be sensational success if you would authorize Robert Russell Bennett retouch orchestration." Stravinsky's reply:  "Satisfied with great success."

-Michael Steinberg

February 12

"Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the chemist's, but that's just peanuts to space."

-Douglas Adams

February 13

"But what is the difference between literature and journalism?
...Journalism is unreadable and literature is not read. That is all."

-Oscar Wilde

February 14

"Give me chastity and abstinence, O Lord, but not today."

-St. Augustine, Confessions, 397­401

February 15

“When choosing between two evils, I always take the one I’ve never tried before.”

-Mae West, Klondike Annie

February 16

"If you are going to change the world, you must change the metaphors."

-Joseph Campbell

February 17

"Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 18

"A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer."

-Robert Frost

February 19

For myself I hold no preferences among flowers,
so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
Bricks to all greenhouses!
Black thumb and cutworm to the potted plant!

-Edward Abbey

February 20

"On a February morning, when a weather front is moving in off the Pacific but has not quite arrived, and the winds are changeable and gusty and clouds drive over and an occasional flurry of fine rain darkens the terrace bricks, this place conforms to none of the cliches about California with which they advertise the Sunshine Cities for the Sunset Years."

-Wallace Stegner, The Spectator Bird

February 21

"The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future."

-Gifford Pinchot, first chief of the U.S. Forest Service

February 22

"The most powerful weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."

-Steve Biko as quoted by Noam Chomsky

February 23

"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job."

-Phil Angell, Monsanto’s Director of Corporate Communications, New York Times, October 25, 1998

February 24

"The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

-Thomas Jefferson

February 25

"I am not an atheist but an earthiest. Be true to the earth."

-Edward Abbey

February 26

"Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself."

-Erich Fromm, "Man for Himself"

February 27

"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 28

"The land was very green and flower-strewn,"

-Pedro Font notes in a 1776 diary entry describing fields near the Los Angeles River where the city's Civic Center stands today

March 1

"The heart of the hills is full of laughter."

-Charles de Lint, Svaha

March 2

"Though time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like an apple."

-unknown

March 3

"One world at a time."

-Thoreau

March 4

Rarely, rarely comest thou
Spirit of Delight

-Shelley

March 5

"Our coast is one of the few places on the planet where these apex marine predators remain relatively abundant--other regions include the waters off Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, and Mexico's Guadalupe Island. Spectacular white shark attacks on elephant seals and other pinnipeds (seals and sea lions) in our waters are logged each year at the Farallon Islands and Ano Nuevo Island, and attacks on humans occur with some frequency."

-Glen Martin, in Bay Nature magazine

March 6

"The things we know best are the things we haven't been taught."

-Marquis de Vauvenargues

March 7

"You gotta have a swine to show you where the truffles are."

-Edward Albee in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

March 8

"In the middle of everything is the sun. For in this most beautiful temple, who would place this lamp in another or better position than that from which it can light up the whole thing at the same time? For, the sun is not inappropriately called by some the lantern of the universe, by others, its mind, and its ruler by others still…Thus indeed, as though seated on a royal throne, the sun rules the family of planets revolving around it."

-Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543)

March 9

"Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don't give up."

-Anne Lamott

March 10

"I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by."

-Douglas Adams

March 11

"I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me."

-Dave Barry

March 12

"To be willing to die for an idea is to set a rather high price on conjecture."

-Anatole France

March 13

"The rocks shape life like hands around swelling dough. In Virginia, the salamanders vary from mountain ridge to mountain ridge; so do the fiddle tunes the old men play. All this is because it is hard to move from mountain to mountain. These are not merely anomalous details. This is what life is all about: salamanders, fiddle tunes, you and me and things, the split and burr of it all, the fizz into particulars. No mountains and one salamander, one fiddle tune, would be a lesser world. No continents, no fiddlers. No possum, no sop, no taters. The earth, without form, is void."

-Annie Dillard, Teaching A Stone To Talk

March 14

"All scientists know of colleagues whose minds are so well equipped with the means of refutation that no new idea has the temerity to seek admittance. Their contribution to science is accordingly very small."

-Peter Medawar

March 15

"It is certain that the real function of art is to increase our self-consciousness; to make us more aware of what we are, and therefore of what the universe in which we live really is. And since mathematics, in its own way, also performs this function, it is not only aesthetically charming but profoundly significant. It is an art, and a great art."

-John W. N. Sullivan

March 16

"Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of humans...no one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel there is more in humans than the mere breath of his body."

-Charles Dawin

March 17

“If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”

-St. Francis of Assisi

March 18

"When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when the tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity."

-George Bernard Shaw

March 19

"I read the book of Job last night - I don't think God comes out well in it."

-Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

March 20

"A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve, and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to its true principles. It is true that in the meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt.... If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience till luck turns, and then we shall have an opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake."

-Thomas Jefferson, 1798, after the passage of the Alien & Sedition Act

March 21

"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver."

-Martin Luther

March 22

"A city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo."

-Desmond Morris, author of The Naked Ape and Manwatching

March 23

"The shrinkage in the flora is due to a combination of clean-farming, woodlot grazing, and good roads. Each of these necessary changes of course requires a larger reduction in the acreage available for wild plants, but none of them requires, or benefits by, the erasure of species from whole farms, townships, or counties. There are idle spots on every farm, and every highway is bordered by an idle strip as long as it is; keep cow, plow, and mower out of these idle spots, and the full native flora, plus dozens of interesting stowaways from foreign parts, could be part of the normal environment of every citizen."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, and Sketches Here and There, 1948

March 24

"As a general rule, a modern biologist seeing an animal doing something to benefit another assumes either that it is being manipulated by the other individual or that it is being subtly selfish."

-George Williams

March 25

"It is as respectable to be a modified monkey as modified dirt."

-T. H. Huxley

March 26

"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose."

-Zora Neale Hurston

March 27

"Even the most useful plants may become weeds if they appear out of their proper place."

-Asa Gray, 1879

March 28

"Stars are the golden fruit of a tree beyond reach."

-George Eliot (1819-1880)

March 29

The ant has made himself illustrious
Through constant industry industrious.
So what?
Would you be calm and placid
If you were full of formic acid?

-Ogden Nash

March 30

"History is a nightmare from which we are trying to awaken."

-James Joyce

March 31

"I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me."

-Noel Coward

April 1

“Beauty is its own excuse for being.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson, "The Rhodora"

April 2

"We find that we had virtually forgotten the note of each bird, and when we hear it again, it is remembered like a dream, reminding us of a previous state of existence…The voice of nature is always encouraging."

-Henry David Thoreau

April 3 2000 mockingbirds = two kilomockingbirds
April 4

"We long for an affection altogether ignorant of our faults. Heaven has accorded this to us in the uncritical canine attachment."

-George Eliot

April 5

"You are not what you think you are, rather, what you think, you are."

-David Wolfe

April 6

"Where we have strong emotions, we're liable to fool ourselves."

-Carl Sagan

April 7

When I purr
Don’t infer
It’s because you pat.
No, you pat
Because I purr
I am the cat.
Don’t forget that.

-Roy Blount, Jr.

April 8

"It is well to be up before daybreak, for such habits contribute to health, wealth, and wisdom."

-Aristotle

April 9

"Americans are too stupid to be governed."

-Bill Maher

April 10

"There’s no such thing as a grown up person."

-Andre Malraux

April 11

"To arrest, for the space of a breath, the hands busy about the work of the world, and compel people to glance for a moment at the surrounding vision of form and color, of sunshine and shadow; to make them pause for a look, for a smile—such is the aim, difficult and evanescent and reserved only for a very few to achieve. But when it is accomplished—behold!—all the truth of life is there: a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile!"

-Joseph Conrad

April 12

"In the 1st year of the period Chih-ho, the 5th moon, the day chi-ch'ou, a guest star appeared approximately several inches south-east of Tien-Kuan. After more than a year, it gradually became invisible..."

-Chinese record of a supernova, 1054 AD

April 13

". . . we can also see in history a slow progression toward ‘civilization,’ which might be defined as the realization that force can neither prove nor annihilate ideas."

-Donella Meadows

April 14

"I used to think that the brain was the most wonderful organ in my body. Then I realized who was telling me this."

-Emo Phillips

April 15

"How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life, you will have been all of these."

-George Washington Carver

April 16

"Every generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it."

-George Orwell

April 17

"Science is really the search for simplicity."

-Claude A. Villee

April 18

"Every native species, however humble in appearance...has its place in the nation's heritage. It is a masterpiece of evolution, an ancient, multifaceted entity that shares the land with us."

-E. O. Wilson, 1999

April 19

Beloved, gaze in thine own heart,
The holy tree is growing there.

-William Butler Yeats

April 20

To feel and speak the astonishing beauty of things—earth, stone and water
Beast, man and woman, sun, moon and stars

-Robinson Jeffers

April 21

"It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry."

-H. L. Mencken

April 22

"The eternal mystery of the world is its comprehensibility."

-Albert Einstein, Out of My Later Years

April 23

Among twenty snowy mountains
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.

-Wallace Stevens

April 24

"Transparency, sunlight, fresh air, is the best disinfectant."

-Louis Brandeis, 1914

April 25

"My grandmother was a very tough woman. She buried three husbands. Two of them were just napping."

-Rita Rudner

April 26

"The replacement of nature's diversity with the uniformity of the marketplace, or of the emptiness of the skies, is generally so gradual that few notice the change. In the case of the San Joaquin lakes, however, someone watched it happen. Bill Barnes was ninety in 1954, but his memory was still as sharp as Thomas Mayfield's when that local historian interviewed him. Barnes remembered when two thousand antelopes came to drink at a water hole, and millions of birds congregated on Pelican Island to rise their young. Inland otters were plentiful then; Barnes hunted the tules and got three dollars for their skins.
While Barnes was trapping in the lakes, farmers were busy tapping the groundwater east of them. The San Francisco firm of Haggin & Tevis was taking the rivers to irrigate a half-million-acre barony it would later incorporate as the Kern County Land Company. The valley lakes were in the way, and around 1880 someone set fire to the tules around Tulare Lake, burning the organically rich soil down five or six feet. Starved of inflow, the lakes shrank. Millions of fish died on the mud, making a terrible stench, Barnes recalled, but the otters feasted for weeks. Then they too starved, and never returned. Raccoons moved in for their turn on the carcasses of the dead otters until nothing was left, and Barnes later watched thousands of them stagger about, emaciated, on the dry lake bed. The birds went elsewhere to starve. Then there was silence. 'The country was never the same afterward,' he observed laconically."
I'm sorry if I sound a little bleak these days. To a large extent, I blame those who, during the campaign of 1999, insisted that there was no difference between the two candidates (and even more so those who did again after four years of watching just how psychopathic the Bush administration is.) We can never know how Al Gore would have handled 9/11 or whether it would even have happened, but we do know that Gore would have understood and acted on climate change. After eight years of resistance to doing anything but using more fossil fuels, the damage is probably irreparable; we have likely passed the tipping point, and most people haven't a clue how much their lives and everything they are familiar with is about to change. We are like those raccoons feasting on the dead bodies of the otters on the cracked lakebed before the silence falls.

-Gray Brechin, in Farewell, Promised Land

April 27

"Surveys show that only about a third of U.S. respondents have a problem with evolution and religion. These are fundamentalists, and there is no need to convert or argue with them. But another 40-50 percent of mainstream Americans would be open to evolution, except that they get all this creationist misinformation. It seems obvious that if we spent more time in our textbooks talking about how tetrapods came up on land, how birds evolved from dinosaurs, how whales went back into the oceans, the average American would not be so vulnerable to the claims of creationists."

-Paleontologist Kevin Padian of the University of California, Berkeley in the Sept. 15 Current Biology

April 28

"The scientists of today think deeply instead of clearly. One must be sane to think clearly, but one can think deeply and be quite insane."

-Nikola Tesla

April 29

"Even the tiniest Poodle or Chihuahua is still a wolf at heart."

-Dorothy Hinshaw

April 30

"Those who jump off a bridge in Paris are in Seine."

-anon.

May 1

"Nature is visible thought."

-Heinrich Heine

May 2

"Let me counsel you, in general terms, to remember that your park is not for today, but for all time - so long as you have a city. You have your present population to satisfy and please. It is an intelligent population, beyond a doubt, and possessed of a high appreciation of good results. But it is to be expected that future generations will be more intelligent and more appreciative."

-Frederick Law Olmsted, 26 April 1822

May 3

"He who knows what sweets and virtues are in the ground, the waters, the plants, the heavens, and how to come at these enchantments, is the rich and royal man."

-David Hume

May 4

"I don’t try to imagine a personal God; it suffices to stand in awe at the structure of the world, insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it."

-Albert Einstein

May 5

"Shotgun wedding - A case of wife or death."

-anon.

May 6

"Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land. By land is meant all of the things on, over, or in the earth. Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm. The land is one organism. Its parts, like our own parts, compete with each other and co-operate with each other. The competitions are as much a part of the inner workings as the co-operations. You can regulate them-cautiously-but not abolish them. The outstanding scientific discovery of the twentieth century is not television, or radio, but rather the complexity of the land organism. Only those who know the most about it can appreciate how little we know about it. The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of aeons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering."

-Aldo Leopold, Round River

May 7

"The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 8

The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May.

-Edwin Way Teale

May 9

"Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law."

-Hubert Humphrey

May 10

"The surface is carved into watersheds--a kind of familial branching, a chart of relationship, and a definition of place...For the watershed, cities and dams are ephemeral and of no more account than a boulder that falls in a river or a landslide that temporarily alters the channel.  The water will always be there, and it will always find its way down.  As constrained and polluted as the Los Angeles River is at the moment, it can also be said that in the larger picture that river is alive and well under the city streets, running in giant culverts...From the tiniest rivulet at the crest of a ridge to the main trunk of a river approaching the lowlands, the river is all one place and all one land."

-Gary Snyder

May 11

"By 1949, General Motors had been involved in the replacement of more than 100 electric transit systems with GM buses in 45 cities including... Oakland... and Los Angeles, [In that same year] General Motors, Standard Oil of California and Firestone Tire Company, among others, were convicted in Chicago Federal Court of having criminally conspired to replace electric trolleys with gasoline or diesel-powered buses.  General Motors was fined $5000, and its treasurer, who had participated in the dismantling of the $106 million Los Angeles trolley system, was fined $1."

-excerpted from The Destruction of California by Raymond Dasmann

May 12

"Nobody stopped thinking about those psychedelic experiences. Once you've been to some of those places, you think, How can I get back there again but make it a little easier on myself?"

-Jerry Garcia

May 13

"To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world."

-John Muir

May 14

They mowed the meadows down below
Our house, the other day,
But left a grassy island where
We still can go and play.

Right in the middle of the field
It rises green and high;
Bees swing on the clover there,
And butterflies blow by.

It seems a very far-off place
With oceans all around;
The only thing to see is sky,
And wind the only sound.

-Georgina Parfitt, age 10, “The Island”

May 15

Many a night I saw the Pleiads,
Rising thro the mellow shade,
Glitter like a swarm of fire-flies
Tangled in a silver braid.

-Alfred Lord Tennyson

May 16

"I have made an important discovery...that alcohol, taken in sufficient quantities, produces all the effects of intoxication."

-Oscar Wilde

May 17

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”

-Kenneth Boulding

May 18

"Where the United States is in regard to oil: most of the untapped reserves we have left are smaller, deeper, farther offshore, less permeable, increasingly sour, and generally more expensive to bring to market. And the more we drill, the more this will be the case…The faster we use up the little oil we have left, the quicker OPEC will be the only one at the table with any chips left. Strategically, this is a loser’s strategy."

-Timothy Kailing

May 19

“We are in great haste to construct a magnetic telegraph from Maine to Texas, but Maine and Texas, it may be, have nothing to communicate.”

-Thoreau

May 20

"Earth hath no sorrow that Earth cannot heal."

-John Muir

May 21

"Those who agree with us may not be right, but we admire their astuteness."

-Cullen Hightower

May 22

"A flower is a leaf mad with love."

-attributed to Goethe

May 23

The pond behind my house
sits quietly rippling, shallow and dark.
Like her siblings the rivers, oceans and lakes,
a lover of rain and fresh melting snow.
She fears the sun—a slow hot demise,
and thirsts for water—a random revival.
A sliver of calm tucked into new urban sprawl,
fish, turtles and frogs—they make her their home.
She resides in a woodlot just bigger than she is,
the pond behind my house.

-Ruben Moreno, age 10, “The Pond Behind My House”

May 24

"I've developed a new philosophy...only dread one day at a time."

-Charlie Brown

May 25

"Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student."

-George Iles

May 26

"The Galapagos islands are just plain here—and little else. They blew up out of the ocean, some plants blew in on them, some animals drifted aboard and evolved weird forms—and there they all are, whoever they are, in full swing. You can go there and watch it happen, and try to figure it out. The Galapagos are a kind of metaphysics laboratory, almost wholly uncluttered by human culture or history. Whatever happens on those bare volcanic rocks happens in full view, whether anyone is watching or not."

-Annie Dillard, Teaching A Stone to Talk

May 27

"In nature, the emphasis is in what is rather than what ought to be."

-Huston Smith

May 28

"If we do not permit the Earth to produce beauty and joy, it will in the end not produce food either."

-Joseph Woodkrutch

May 29

Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.

-John Milton

May 30

"Oil depletion and climate change will create an entirely new context in which political struggles will be played out. Within that context, it is not just freedom, democracy, and equality that are at stake, but the survival of billions of humans and of whole ecosystems."

-Richard Heinberg, Powerdown

May 31

Cowardice asks the question--is it safe?
Expediency asks the question--is it politic?
Vanity asks the question--is it popular?
But conscience asks the question--is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a position
that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular;
but one must take it because it is right.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

June 1

A spiny black caterpillar labors
Slowly inching up a patch-quilt of bark

Unaware his scent drifts toward
twitching antennas

Unwisely, the caterpillar presses on
With his haphazard crawl.

Dark eyes continue their determined
gaze.

With wings swiftly beating,
The parasitic wasp advances.

There will be no butterfly.

-Frances Ann Jenik

June 2

"The aim of life is to live and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware."

-Henry Miller

June 3

"The idea that we industrialized humans are immune to the natural laws that have restrained growth in other species—and humans in past social regimes—is to me so self-servingly blind as to be morally reprehensible."

-Richard Heinberg, Powerdown

June 4

"Here in the United States we're now consuming about three gallons of petroleum per person per day. That's twenty pounds of oil per person per day. We only consume about four pounds of oxygen per person per day. We're consuming five times more oil each day, here in the United States than we are oxygen. We've become the oil tribe."

-Randy Udall, speaking in the film Sprawling From Grace; Driven To Madness

June 5

I loaf and invite my soul,
I lean and loaf at my ease
observing a spear of summer grass.

-Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

June 6 Quietly it came
one June afternoon.
Summer has arrived
at wood, in fields, on dune.
June 7

"Look deep, deep into nature...and then you will understand everything better."

-Albert Einstein

June 8

"If you don't vote, democracy doesn't work."

-Frank Zappa

June 9

"I object to dividing the study of living processes into botany, zoology, and microbiology because by an such arrangement, the interrelations within the biological community get lost. Corals cannot be studied without reference to the algae that live with them; flowering plants without the insects that pollinate them; grasslands without the grazing mammals."

-Marston Bates, American zoologist 1960

June 10

"Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man."

-Stewart Udall

June 11

"We strapped a couple of blankets on our shoulders and took an ax apiece and started — for we intended to take up a wood ranch or so ourselves and become wealthy. We were on foot. The reader will find it advantageous to go horseback. We were told that the distance was eleven miles. We tramped a long time on level ground, and then toiled laboriously up a mountain about a thousand miles high and looked over. No lake there. We descended on the other side, crossed the valley and toiled up another mountain three or four thousand miles high, apparently, and looked over again. No lake yet. We sat down tired and perspiring, and hired a couple of Chinamen to curse those people who had beguiled us. Thus refreshed, we presently resumed the march with renewed vigor and determination. We plodded on, two or three hours longer, and at last the lake burst upon us — a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! It was a vast oval, and one would have to use up eighty or a hundred good miles in traveling around it. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords."

-Mark Twain, describing his visit to Lake Tahoe in Roughing It

June 12

"We owe it to ourselves and to mankind to give full rein to our instinctive love of Natural Beauty, and to train and refine every inclination and capacity we have for appreciating it till we are able to see all those finer glories of which we now discover only the first faint glow."

-Sir Francis Younghusband

June 13

"In summer, the song sings itself."

-William Carlos Williams

June 14

"The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks."

-Tennessee Williams

June 15

"There are few problems which have greater potential to quickly unsettle the North American public and strain essential services than suddenly being denied access to fuel."

-Rick Munroe, from his article, "Fuel Emergency"
June 16

“I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.”

-Nikola Tesla

June 17

"He who would make serious use of his life must always act as though he had a long time to live and must schedule his time as though he were about to die."

-Émile Littré

June 18

"While it is important to maintain a balanced approach to solving our nation's energy problems, we must commit ourselves to recognize some areas as 'off limits,' and the Artic National Wildlife Reserve is a national symbol of that commitment."

-Ken Salazar

June 19

When the difficulty
Of the mountains
  is once behind
That's when you'll see
The difficulty of the
  plains will start.

-Bertolt Brecht

June 20

"The continued existence of wildlife and wilderness is important to the quality of life of humans."

-Jim Fowler

June 21

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

-Mary Oliver, "The Summer Day"

June 22

"The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is a unique and biologically special place that should be preserved."

-Dan Lipinski

June 23

"Well, my son really loves wildlife. And everytime he draws a polar bear I want to tell him there probably won't any by the time... he's my age. That's kinda hard to deal with."

-Thom Yorke

June 24

"Everything he does shows how deeply our new president cares about us. We've all heard the aphorism 'That which does not kill me makes me stronger.' If those time‹tested words are true, think of the incalculable good George W. is doing for the American people by allowing a ten-fold increase in the amount of arsenic in our drinking water. Between that and his blowing off the carbon dioxide limits agreed to by the sissy Democrats in Kyoto, we'll soon be on our way to being a nation of supermen..."

-Allan Goldstein, West Portal Monthly

June 25

"I’ve always been crazy, but it’s kept me from going insane."

-Waylon Jennings

June 26

"Let your life be a friction against the machine."

-H. D. Thoreau

June 27

"We call them dumb animals, for they cannot tell us how they feel, but they do not suffer less because they have no words."

-anon.

June 28

“If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety per cent of his labor.”

-Nikola Tesla

June 29

"Should we be unable to find a way to honest cooperation and honest pacts with the Arabs, then we have learned absolutely nothing during our two thousand years of suffering and deserve all that will come to us."

-Albert Einstein, 1929 (Guardian Weekly 3 Sept 03)

June 30

"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."

-Billy Crystal

July 1

To accomplish great things,
we must not only act,
but also dream;
not only plan,
but also believe.

-Anatole France

July 2

"Irrigation of the land with seawater desalinated by fusion power is ancient. It's called 'rain'."

-Michael McClary

July 3

We need the sea.
We need a place to stand and watch and listen--
to feel the pulse-beat of the world
as the surf rolls in.

-David Brower

July 4

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind."

-Thomas Jefferson in a letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785

July 5

"Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy."

-Milan Kundera

July 6

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel’s sake.
The great affair is to move.

-Robert Louis Stevenson, Travels with a Donkey

July 7

"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which shall never be seen again."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 8

"It is something­it can be everything-to have found a fellow bird with whom you can sit among the rafters while the drinking and boasting and reciting and fighting go on below."

-Wallace Stegner

July 9

"We have not yet encountered any god who is as merciful as a man who flicks a beetle over on its feet."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

July 10

"The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless."

-Nicholas Chamfort (1741-1794)

July 11

"What is important is not liberation from the body but liberation from the mind. We are not entangled in our own body but entangled in our own mind."

-Thomas Merton

July 12

"He is an optician, daily having to do with the microscope, telescope, and other inventions for sharpening our natural sight, thus enabling us mortals (as I once heard an eccentric put it) liberally to enlarge the field of our original and essential ignorance."

-Herman Melville
July 13

"Three hundred trout are needed to support one man for a year. The trout, in turn, must consume 90,000 frogs, that must consume 27 million grasshoppers that live off of 1,000 tons of grass."

-G Tyler Miller, Jr, American chemist (1971)

July 14

"There is a point beyond which there is no turning back; it is the point that must be reached."

-Kafka

July 15

“Etiquette requires us to admire the human race.”

-Mark Twain

July 16

"All my life is a sort of college examination, I shall never graduate, I always have some tormentor ahead."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

July 17

"A solitary rock is always attractive. All right-minded people feel an overwhelming desire to scale and sit upon it."

-Dorothy L. Sayers, Have His Carcase

July 18

"I devoted myself to studying the texts—the original and the commentaries—in the natural sciences and metaphysics, and the gates of knowledge began opening for me. Next I sought to know medicine, and so read the books written on it. Medicine is not one of the difficult sciences, and therefore, I excelled in it in a very short time, to the point that distinguished physicians began to read the science of medicine under me. I cared for the sick and there opened to me some of the doors of medical treatment that are indescribable and can be learned only from practice. In addition I devoted myself to jurisprudence and used to engage in legal disputations, at that time being sixteen years old."

-Avicenna (980-1037), Persian physician and philosopher

July 19

"Their god is the market‹every human problem, every human need, will be solved by the market. Their dogma is the literal reading of the creation story in Genesis where humans are to have 'dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the Earth, and over every creeping thing...' The administration has married that conservative dogma of the religious right to the corporate ethos of the profits at any price. And the result is the politics of exploitation with a religious impulse. Meanwhile, over a billion people have no safe drinking water. We're dumping 500 million tons of hazardous waste into the Earth every year. In the last hundred years alone we¹ve lost over 2 billion hectares of forest, our fisheries are collapsing, our coral reefs are dying because of human activity. These are facts. So what is the administration and Congress doing? They¹re attacking the very cornerstones of environmental law: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, NEPA [the National Environmental Policy Act]. They are allowing 17,000 power plants to create more pollution. They are opening public lands to exploitation....The Interior Department is the biggest scandal of all. Current Secretary Gale Norton and her number two man, J. Steven Griles, head a fifth column that is trying to sabotage environmental protection at every level. Griles has more conflicts of interest than a dog has fleas. The giveaway of public resources at Interior is the biggest scandal of its kind since the Teapot Dome corruption. You have to go all the way back to the crony capitalism of the Harding administration to find a president who invited such open and crass exploitation of the common wealth."

-Bill Moyers, winner of 30 Emmy Awards for broadcast journalism, in an interview with Grist Magazine

July 20

"In my humble opinion, we should now have reached peak oil. So it is high time to close this critical chapter in the history of international oil industry and bid the mighty peak farewell."

-Ali Samsam Bakhtiari, Vice President of the National Iranian Oil Company

July 21

"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over."

-Mark Twain

July 22

"To be matter of fact about the world is to blunder into fantasy -- and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful."

-Robert A. Heinlein

July 23

"We’re not borrowing from our children, we’re stealing from them.—and it’s not even considered a crime."

-David Brower

July 24

The wilderness holds answer to more questions
Than we yet know how to ask.

-Nancy Newhall

July 25

"The modern spectacle of vanished forests and eroded lands, wasted petroleum and ruthless mining is evidence of what an age without veneration does to itself and its successors."

-Russell Kirk

July 26

"I think that every town should have a park, or rather a primitive forest, of five hundred or a thousand acres, either in one body or several, where a stick should never be cut for fuel, nor for the navy, nor to make wagons, but stand and decay for higher uses - a common possession forever, for instruction and recreation."

-Henry David Thoreau

July 27

"Where flowers bloom so does hope."

-Lady Bird Johnson, Public Roads: Where Flowers Bloom

July 28

When the tree bares, the music of it changes:
Hard and keen is the sound, long and mournful;
Pale are the poplar boughs in the evening light
Above my house, against a slate-cold cloud.

-Conrad Aiken

July 29

"We have got things all turned around. We try to manage the whole planet when our own backyard is a mess."

-Evan Eisenberg, Ecology of Eden, 1998

July 30

"The quicker we humans learn that saving open space and wildlife is critical to our welfare and quality of life, maybe we'll start thinking of doing something about it."

-Jim Fowler

July 31

"Sometimes I think we must be the youngest species on Earth, because everything else seems to know what to do."

-Bernadette Cozart

August 1

"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."

-John Muir

August 2

Amongst the folds of petals blue,
A sparkling jewel, a drop of dew.
It rest with sweet tranquility,
A precious pearl, for those who see.
Secrets of the garden pass,
Whispers in the dewy grass.
It forms before the sun awakes,
The morning mist a treasure makes.
The blue time, silent, peaceful rest,
It waits to shine to look its best.
It sparkles in the morning light,
So small and sweet, so kind and bright.
But with the smallest slight of hand,
It disappears into the land.
A moment's splendor lost in earth,
To rise and fall, a jewel's rebirth.

-Mirabai Britton, age 13

August 3

"There is not a 'fragment' in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself."

-John Muir

August 4

"Pathwalker: There is no path. You must make the path as you walk."

-Antonio Machado

August 5 365.25 days of drinking low calorie beer = 1 Lite Year
August 6

"I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people."

-Isaac Newton

August 7

Nature does not complete things. She is chaotic.
Man must finish, and he does so by making a garden and building a wall.

-Robert Frost

August 8

"We discover that nothing can be taken for granted, for if  this ring of stone is marvelous then all which shaped it is marvelous, and our journey here on earth, able to see and touch and hear in the midst of tangible and mysterious things-in-themselves, is the most strange and daring of all adventures."

-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

August 9

"In physics, you don't have to go around making trouble for yourself - nature does it for you."

-Frank Wilczek

August 10

"...More important than the deficit, more important then healthcare—more important than anything—we have got to do something about our energy strategy. Because if we permit the climate to continue to warm at an unsustainable rate, and if we keep on doing what we're doing until we're out of oil and we haven't made the transition, then it's inconceivable to me that our children and grandchildren will be able to maintain the American way of life and that the world won't be much fuller of resource-based wars of all kinds."

-Bill Clinton, speaking in the film Sprawling From Grace; Driven To Madness

August 11

Summertime
And the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high.

-Ira Gershwin, "Porgy and Bess"

August 12

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting
fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked thee,
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy
beauty. how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and
buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover
thou answerest
them only with
spring)

-e e cummings, O SWEET SPONTANEOUS EARTH

August 13

"Of the tens of millions of species on Earth almost none of them communicate with each other...and we have 100 percent of our chemistry in common. So how likely are we to communicate with aliens who don't share our biochemistry?"

-Lynn Margulis, biologist and first wife of Carl Sagan

August 14

"When you put your hand in a flowing stream, you touch the last that has gone before and the first that is still to come."

-Leonardo da Vinci

August 15

"Don’t forget Rule Number 6. And have a good time saving the world, or you’re just going to depress yourself…. People want to be part of something fun. It’s exciting to change the world. If you’re in it simply out of worry or guilt, you won’t last, and normal people won’t join you….Put fun in the movement to conserve, preserve, and restore, and celebrate it, and people will run to sign up."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

August 16

"All over the world the wildlife that I write about is in grave danger. It is being exterminated by what we call the progress of civilization."

-Gerald Durrell

August 17

"…only about 4 percent of the United States is designated wilderness, and half of this is in Alaska."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

August 18

I cannot be awake, for nothing looks to me as it did before,
Or else I am awake for the first time, and all before has been a mean sleep.

-Walt Whitman

August 19

"The green prehuman earth is the mystery we were chosen to solve, a guide to the birthplace of our spirit, but it is slipping away. The way back seems harder every year. If there is danger in the human trajectory, it is not so much in the survival of our own species as in the fulfillment of the ultimate irony of organic evolution: that in the instant of achieving self-understanding, through the mind of man, life has doomed its most beautiful creations. And thus humanity closes the door on its past."

-E. O.Wilson

August 20

"If you want to make a man angry, tell him you are going to pray for him."

-Edgar Howe

August 21

"I don’t know about life after death, but I do believe in life after birth."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

August 22

"There were great numbers of people who needed new land, and the Indians were selfishly trying to keep it for themselves."

-John Wayne

August 23

"Even if the open windows of science at first make us shiver after the cozy indoor warmth of traditional humanizing myths, in the end the fresh air brings vigor, and the great spaces have a splendor of their own."

-Bertrand Russell

August 24

"Islands are clearly these crucibles of evolution."

-Daniel Rubinoff

August 25

"Nature is just enough; but men and women must comprehend and accept her suggestions."

-Antoinette Brown Blackwell

August 26

"Whatever landscape a child is exposed to early on, that will be the sort of gauze through which he or she will see all the world afterwards."

-Wallace Stegner

August 27

Radiant at midnight
Moonlit blossoms dream
To touch distant stars.

-Jeanette Young

August 28

Sol lucet omnibus

the Sun shines for everyone

August 29

"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it."

-Mark Twain
August 30

"There is nothing worse than a clear image of a fuzzy concept."

-Ansel Adams

August 31

"How many more generations will pass before it will have become nearly impossible to be alone even for an hour, to see anywhere nature as she is without man’s improvements upon her? How long will it be before—what is perhaps worse yet—there is no quietness anywhere, no escape from the rumble and the crash, the clank and the screech which seem to be the inevitable accompaniment of technology? Whatever man does or produces, noise seems to be an unavoidable by-product. Perhaps he can, as he now tends to believe, do anything. But he cannot do it quietly."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

September 1

"There used to be 6,000 miles of good salmon streams in California’s Central Valley. Now we’re down to about 200, and people are arguing over how much water the endangered salmon should be allowed to be endangered in."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

September 2

The sun will not rise,
or set,
without my notice
and thanks.

-Winslow Homer

September 3

Flocks of birds have flown high and away.
A solitary drift of cloud, too, has gone, wandering on.
And I sit alone with the Ching-Ting Peak, towering beyond.
We never grow tired of each other, the mountain and I.

-Li Po

September 4

"We must somehow take a wider view, look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on there."

-Anne Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

September 5

"Give us back Hetch Hetchy and Glen Canyon, and I’ll go quietly."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

September 6

"Perhaps the most lasting pleasure in life is that of not going to church."

-William Inge

September 7 "Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film."
September 8

"I am going to have to start at the other end by telling you this: there are no crows in the desert. What appear to be crows are ravens. You must examine the crow, however, before you can understand the raven. To forget the crow completely, as some have tried to do, would be like trying to understand the one who stayed without talking to the one who left. It is important to make a note of who has left the desert.
To begin with, the crow does nothing alone. He cannot abide silence and he is prone to stealing things, twigs, bits of straw, from the nests of his neighbors. It is a game with him. He enjoys tricks. If he cannot make up his mind the crow will take two or three wives, but this is not a game. The crow is very accommodating and he admires compulsiveness.
Crows will live in street trees in the residential areas of great cities. They will walk at night on the roofs of parked cars and peck at the grit; they will scrape the pinpoints of their talons across the steel and, with their necks outthrust, watch for frightened children listening in their beds.
Put all this to the raven: he will open his mouth as if to say something. Then he will look the other way and say nothing. Later, when you have forgotten, he will tell you he admires the crow."

-Barry Holstun Lopez, Desert Notes: Reflections in the Eye of a Raven

September 9

"Nature is what she is--amoral and persistent."

-Stephen Jay Gould

September 10

"Human population is exploding - our species now uses more than 50 percent of all available space, food and water on the planet. Because of human domination, conservation efforts for most species have been too little, too late. We are in the middle of one of the great mass extinctions in the history of life."

-Bradley Cardinale, assistant professor of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

September 11

"Kindness to all living things is the true religion."

-Buddha

September 12

"Along with dams, the reason we don’t have many salmon on the West Coast is largely because streams have been silted by clear-cuts, which export soil and muddy the spawning beds."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

September 13

"That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of our time."

-John Stuart Mill

September 14

"Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind."

-Jack Kerouac

September 15

"I cannot in good conscience vote for final passage of legislation that would pave the way to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling."

-Jim Ramstad

September 16

"Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures."

-the Dalai Lama

September 17

A song of the rolling earth, and of words according,
Were you thinking those were the words, those upright lines? those curves, angles, dots?
No, those are not the words, the substantial words
are in the ground and sea,
They are in the air, they are in you.

-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1855)

September 18

"Belladonna: In Italian, a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison."

-Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

September 19

"A man is ethical only when life, as such, is sacred to him, that of plants and animals as well as that of his fellowman, and when he devotes himself helpfully to all life that is in need of help."

-Albert Schweitzer

September 20

"There is no need for fur - since there are compassionate alternatives."

-Joaquin Phoenix

September 21

"Those who have handled sciences have been either men of experiment or men of dogmas. The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use; the reasoners resemble spiders, who make cobwebs out of their own substance. But the bee takes a middle course; it gathers its material from the flowers of the garden and of the field, but transforms and digests it by a power of its own. Not unlike this is the true business of philosophy; for it neither relies solely or chiefly on the powers of the mind, nor does it take the matter from which it gathers from natural history and mechanical experiments and lay it up in the memory whole, as it finds it; but lays it up in the understanding altered and digested."

-Francis Bacon

September 22

"Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so."

-Douglas Adams

September 23

"Technology is great, but it can't find what's not there. In the last five years, we consumed 27 billion barrels of oil a year, but the oil industry discovered only three billion barrels a year. So only one barrel was replaced for every nine we used!"

-L.B. Magoon report for U.S. Geological Survey, as quoted in E Magazine

September 24

"Life is richest where the greatest diversity exists in the natural order"

-Adolph Murie

September 25

"The battle for conservation cannot be limited to the winning of new conquests. Like liberty itself, conservation must be fought for unceasingly to protect earlier victories.  There are always plenty of hogs who are trying to get natural resources for their own personal benefit! Public lands and parks, our forests and our mineral reserves, are subject to many destructive influences. We have to remain constantly vigilant to prevent raids by those who would selfishly exploit our common heritage for their private gain. Such raids on our natural resources are not examples of enterprise and initiative. They are attempts to take from all the people for the benefit of a few."

-President Harry S. Truman, December 1948, at the inauguration of Everglades National Park

September 26

"Rise free from care before dawn and seek adventures. Let the noon find you by other lakes and the night overtake thee everywhere at home….Let thunder rumble…."

-Thoreau

September 27

“The evidence is overwhelming that wild pollinators are declining. Their ranks are being thinned not just by habitat reduction and other familiar agents of impoverishment, but also by the disruption of the delicate “biofabric” of interactions that bind ecosystems together. Humanity, for its own sake, must attend to these pollinators and their countless dependent plant species.”

-Edward O. Wilson

September 28

"To become wholly compassionate requires us to open our eyes and hearts, to behold the pain and exploitation our culture obscures, to arouse deadened emotions, and to rise above our egos."

-Joanne Stepaniak

September 29

"There are enough unsolved problems in an average back yard to keep a battalion of naturalists occupied for their lives."

-Howard Ensign Evans, Wasp Farm

September 30

"Today more than ever before life must be characterized by a sense of Universal Responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life."

-the Dalai Lama

October 1

“By forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive, Nature accomplishes her beneficent designs.”

-John Muir

October 2

"Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with truth."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

October 3

"I wanted others to believe. I thought if enough of us did, if we learned to care again about the wild places from which we'd driven the magic away, then maybe it would return."

-Charles de Lint, Dreams Underfoot
October 4

"Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion."

- Democritus, 4th century BCE
October 5

"...taxonomy well done requires great deliberation, considerable powers of judgement and a flair for the discernment of affinities that can only come with experience and the will to acquire it”

-Sir Peter B. Medawar, 1979, Advice to a Young Scientist
October 6

A hive is a wonderful thing:
It has workers, a queen – but no king,
With each manly drone
An unfertilized clone
Completely unable to sting.

As the virgin sets out on her flight
She attracts all the drones within sight
Then, according to code
Each will mate, then explode
As she stores all their sperm nice and tight.

All the beekeepers tend to agree:
Let your bees move from flower to tree,
For they make the honey
While we make the money –
And that's just the way things should BEE….

If you want to improve a new hive
And make sure that your package will thrive
Don't use modern drugs –
They'll just leave stronger bugs
And your poor bees may barely survive.

-Bill Hart, Nobee. Westport, CT, Things learned at Leominster July 2010 (Organic Beekeeping Conference)
October 7

"He who fears being conquered is sure of defeat."

-Napoleon Bonaparte

October 8

"Yesterday is but a dream, tomorrow is but a vision. But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well, therefore, to This Day."

-Sanskrit Proverb

October 9

"Give nature a jump start, and stand back."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

October 10

"The whole secret of the study of nature is learning how to use one’s eyes."

-George Sand

October 11

"We're born princes and the civilizing process turns us into frogs."

-Eric Berne

October 12

"The terms are clear: if you want to live, you have to die; you cannot have mountains and creeks without space, and space is a beauty married to a blind man. The blind man is Freedom, or Time, and he does not go anywhere without his great dog Death."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

October 13

"The Italians have bestowed a bad reputation on the Tarantula, who produces convulsions and frenzied dances in the person stung by her. To cope with 'tarantism,' the name given to the disease that follows on the bite of the Italian Spider, you must have recourse to music, the only efficacious remedy, so they tell us. Special tunes have been noted, those quickest to afford relief. There is medical choreography, medical music. And have we not the tarentella, a lively and nimble dance, bequeathed to us perhaps by the healing art of the Calabrian peasant?"

-Jean Henri Fabre, The Life of the Spider, 1912

October 14

“If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”

-Reverend Henry Ward Beecher
October 15 “A wise old owl sat on an oak; The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren't we like that wise old bird?”
October 16

"Isn't man an amazing animal? He kills wildlife - birds, kangaroos, deer, all kinds of cats, coyotes, beavers, groundhogs, mice, foxes and dingoes - by the million in order to protect his domestic animals and their feed. Then he kills domestic animals by the billion and eats them. This in turn kills man by the millions, because eating all those animals leads to degenerative - and fatal - health conditions like heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. So then man tortures and kills millions more animals to look for cures for these diseases. Elsewhere, millions of other human beings are being killed by hunger and malnutrition because food they could eat is being used to fatten domestic animals. Meanwhile, some people are dying of sad laughter at the absurdity of man, who kills so easily and so violently, and once a year, sends out cards praying for Peace on Earth."

-David Coats, Old MacDonald's Factory Farm

October 17

"No woman can be too rich or too thin."

-Duchess of Windsor

October 18

"Humanity stands…before a great problem of finding new raw materials and new sources of energy that shall never become exhausted. In the meantime we must not waste what we have, but must leave as much as possible for coming generations."

-Svante August Arrhenius, Chemistry in Modern Life (1925)

October 19

"There is just one life for each of us: our own."

-Euripides

October 20

"So bleak is the picture...that the bulldozer and not the atomic bomb may turn out to be the most destructive invention of the 20th century."

-Philip Shabecoff, American environmental journalist

October 21

"The islands were a big revelation for everybody, starting with Charles Darwin, who could be said to be the founder of modern ecology."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

October 22

"The real problem is that we use too much oil. It's that simple and that difficult. If we truly want to reduce our vulnerability to high prices, the best way to do so is to reduce consumption."

-Richard Heinberg, author of Peak Everything

October 23

"The woods are full of dead and dying trees, yet needed for their beauty to complete the beauty of the living."

-John Muir

October 24

That sea beast
Leviathan, which God of all his works
Created hugest that swim the ocean stream.

-John Milton, Paradise Lost
October 25

"It seems that most people think of butterflies as self-propelled flowers, the purpose of which is to bring beauty and whimsy to the world."

-John Acorn

October 26

"The University of New Mexico has done well to preserve this saga of how the state was made safe for cows. How the state is to be made safe from cows is a saga yet to be written."

-Aldo Leopold: Review of "Meet Mr. Grizzly", Journal of Forestry, March 1944

October 27

"The acquisition of any knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood."

-Leonardo da Vinci

October 28

"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little."

-Edmund Burke

October 29

"It is not hard to imagine a society that has lost its wilderness. Too much of Europe is such a place. China is such a place. Sometimes, I wonder if that loss leads to things like the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. Is it possible that our more arrogant tendencies run rampant, like scared rabbits, in the absence of wilderness?"

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

October 30

From ghoulies and ghosties and long‹leggety beasties
And things that go bump in the night
Good lord, deliver us.

-Scottish prayer

October 31

Cows go around saying Moo,
But the wind goes around saying Woo,
Ghosts say Woooo to you too,
And sometimes they say boo to you too,
But everybody has heard the wind but a few people have heard the ghost,
So it is commonly supposed the wind says wooo the most.

-Ogden Nash, “A Word on Wind”

November 1

"If we represent knowledge as a tree, we know that things that are divided are yet connected. We know that to observe the divisions and ignore the connections is to destroy the tree."

-Wendell Berry

November 2

"There is no Planet B. We can’t trash this place and go somewhere else."

-Fabien Cousteau

November 3

"Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner."

-James Bovard

November 4

You gentlemen who think you have a mission
To purge us of the seven deadly sins
Should first sort out the basic food position
Then start your preaching, that’s where it begins

You lot who preach restraint and watch your waist as well
Should learn, for once, the way the world is run
However much you twist or whatever lies that you tell
Food is the first thing, morals follow on

So first make sure that those who are now starving
Get proper helpings when we all start carving
What keeps mankind alive?

What keeps mankind alive?
The fact that millions are daily tortured
Stifled, punished, silenced and oppressed
Mankind can keep alive thanks to its brilliance
In keeping its humanity repressed
And for once you must try not to shriek the facts
Mankind is kept alive by bestial acts

-Weill/Brecht, 1928

November 5

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have, was once among the things you only hoped for."

-Epicurus, Greek philosopher (341-271 BC)

November 6

"This is a huckster society, a business-run society. Meaning its primary value is deceit. The technical name for deceit is Marketing. You try to get people to do things they don't want to do."

-Noam Chomsky

November 7

"I sometimes think that God in creating man, somewhat overestimated His ability."

-Oscar Wilde

November 8

"He hoped and prayed that there wasn’t an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped there wasn’t an afterlife."

-Douglas Adams

November 9

"Until you change the way money works, you change nothing."

-Michael Ruppert, From the Wilderness Peak Oil Blog

November 10

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies."

-Groucho Marx

November 11

“Conservation is a cause that has no end. There is no point at which we say, ‘Our work is finished.’”

-Rachel Carson

November 12

"Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."

-Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

November 13

"Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind."

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
November 14

"The country lay bare and entirely leafless around him, and he thought that he had never seen so far and so intimately into the insides of things as on that winter day when Nature was deep in her annual slumber and seemed to have kicked the clothes off."

-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

November 15

"It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men /s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

November 16

"Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."

-Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species

November 17

"What makes things baffling is their degree of complexity, not their sheer size…a star is simpler than an insect."

-Martin Rees, “Exploring Our Universe and Others,” Scientific American, December 1999

November 18

"When you consider that the rust fungus requires a second host to complete its life cycle, and that this other host is the arctic huckleberry bush, a prime food source for grizzly bears, foxes, ptarmigans, and an array of smaller birds and mammals, you can see that an odd-looking clump of needles on a white spruce is much more than an unfortunate case of blight.  It is an intersection in an almost inconceivably wide and elaborate network of paths."

-Douglas H. Chadwick, "Seeking Meanings," Endangered Species, Vol. 3 #3, Summer 1993

November 19

"Man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall. He will end by destroying the earth."

-Albert Schweitzer, as quoted by Rachel Carson

November 20

"We do what we must, and call it by the best names."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

November 21

"Nothing is art if it does not come from nature."

-Gaudi

November 22

"Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother."

-Moorish proverb

November 23

"She’s not pushing 60, she’s pulling it with a long rope."

-Guy Noir (Garrison Keillor)

November 24

"... man has still within him sufficient resources to alter the direction of modern civilization, for we then need no longer regard man as the passive victim of his own irreversible technological development."

-Lewis Mumford

November 25

Tremendous crackling in the branches:
wild turkey, tail askew, teeters on a limb
barely thick enough to hold it, maybe not—
so precarious yet so certain,
pompous and riotous as a clown,
blind to the coyote’s tracking eye.

Stuttering cries: another heaves into sight,
ungainly mate or brother crashing on
the same encumbered route one wing-
beat from disaster but somehow rising
to tear through the woods’ net
and come safe home.

-Dan Liberthson, Fool's Luck

November 26

"Man is naturally metaphysical and arrogant, and is thus capable of believing that the ideal creations of his mind, which express his feelings, are identical with reality. From this it follows that the experimental method is not really natural to him."

-Claude Bernard, French physiologist (1813-1878)

November 27

"They tell us about the great big terrible things they've done and the great big wonderful things they're going to do. Their hopes, their regrets. Their loves, their hates. All very large, because nobody ever brings anything small into a bar."

-Elwood P. Dowd (Jimmy Stewart), in Harvey

November 28

"Murder is always a mistake. One should never do anything that one cannot talk about after dinner."

-Oscar Wilde

November 29

"Do you think... that men have always massacred each other, as they do today? Have they always been liars, cheats, traitors, brigands, weak, flighty, cowardly, envious, gluttonous, drunken, grasping, and vicious, bloody, backbiting, debauched, fanatical, hypocritical, and silly?"

-Voltaire, Candide

November 30

They roll the concrete over it, and try to keep it back,
but the concrete gets tired of what it has to do,
It breaks and it buckles, and the grass grows through.

-Pete Seeger, God Bless the Grass

December 1

"Well, as much as one hates the inhuman way in which the doctrines of Malthus were accepted, the terrible truth is that the rise in population did nearly ruin us. It struck a blow at civilization such as it hadn’t received since the barbarian invasions. First it produced the horrors of urban poverty and then the dismal countermeasures of bureaucracy and regimentation."

-Kenneth Clark, Civilization

December 2

"One may forget his grudge and lose himself in admiration of the consummate grace and skill with which the birds address themselves to the tasks of breasting the wind or coasting down the gale."

-W.L. Dawson, Birds of California

December 3

The old tree is shook
White blossoms slowly float down
Dancers in the wind

-Alexandra Kim

December 4

"When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt."

-Henry J. Kaiser

December 5

"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.
December 6

"He was a bold man that first ate an oyster."

-Jonathan Swift

December 7

"The deeper we look into nature, the more we realize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature."

-Albert Schweizer

December 8

"My sorrow, when she's here with me, thinks these dark days of autumn rain are beautiful as days can be; she loves the bare, the withered tree; she walks the sodden pasture lane."

-Robert Frost

December 9

"People protect what they love."

-Jacques Cousteau

December 10

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds."

-Edward Abbey

December 11

"Much that is good and all that is evil has gathered itself up into the Western Gull."

-W. L. Dawson, Birds of California, 1923

December 12

"Not what we have But what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance."

-Epicurus (341-271 BC)

December 13

"A man who concerns himself principally with the artificial, and who thinks that the world is for... business alone, misses entirely the divine halo that rest about much in nature."

-William T. Davis (1862­1945), American businessman, naturalist, and amateur entomologist

December 14

"I am old and I am bored. I was never very wise and my mind has never walked much further than my feet. Only my forest, my forest...I go back and back to wander there."

-Wang Wei

December 15

"To know the truth is easy; but, ah, how difficult to follow it."

-Chinese maxim

December 16

"Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it."

-Albert Einstein

December 17

Lat., Fortis vero, dolorem summum malum judicans; aut temperans, voluptatem summum bonum statuens, esse certe nullo modo potest.
No man can be brave who thinks pain the greatest evil; nor temperate, who considers pleasure the highest god.

-Cicero
December 18

"We've run out of good projects. This is not a money issue... If these oil companies had fantastic projects, they'd be out there [developing new fields]."

-Matthew Simmons, author of Twilight in the Desert

December 19

Alas! How little does the memory of these
human inhabitants enhance the beauty of the
landscape! Again, perhaps, Nature will try,
with me for a first settler, and my house raised
last spring to be the oldest in the hamlet.

-Henry David Thoreau, Walden

December 20

There is but one Moon in the heavens,
yet it is reflected in countless streams of water.

-Amritabinda Upanishad

December 21

Circles, ellipses, curves
bring us to this turn point

lunging unquenchable bulged desire
(eating to live)

hosting millions of organisms
without knowing them
until all left alive
still feed without knowing us

each our own planet
out of cold space and witless unknowing

this parabola of another year
completes again what remains
to flame our sensing souls.

-Peter Berg, Celestial Soulstice 2010
December 22

"At an early age I decided that living a life of pious misery in the hope of going to heaven when it’s over is a lot like keeping your eyes shut all through a movie in the hope of getting your money back at the end."

-A. Whitney Brown

December 23

"An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools."

-Ernest Hemingway, For Whom the Bell Tolls

December 24

"It is just like man's vanity and impertinence to call an animal dumb because it is dumb to his dull perceptions."

-Mark Twain

December 25

"I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ."

-Gandhi

December 26

"Why yes -- a bulletproof vest."

-James Rodges, murderer, on his final request before the firing squad

December 27

My biggest dream in the world is for everyone to become vegetarian, so that there won't be any more suffering.

-Alicia Silverstone

December 28

"To get at the mind of a crow is a great challenge, but to get in the mind of a raven, as I found in living with one for a year, is an even greater one. Ravens are, to enthusiasts like myself, at the top of the avian pyramid in mental attributes."

-L. Kilham from "The American Crow and Common Raven"

December 29

"Sir, you're drunk!" "Yes, Madam, I am. But in the morning, I will be sober and you will still be ugly."

-Lady Astor and Winston Churchill

December 30

The frightening thing is not dying;
The frightening thing is not living.

-T-Bone Burnett

2011
January 1

"First, be a good animal."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

January 2

"The brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks."

-Wallace Stegner

January 3

"Mathematics is the archetype of the beautiful."

-Johannes Kepler

January 4

"No matter what strange things man does to the face of the earth in the future, it is hard to imagine him getting along without bees to pollinate his crops."

-Howard Ensign Evans, Wasp Farm

January 5

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere."

-Isaac Asimov

January 6

"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."

-Mark twain

January 7

"Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness."

-Robertson Davies

January 8

"Contrary to what most people say, the most dangerous animal in the world is not the lion or the tiger or even the elephant. It's a shark riding on an elephant's back, just trampling and eating everything they see."

-Jack Handy

January 9

"Genetic information in the form of species, subspecies, varieties, and races are disappearing daily from that vast treasure trove bequeathed to us by nature. The Endangered Species Act is a treasure in this politically difficult world, but it can't even scratch the surface of the crisis. But it's all we have."

-Thomas Eisner, Cornell University, 1992

January 10

"One must have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."

-Friedrich Nietzsche

January 11

"So many drugs, from digitalis to quinine to yew-based cancer amelioratives, have been synthesized from forest plants, from primeval stands that are disappearing fast, as fast as one football field a second, in the tropical rainforests."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

January 12

"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light."

-Theodore Roethke

January 13

"Glaucopsyche xerces [the Xerces blue] is now extinct as regards the neighborhood of San Francisco. The locality where it used to be found is converted into building lots, and between German chickens and Irish hogs no insect can exist besides louse and flea."

-Herman Behr, San Francisco lepidopterist, 1875

January 14

Behind our school
We made a loft in a tree with six trunks
Found an old railroad nail
And a fire poker
Spent a long time finding branches
And cutting them in half
We called it our chimpanzee nest.

Behind our school
You can make forts
Cross a marsh
Run from hornets
Build a swing
See the source of the little stream
Lay in a meadow
Explore in the pine needle forest
Look over a cliff
Spot foxes
Watch out for a bear
Follow deer tracks
Find an old house
Find a creepy old campsite
Run away from dogs
Come across a waterfall
Slip in the mud
Climb on fallen trees
Take a stream walk and end up swimming in it
Find an arrowhead
Feel relaxed
Calm
Tranquil
Happy
Grateful

-Samah Rash (age 11), "Behind Our School"

January 15

"For the naturalist, in fact, feeling at home means having achieved a biological appreciation of a region."

-Thomas Eisner, For Love of Insects

January 16

"A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life."

-Lewis Mumford

January 17

"We have tried on a large scale the experiment of preferring ourselves to the exclusion of other creatures...And now, conscious of those results, we are tempted to correct them by denigrating ourselves...Finally, we must see that we cannot be made kind toward our fellow creatures except by the same qualities that make us kind toward our fellow humans."

-Wendell Berry

January 18

"When we started out in 1961, we thought all we had to do was to get a good law and the Bay would be saved. What we have learned is that the law itself must be saved, that this requires constant vigilance against those that would change or weaken it."

-"Kay" Kerr, Co-founder of Save the Bay

January 19

"Scientific and technological progress themselves are value-neutral. They are just very good at doing what they do. If you want to do selfish, greedy, intolerant and violent things, scientific technology will provide you with by far the most efficient way of doing so. But if you want to do good, to solve the world's problems, to progress in the best value-laden sense, once again, there is no better means to those ends than the scientific way."

-Richard Dawkins

January 20

"poetry and romance still seemed the finest means of life support"

-Matthew Arnold

January 21

“I wonder why they got their asses up in the air for?” …
Hazel turned one of the stink bugs over…and the shining black beetle strove madly with floundering legs to get upright again, …
“Why do you think they do it?”
“I think they’re praying,” said Doc.

-John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

January 22

"You live and learn. At any rate, you live."

-Douglas Adams

January 23

"If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages."

-Isak Dinesen

January 24

"If you haven't found something strange during the day, it hasn't been much of a day."

-John A. Wheeler

January 25

"Water is the driving force of all nature."

-Leonardo da Vinci

January 26

"For every one good thing, the immortals deliver to men two evils. Men who are as children cannot take this becomingly. But the manly do, turning the brightness outward."

-Greek poet Pindar

January 27

"I am an admirer of skunks, silverfish, and yellow jackets, and confess to a good deal of regard for the rattlesnake. If you were to press the point, I could probably think of something good to say about the louse."

-Howard Ensign Evans

January 28

"A nature lover is a person who, when treed by a bear, enjoys the view."

-anonymous

January 29

"The problem is not that he is ignorant, it is that he knows too many things that are not true."

-Winston Churchill

January 30

"I write from a worm’s eye point of view.

-Ernie Pyle (1900-1945)

January 31

"Definition of ecology: ‘It is the science of who eats whom, and who lives where, of how energy and nutrients course through the tissue of the living world, the science of the study of the production of living tissue and its consumption and decay. It is the great integrative biological science of not just molecules, not just cells, not just whole organisms, but of the complex dance of nature across space and time.’"

-The Hidden Forest: the biography of an ecosystem, Jon. R. Luoma
February 1

"First, be a good animal."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

February 2

"I instantly realized that everything in my life that I'd thought was unfixable was totally fixable-except for having just jumped."

-reflexions of a survivor of jumping from the Golden Gate Bridge

February 3

"It's very interesting that the U.S. is the only country where there is a controversy over evolution. Why there is a controversy befuddles me. There have been millions of observations of DNA, every one of them fully compatible with an evolutionary explanation of descent."

-Peter Raven

February 4

"I'd like to echo what Dan has said. I agree entirely. Geologists, I think, see this in terms of time scales that most of us probably don't think of. We think of the next 100 years or the next 300 years as the overall time scale over which much biotic impoverishment may take place. But I've spent my life looking at the past mass extinctions. Certainly the fastest we have on record was the end of the dinosaurs, the so-called K/T extinction, but over the last five years we've looked in great detail at what happened at the end of the Permian and what happened at the end of the Triassic, and neither of these were events that took place in, let's say, a 100-year time scale or a 300-year time scale. I think in the past, if we use the past as a record, 100, 000 year intervals of mass extinction are certainly what has taken place.
My view of the current mass extinction is that it has been going on for 15, 000 years. The loss of the mega-mammals, to me, was really the opening shot of what's going on, and it is now filtering down to ever-smaller animals. But in North America alone we can lose over 50 species in large mammals. This is far more catastrophic than happened in North America with the loss of all the dinosaurs. More large mammals disappeared in 15, 000 years than there were species of dinosaurs recorded from the upper most deposits in North America."

-Peter Ward, professor of geological sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he is also adjunct professor of zoology and of astronomy

February 5

"The place of the meeting of land and water...keeps alive the sense of continuing creation and the relentless drive of life. Each time I enter it, I gain some new awareness of its beauty and its deeper meanings, sensing that intricate fabric of life by which one creature is linked with another, and each with its surroundings."

-Rachel Carson, The Edge of the Sea

February 6

"The philosophy behind vivisection, the sacrifice of creatures we regard as 'inferior' beings, differs little from that behind the concentration camp or the slave trader."

-Aga Khan (Prince Sadruddin) (1933-2003)

February 7

"Like ancient trees, we die from the top."

-Gore Vidal

February 8

“Can grave and formal pass for wise, When Men the solemn Owl despise?”

-Benjamin Franklin

February 9

"Had there been an Endangered Species Act in the 1860s, San Francisco would be a very different place. The 'Great Sand Bank' occupying the western third of the city would have been declared critical habitat for any number of plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth—including three butterflies that subsequently went extinct. We would still have the Xerces Blue (Glaucopsyche xerces), the Pheres Blue (Plebejus icarioides pheres), and the Sthenele Satyr (Cercyonis sthenele sthenele), but there would be no Golden Gate Park and no Sunset District."

-Arthur M. Shapiro, Field Guide To Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions

February 10

There's a Polar Bear
In our Frigidaire--
He likes it 'cause it's cold in there.
With his seat in the meat
And his face in the fish
And his big hairy paws
In the buttery dish,
He's nibbling the noodles,
He's munching the rice,
He's slurping the soda,
He's licking the ice.
And he lets out a roar
If you open the door.
And it gives me a scare
To know he's in there--
That Polary Bear
In our Fridgitydaire.

-Shel Silverstein, “Bear In There”
February 11

"It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations."

-Winston Churchill

February 12

"He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met."

-Abraham Lincoln

February 13

"I have often wondered at the savagery and thoughtlessness with which our early settlers approached this rich continent. They came at it as though it were the enemy, which of course it was. They burned down the forests and changed the rainfall; set fire to the grass, and ran a reckless scythe through the virgin and noble timber. Perhaps the felt that it was limitless and could never be exhausted and that a man could move on to new wonders endlessly. Certainly there are many examples to the contrary, but to a large extent the early people pillaged the country as though they hated it, as though they held it temporarily and might be driven off at any time."

-John Steinbeck, America and Americans

February 14

In the spring a fuller crimson comes upon the robin’s breast;
In the spring the wanton lapwing gets himself another crest;

In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove;
In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thought of love.

-Tennyson, "Locksley Hall"

February 15

"Any plant that encourages bird life, supplies the bees with an unexcelled source of honey, gives food to man, furnishes tannin from its bark, protects arid slopes from erosion, paints the landscape with vivid colors and carries joy into the home at Christmas time, when no other berries are available to most Californians, surely deserves the protection of man, whom it serves so well."

-Ralph D. Cornell

February 16

Ah to be alive
on a mid-September morn
fording a stream barefoot,
pants rolled up,
holding boots, pack on,
sunshine, ice in the shallows,
northern rockies.

-Gary Snyder, "For All"

February 17

"From here we saw the pushing and resistance which the outgoing water of the estuary makes against that of the sea, forming there a sort of ridge like a wave in the middle…We saw the spouting of whales, a shoal of dolphins or tunny fish, sea otter and sea lions."

-Padre Pedro Font, on first sighting the Golden Gate, 1776

February 18

"I do not want to discuss evolution in such depth, however, only touch on it from my own perspective: from the moment when I stood on the Serengeti plains holding the fossilized bones of ancient creatures in my hands to the moment when, staring into the eyes of a chimpanzee, I saw a thinking, reasoning personality looking back. You may not believe in evolution, and that is all right. How we humans came to be the way we are is far less important than how we should act now to get out of the mess we have made for ourselves."

-Jane Goodall

February 19

"Let the beauty we love be what we do."

-Rumi

February 20

"...A core task shared by education and environmental awareness is to keep alive seeds and roots. For an educator, it means the seeds and roots of civilization and culture; for an environmentalist, the literal seeds and roots of earth's biodiversity. You might call this core task:  the preservation of wildness at the core of all life."

-Sigrid Mueller, California Institute for Biodiversity Educator of the Year

February 21

"Women are extraordinary in lacking the estrus, or period of heat. The females of most other primate species become sexually active, to the point of aggression, only at the time of ovulation. Why has sexual responsiveness become nearly continuous? Unusually frequent sexual activity between males and females served as the principle device for cementing the pair bond."

-Edward O. Wilson, "On Human Nature"

February 22

"Ecosustainability is THE social justice issue of the 21st Century... We need an ecumenical approach with all hands on deck: the screamers, the shouters, the compromisers, the lawyers, the organizers, the writers, etc."

-Jason Mark
February 23

"The weight of all the ants on the Earth happens to be greater than the weight of all of us."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

February 24

"We have seen what happened with the whaling issue, and don't want attention."

-a resident of Kesennuma, a Japanese town that relies on the shark fin trade

February 25

He must have a long spoon
that must eat with the devil.

-Shakespeare

February 26

"Lying under an acacia tree [in East Africa] with the sounds of dawn around me, I realized…that the construction of an airplane, for instance, is simple when compared to the evolutionary achievement of a bird…I realized that if I had to choose, I would rather have birds than airplanes…Civilization is progress and aviation a boon only if life improves because of them…The final answer will be given not by our amassment of knowledge, or by the discoveries of our science, or by the speed of our aircraft, but by the effect our civilized activities as a whole have upon the quality of our planet’s life—the life of plants and animals as well as that of man."

-Charles Lindbergh, ‘Is Civilization Progress?’ Reader’s Digest, July 1964

February 27

"Grass softens the rude outline of the world. Its tenacious fibers hold the earth in its place. It invades the solitude of deserts, climbs the inaccessible slopes and forbidding pinnacles of mountains, modifies climates, and determines the history, character and destiny of nations."

-John James Ingalls

February 28

"We hear political 'leaders' commenting constantly that that 'the fundamentals of the economy are strong.' But we here know that the fundamentals of the economy are in fact the soil and waters and plants and animals."

-Curt Meine, Aldo Leopold biographer

March 1

Thus Ants, who for a Grain employ their Cares,
Think all the business of the Earth is theirs.
Thus Honeycombs seem Palaces to Bees,
And mites imagine all the World a Cheese.

-Alexander Pope

March 2

"It's very simple why kids are crazy about dinosaurs -- dinosaurs are nature's Special Effects. They are the only real dragons. Kids love dragons. It's not just being weirdly shaped and being able to eat Buicks. It's that they are real."

-Robert T Bakker

March 3

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tower,
The moping owl does to the moon complain.

-Thomas Gray (1716-1771)

March 4

"In the years since the Industrial Revolution, we humans have been partying pretty hard. We’ve ransacked most of the Earth for resources. A small part of the world’s population wound up with some nice goodies, but now we’re eating the seed corn."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

March 5

"But where was I to start? The world is so vast, I shall start with the country I knew best, my own. But my country is so very large. I had better start with my town. But my town, too, is large. I had best start with my street. No, my home. No, my family. Never mind, I shall start with myself."

-Elie Wiesel

March 6

His science has progressed past stone, 
His strange and dark geometries,
Impossible to flesh and bone,
Revive upon the passing breeze
The house the blundering foot destroys.
Indifferent to what is lost
He trusts the wind and yet employs
The jeweled stability of frost.
Foundations buried underfoot
Are forfeit to the mole and worm
But spiders know it and will put
Their trust in airy dreams more firm
Than  any rock and raise from dew
Frail stairs the careless wind blows through.

-Loren Eiseley, “The Spider ”

March 7

"Look, in short, at practically anything--the coot’s feet, the mantis’s face, a banana, the human ear--and see that not only did the creator create everything, but that he is apt to create anything. He’ll stop at nothing....There is no one standing over evolution with a blue pencil to say, ‘Now that one, there, is absolutely ridiculous, and I won't have it.’"

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim At Tinker Creek

March 8

"The securest guarantee of the long-term good health of both farmland and city is, I believe, locally produced food."

-Wendell Berry

March 9

"Human destiny is bound to remain a gamble, because at some unpredictable time and in some unforeseeable manner nature will strike back."

-Rene Dubos, American microbiologist

March 10

"If you are a deer, they are aggressive, but we are something that they don't want or need. But even if you have never seen a mountain lion, there is probably a chance that a mountain lion has seen you."

-Troy Swauger

March 11

"We can be very clever, we humans, but sometimes not so smart."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

March 12

"If lions could speak, we could not understand them."

-Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

March 13

"As early as 1956, Green Hairstreaks were reported disappearing from San Francisco area. Today, virtually all populations on the Bay's islands, hills, and shorelines have been eliminated as the natural habitat has given way to development."

-Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies, 1981

March 14

"How is it, I am often asked, that I make discoveries? I always feel a bit awkward about answering the question, because I do not have a particular method. The truth is that I spend a fair amount of time looking around. I already knew as a boy that if I wanted to see things happen—if I wanted to win the revelatory lottery of nature—I had to buy a lot of tickets. So it was in my youth that I formed the habit of taking exploratory walks, whenever possible and as often as possible, for the sole purpose of “eavesdropping” on nature. Naturalists thrive on such walks, driven by curiosity and the hope of witnessing chance events. Taken at face value, such events may not amount to much. But they many “connect” to what you already know, to previous observations stored away in your memory, and thus take on added meaning. There has to be constant readiness to make such connections. Every tidbit of new information, no matter how trivial, has the potential of amounting to more than a speck of color. Properly assigned to the pointillist canvas that constitutes your inner view of the natural world, the new speck adds dimension to the vision."

-Thomas Eisner, For Love of Insects

March 15

"Earth and sky, wood and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."

-Sir John Lubbock

March 16

"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark shouldburn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."

-Jack London

March 17

"The map is not the territory."

-Korzbyski

March 18

"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it."

-Lao Tzu

March 19

"I don't mean to put down your black widow spider, but the funnelweb spider can kill a man in eight seconds, just by lookin' at him."

-Crocodile Dundee

March 20

"In times like these, it is helpful to remember that there have always been times like these."

-Paul Harvey, American radio broadcaster

March 21

"Any political agenda and organization which doesn't begin with personal responsibility is just half the argument. It's just not going to succeed."

-Peter Coyote

March 22

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

-Aldo Leopold

March 23

"Encke's comet, which revolves about the sun in 3 1/2 years, has been observed to complete its revolution in a constantly shortening period, showing that it is being drawn inward towards the sun. This fact has led to the general co nclusion that the planets are moving in a resisting medium, far more attenuated than our atmosphere, but still sufficient to affect their motions. It follows by strict necessity that our earth and its sister orbs are all winding spirally towards the sun, and that they must eventually strike against it and become incorporated with its mass. The time required for this fate belongs to those inconceivable periods with which geology and astronomy have to deal."

-Scientific American, October 1860

March 24

"Not that the shark impresses with her size. At a few inches past five feet long, she's a mere juvenile, not even the largest fish in the tank. But that singular blocky profile, the emblematic pattern of gray dorsal surface with white belly, the obsidian eyes that seem to suck light from the water: somehow they connect with the saurian part of the human brain, bypassing our typical aesthetic metrics. We can only be enthralled--and intimidated--by her transcendent predatory grace."

-Glen Martin, in Bay Nature magazine

March 25

“Modern people are on the world, not in it; they have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them, but are undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.”

-John Muir

March 26

"We need wilderness because we are wild animals. Every man needs a place where he can go to go crazy in peace. Every Boy Scout troop deserves a forest to get lost, miserable, and starving in. Even the maddest murderer of the sweetest wife should get a chance for a run to the sanctuary of the hills. If only for the sport of it. For the  terror, freedom, and delerium...

-Edward Abbey, The Journey Home

March 27

"It is hard without long and loving study to realize the magnitude of the work done on these mountains during the last glacial period by  glaciers, which are only streams of closely compacted snow-crystals.  And in the development of these Nature chose for a tool not the earthquake or lightning to rend and split asunder, not the stormy torrent or eroding rain, but  the tender snow-flowers. . . Laboring harmoniously in united strength  they crushed and ground and wore away the rocks in their march, making vast beds  of soil, and at the same time developed and fashioned the landscapes into the delightful variety of hill and dale and lordly mountains that mortals call  beauty. . . . And our admiration must be excited again and again as we . . .  learn that this vast job of rockwork . . . was done by agents so fragile and  small as are these flowers of the mountain gods. . . Strong only by force of numbers, they carried away entire mountains, particle by particle, block by  block, and cast them into the sea; sculptured, fashioned, modeled all the range,  and developed its predestined beauty. . . [N]othing that I can write can  possibly exaggerate the grandeur and beauty of the work of [these] snow-flower  crusaders."

-John Muir, The Mountains of California

March 28

"Earth is the insane asylum for the universe."

-anon.

March 29

"A new fact has recently become clear to me: It is not variety that is the spice of life. Variety is the meat and potatoes. Risk is the spice of life."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

March 30

Recently extirpated
The California Quail
Can now
Only be heard
In the Mockingbird ’s
Call

-Alan Hopkins, “A Quail ’s Call”

March 31

"Business is a subset of the environment, not the other way around. You can't have a healthy economy, you can't have a healthy anything in a degraded environment."

-Peter Coyote

April 1

"April 1. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four."

-Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson, 1894

April 2

wholly to be a fool
while Spring is in the world my blood approves
and kisses are a better fate
than wisdom

-ee cummings

April 3

"I quote others only the better to express myself."

-Michel de Montaigne

April 4

"The most important thing that we have learned about the universe is that we can understand it. The same physical laws that control our lives on Earth control the most distant objects in the universe."

-John Kormendy, Astronomer

April 5

“Flowers are born every hour.”

-John Muir, April 1870

April 6

"It is bad news to science museums when four in ten Americans believe humans lived with dinosaurs, and fewer than two in ten understand the terms 'molecule' and 'DNA.'"

-Larry Witham, Where Darwin Meets the Bible

April 7

“Sometimes we get a deeper look into the world’s heart—and our own—when we stand not on the shifting sands of society and ego but on the bedrock realities of the natural, and spiritual, world.”

-Parker Palmer

April 8

"Our excessive emotions are so patently painful and harmful to us as a species that I can hardly believe that they evolved. Other creatures manage to have effective matings and even stable societies without great emotions, and they have the bonus in that they need not ever mourn. (But some higher animals have emotions that we think are similar to ours: dogs, elephants, otters, and the sea mammals mourn their dead. Why do that to an otter? What creator could be so cruel, not to kill otters, but to let them care?) It would seem that emotions are the curse, not death‹emotions that appear to have devolved upon a few freaks as a special curse from Malevolence."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

April 9

You are one
Of the time-sifted few that leave the world,
When they are gone, not the same place it was.

Mark what you leave.

-Edwin Arlington Robinson

April 10

"The Great Central Plain of California, during the months of March, April, and May, was one smooth, continuous bed of honey-bloom, so marvelously rich that, in walking from one end of it to the other, a distance of more than 400 miles, your foot would press about a hundred flowers at every step. Mints, gilias, nemophilas, castillejas, and innumerable compositae were so crowded together that, had ninety-nine percent of them been taken away, the plain would still have seemed to any but Californians extravagantly flowery. The radiant, honeyful corollas, touching and overlapping, and rising above one another, glowed in the living light like a sunset sky‹one sheet of purple and gold, with the bright Sacramento pouring through the midst of it from the north, the San Joaquin from the south, and their many tributaries sweeping in at right angles from the mountains, dividing the plain into sections fringed with trees."

-John Muir

April 11

"An infant who has just learned to hold his head up has a frank and forthright way of gazing about him in bewilderment. He hasn’t the faintest clue where he is, and he aims to learn. In a couple of years, what he will have learned instead is how to fake it: he’ll have the cocksure air of a squatter who has come to feel he owns the place. Some unwonted, taught pride diverts us from our original intent, which is to explore the neighborhood, view the landscape, to discover at least where it is that we have been so startlingly set down, if we can’t learn why."

-Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

April 12

"The love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond our reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth, the only home we shall ever know; the only paradise we ever need--if we only had the eyes to see."

-Edward Abbey

April 13

"If mountain lions were conducive to preying upon humans, there would be far more incidents. The average mountain lion is very well-behaved."

-Tyler Baskfield

April 14

"Unlike other global ecological problems, extinction is completely irreversible."

-Peter Raven

April 15

"I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization."

-Oliver Wendell Holmes

April 16

I give you know Professor Twist
A conscientious scientist.
Trustees exclaimed, “He never bungles!”
And sent him off to distant jungles.
Camped on a tropic riverside.
One day he missed his loving bride.
She had, the guide informed her later,
Been eaten by an alligator.
Professor Twist could not but smile.
“You mean,” he said, “a crocodile.”

-Ogden Nash, “The Purist”

April 17

I dream of a quiet man
who explains nothing and defends
nothing, but only knows
where the rarest wildflowers
are blooming, and who goes,
and finds that he is smiling
not by his own will.

-Wendell Berry

April 18

"I think we are drawn to dogs because they are the uninhibited creatures we might be if we weren't certain we knew better."

-George Bird Evans

April 19

"To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime."

-Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915

April 20

"Our creationist detractors charge that evolution is an unproved and unprovable charade-- a secular religion masquerading as science. They claim, above all, that evolution generates no predictions, never exposes itself to test, and therefore stands as dogma rather than disprovable science. This claim is nonsense. We make and test risky predictions all the time; our success is not dogma, but a highly probable indication of evolution's basic truth."

-Stephen Jay Gould, "Dinosaur in a Haystack"

April 21

"Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures."

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

April 22
"Since writing JAWS, I've been lucky enough to do close to forty television shows about wildlife in the oceans, and yes, I have been attacked by sea creatures once in a while."

-Peter Benchley

April 23

"all men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night....wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible."

-T. E. Lawrence

April 24

Every year, back comes Spring,
with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off
and the ground all mucked up with plants.

-Dorothy Parker

April 25

"Evolution is cleverer than you are."

-Orgel's Second Rule

April 26

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."

-John Lubbock

April 27

Listening to frogs
Violins in the night
My children will see them
Won't they?

Sitting by a stream
As it rushes by
It'll always flow
Won't it?

Nothing is forever
Things always have an end
We won't always be together
I know it

The frogs did no harm
They deserve a second chance
The clock is ticking faster
Make haste

Take nothing for granted
And help where you can
To do nothing is to regret
To look away and forget.

-Isabel Johnson, "Won't They?"

April 28

"Very like a whale."

-Hamlet

April 29

"Twain's frog is part of our ecological, literary, and cultural heritage, but without habitat protection, it may hop right into history."

-Dr. Robert Stack, Jumping Frog Research Institute

April 30

"Will we remain curious enough about nature to maintain the exploratory momentum? Will the collective urge to discover keep natural history alive? Although I don’t have the answer to this question, I despair when I think of the possibility that curiosity may be on the wane. Without curiosity, without passion for discovery, nature cannot endure. And without nature, curiosity will fade. Think of the consequences if it came to the worst. Of what purpose would be our intellect in a world without nature? Of what purpose our senses, our eyes and ears? Imagine the riches foregone, the myriad stories left untold.
I cannot help feeling that, ultimately, curiosity will be sustained. It is so fundamentally human to thirst for knowledge and to turn to nature for visions of the unknown. Will we be wise enough to put limits on our encroachment upon nature? Perhaps we can keep the hope alive that we will eventually succeed in doing so. It might help if naturalists of all persuasions closed ranks to redefine the rules by which we coexist with the living world. Can love of insects make a difference? I am not sure. But I would like to believe that it does."

-Thomas Eisner, For Love of Insects

May 1

These things I know:
How the living go on living
and how the dead go on living with them
so that in a forest
even a dead tree casts a shadow 
and leaves fall one by one
and the branches break in the wind
and the bark peels off slowly
and the trunk cracks
and the rain seeps in through the cracks
and the trunk falls to the ground
and the moss covers it
and in the spring, the rabbits find it
and build their nest
inside the dead tree
so that nothing is wasted in nature
or in love.

-Laura Gilpin, “These Things I Know”

May 2

On the willow's highest branch, monopolizing
Day and night, cheeping, squeaking, soaring,
The mockingbird is imitating life.

-Randall Jarrell
May 3

"We must not forget that when radium was discovered no one knew that it would prove useful in hospitals. The work was one of pure science. And this is a proof that scientific work must not be considered from the point of view of the direct usefulness of it. It must be done for itself, for the beauty of science, and then there is always the chance that a scientific discovery may become like the radium a benefit for humanity."

-Marie Curie
May 4

"What is more awe-inspiring, the huge, perhaps unending Universe, or the almost infinitesimal atoms that fill it with matter? Without the small, the large would have no meaning. We are tiny compared with the Galaxy, but have the power to comprehend its greatness. It is easy--but misleading--to confuse size with significance."

-James Kaler

May 5

"I have a rock garden. Last week three of them died."

-Richard Diran

May 6

"There are too many of us, and we still know too little about the living world to coexist with other species harmoniously. We are destroying the habitats in which most kinds of organisms live, threatening thousands of plant and millions of insect species--more than perished at the end of the Age of Dinosaurs."

-Edward O. Wilson, Omni, 1991

May 7

“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.  It is not only a mirror of ourselves, but a focusing lens on what we can become.”

-Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007)

May 8

There was something chaotic
yet complete, which existed before the
creation of heaven and earth.
Without sound and formless,
it stands alone and does not change
It pervades all and is free from danger,
it can be regarded then as the
mother of the world.
I do not know its proper name
but will call it Tao.

-Lao Tzu, Tao te Ching

May 9

Rattlesnakes are packed with lots of colors,
no legs, and bad habits
They have tails to shake at you
so you won't die

-Cole Morales (age 7), “Rattlesnake”

May 10

"Like many other invaluable natural resources, San Francisco Bay will be largely destroyed by haphazard exploitation unless there are concerted regional efforts to plan its preservation and development on a rational basis."

-Harold Gilliam, Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region, 1962

May 11

"…wandered for an afternoon in Golden Gate Park, where I saw bands of quail running fearlessly among the shrubbery-a charming sight from which I argue that, notwithstanding the general belief, San Franciscans cannot after all be wholly bad."

-J. Smeaton Chase, during his rambles up the coast of California in 1911, (California Coast Trails: A Horseback Adventure from Mexico to Oregon by J. Smeaton Chase)

May 12

"After all is said and done, it comes down to this: a world without frogs would be a world less beautiful, a world less diverse. A world without frogs would be a world incomplete."

-Josephe-Anne Rocke, Grand Prize Winner, 2010 SAVE THE FROGS! Essay Contest

May 13

"I view the cosmological constant as the energy of the vacuum, or the energy of nothing.  And thinking about nothing occupies a lot of people. I try to get my students to think about nothing; some of them are pretty good....According to the principle of quantum uncertainty, particles and antiparticles can appear from the vacuum out of nothing [and] exist for a brief instant of time before disappearing into the vacuum. So nothing is something. Sort of a Zen-like quality to nothing."

-Cosmologist Rocky Kolb of the University of Chicago, at the American Astronomical Society meeting in January 2011

May 14

"One researcher just determined that African and Indian elephants make each other sick. When a new animal or plant is introduced to a habitat bad things happen. The biggest danger to native wildlife is foreign wildlife."

-Robert T. Bakker

May 15

"We can identify him, whatever his name, by his characteristics. He is wild, hairy, very strong, inhabits mountainous or at least deserted places, and is nearly but not quite human."

-Daniel Cohen, A Modern Look at Monsters

May 16

"If we really want to reduce our carbon footprint -- and the number of species that disappear beneath it -- it will be necessary to reduce the number of feet."

-Randy Serraglio, overpopulation campaign coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity

May 17

"Every billion more people makes life more difficult for everybody - it's as simple as that….Is it the end of the world? No. Can we feed 10 billion people? Probably. But we obviously would be better off with a smaller population."

-John Bongaarts, a demographer at the Population Council

May 18

Will you walk a little faster?
said a whiting to a snail.
There’s a porpoise close behind us,
and he’s treading on my tail.

-Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)

May 19

"For a long time, paper has been made from softwoods, such as fir and pine, but recent technological advances allow giant timber corporations to pulp hardwoods as well."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

May 20

"You have to love it before you are moved to save it."

-Dr. Sylvia Earle

May 21

"The most dangerous of devotions, in my opinion, is the one endemic to Christianity: I was not born to be of this world. With a second life waiting, suffering can be endured--especially in other people. The natural environment can be used up. Enemies of the faith can be savaged and suicidal martyrdom praised."

-E. O. Wilson, Consilience

May 22

No flowers, no bees;
No bees, no flowers.
Blooming and buzzing,
Buzzing and blooming;
Married and still in Love.

-Mike Garofalo

May 23

"In regard to conservation, China is thus far the black hole of Asia, exerting a gravitational force that sucks in smuggled wildlife from the entire world, destined for the stomachs of over a billion people. The taste for all things chelonian and the crush of overpopulation will render virtually all wild turtles and tortoises extinct, and natural habitat will remain only in a few well-protected areas. A precious few animals will be kept like crown jewels in locked enclosures, to be trotted out for visiting biologists (and perhaps culinary experts). Many millions of turtles will be seen in markets, all of them farm-raised. Likewise, Vietnam will soon have no turtle or tortoise fauna to speak of, and with a burgeoning population problem, the same applies to most other animal species there."

-Craig B. Stanford, The Last Tortoise: A Tale of Extinction In Our Lifetime (Belknap Press, Harvard University, 2010)

May 24

“Wilderness, above all its definitions and uses, is sacred space, with sacred powers, the heart of a moral world.”

-Michael Frome

May 25

"Environmental health requires peace, prosperity, and continuity.”

-Stewart Brand

May 26

"What is the nature of a species that knowingly and without good reason exterminates another?"

-George Small, The Blue Whale, 1971

May 27

"A child who has been boxed up six hours in school might spend the next four hours in study, but it is impossible to develop the child's intellect in this way. The laws of nature are inexorable. By dint of great and painful labor, the child may succeed in repeating a lot of words, like a parrot, but, with the power of its brain all exhausted, it is out of the question for it to really master and comprehend its lessons. The effect of the system is to enfeeble the intellect even more than the body. We never see a little girl staggering home under a load of books, or knitting her brow over them at eight o'clock in the evening, without wondering that our citizens do not arm themselves at once with carving knives, pokers, clubs, paving stones or any weapons at hand, and chase out the managers of our common schools, as they would wild beasts that were devouring their children."

-Scientific American, October 1860

May 28

"Animals can communicate quite well. And they do. And generally speaking, they are ignored."

-Alice Walker

May 29

"If God had meant for us to use the metric system, we would have been born with ten fingers and ten toes."

-anon.

May 30

"As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life ‹ so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls."

-Matt Cartmill

May 31

"An inordinate passion for pleasure is the secret of remaining young."

-Oscar Wilde

June 1

"You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

-Jack London

June 2

"Misquotation is, in fact, the pride and privilege of the learned. A widely-read man never quotes accurately, for the rather obvious reason that he has read too widely."

-Hesketh Pearson

June 3

I am an anadromous fish, I only have the wish,
To swim with the whales,
Come back with my scales,
And still have a tail to swish!

-Brandon, Quail Hollow Elementary

June 4

"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 5

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."

-Ansel Adams

June 6

"What man actually needs it not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task."

-Viktor E. Frankl

June 7

"The earth has spawned such a diversity of remarkable creatures that I sometimes wonder why we do not live in a state of perpetual awe and astonishment."

-Howard Ensign Evans

June 8

"How inappropriate to call this planet EARTH when it clearly is OCEAN."

-Arthur C. Clarke

June 9

“I never think of the future—it comes soon enough.”

-Albert Einstein

June 10

"Adults are always asking kids what they want to be when they grow up because they are looking for ideas."

-Paula Poundstone

June 11

"…most industrial farms practice extensive monoculture (miles of the same crop), where there is no alternative forage for any pollinator, native or nonnative. Without a variety of food blooming at different times, any insect pollinator in the area will have a short, troubled life."

-Karen E. Bean, beekeeper

June 12

And there my little doves did sit
With feathers softly brown
And glittering eyes that showed their right
To general Nature's deep delight.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

June 13

This dewdrop world,
it is a dewdrop world;
and yet, and yet....

-Issa

June 14

Dendrology is not the study of dendrites, but rather,
as a Scottish dendrologist explained,
the discipline of discerning a tree in the distance by its form--
its arching limbs, sprawling crown, the silhouette of a single trunk.

In a country almost wiped clean of trees a century ago,
there is such a love for them that small boys
know the difference between lanky branches of a wych elm
and the contained posture of an English oak.

I carry my notebook as we pick our way
among heather, sheep, and spiny gorse
and sketch these rare, leafy bodies--their distant forms,
their twisted shape against wind off the North Sea.

But it is only in the quiet of my chilly dormitory room,
gazing out the window at lithe red petioles of a sycamore about to turn,
that I understand my great grandmother who left Scotland
years before this generation of saplings took root--

her quiet marveling in a brogue I only knew as hers
as we drove through the canyons of Utah
with their towering lodge-pole pines, smoke-blue spruce,
and the endless, aching expanse of aspen.

-Molly Wimbiscus

June 15

"In this sense, astronomy is a lot more like paleontology than it is like physics. Trying to tell the story of a galaxy is like trying to reconstruct a dinosaur from bits of fossilized bone. We will never have the galaxy or dinosaur in our laboratory, and must do guesswork based on flimsy, secondhand evidence."

-Astronomer Frederick Chromey

June 16

"The commonest ivory tower is that of the average man, the state of passivity towards experience." 

-W.H. Auden, The Prolific and the Devourer

June 17

"Hence the reason of that vulgar observation, that the highest zeal in religion and the deepest hypocrisy, so far from being inconsistent, are often or commonly united in the same individual character."

-David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion

June 18

"Men who fear the strenuous life believe in that cloistered life which saps the hardy virtues in a nation as it saps them in the individual, or else they are wedded to the base spirit of gain and greed which recognize in commercialism the be-all and end-all of national life, instead of realizing that, though an indispensible element, it is, after all, but one of many elements that go to make up true national greatness."

-Teddy Roosevelt, 1899

June 19

"[Biology] is the least self-centered, the least narcissistic of the sciences—the one that, by taking us out of ourselves, leads us to re-establish the link with nature and to shake ourselves free from our spiritual isolation."

-Jean Rostand
June 20

"It is very strange, and very melancholy, that the paucity of human pleasures should persuade us ever to call hunting one of them."

-Samuel Johnson

June 21

Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

June 22

"Do what we can, summer will have its flies."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 23

"I always keep a supply of liquor handy in case I see a snake--which I also keep handy."

-W. C. Fields

June 24

Hear that lonesome whippoorwill?
He sounds too blue to fly.
The midnight train is whining low,
I'm so lonesome I could cry.

-Hank Williams
June 25

To see the Summer Sky
Is Poetry, though never in a Book it lie -
True Poems flee.

-Emily Dickinson

June 26

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower."

-Hans Christian Andersen

June 27

Having to squeeze the last drop of utility out of the land has the same desperate finality as having to chop up the furniture to keep warm.

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

June 28

"In a time of peace in the modern world, if one is thoughtful and careful, it is rather more difficult to be killed or maimed in the outland places of the globe than it is in the streets of our great cities, but the atavistic urge toward danger persists and its satisfaction is called adventure. However, your adventurer feels no gratification in crossing Market Street in San Francisco against the traffic. Instead he will go to a good deal of trouble and expense to get himself killed in the South Seas."

-John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts, The Log From The Sea of Cortez
June 29

"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits."

-Thomas A. Edison

June 30

I question not if thrushes sing,
If roses load the air;
Beyond my heart I need not reach
When all is summer there.

-John Vance Cheney

July 1

"Sunsets and rainbows, green forest and restive blue seas, all naturally colored things are my siblings. We have played together on the floor of the world since the first stone looked up at the stars."

-Maya Angelou

July 2

"In brief, she assumed that, being a man, I was vain to the point of imbecility, and this assumption was correct, as it always is."

-H. L. Mencken, "A Popular Virtue"

July 3

"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time."

-John Lubbock

July 4

"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it."

-Abbie Hoffman

July 5

"Many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer."

-Frekerick William

July 6

"I never blame fortune - there are too many complicated situations in life. But, I am absolutely merciless toward lack of effort."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

July 7

"There is a road, no simple highway, between the dawn and the dark of night, and if you go, no one may follow, that path is for your steps alone"

-Jerry Garcia

July 8

"To me old age is always fifteen years older than I am."

-Bernard Baruch

July 9

"Man is ready to die for an idea, provided that idea is not quite clear to him."

-Paul Eldridge

July 10

"He said the pleasantest manner of spending a hot July day was lying from morning till evening on a bank of heath in the middle of the moors, with the bees humming dreamily about among the bloom, and the larks singing high up overhead, and the blue sky and bright sun shining steadily and cloudlessly."

-Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

July 11

"It is obvious that humans are unlike all animals. It is also obvious that we are a species of big mammal, down to the minutest details of our anatomy and out molecules. That contradiction is the most fascinating feature of the human species. It is familiar, but we still have difficulty grasping how it came to be and what it means."

-Jared Diamond, The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee

July 12

"I don't even butter my bread; I consider that cooking."

-Katherine Cebrian

July 13

"If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again; it was probably worth it."

-anon.

July 14

Some primal termite knocked on wood;
and tasted it, and found it good.
That is why your Cousin May
fell through the parlor floor today.

-Ogden Nash

July 15

"If I owe you a pound, I have a problem; but if I owe you a million, the problem is yours."

-John Maynard Keynes

July 16

"Almost in the heart of the city of San Francisco grows another creeping Arctostaphylos, very much resembling the most prostrate form of A. hookeri. Although it is a trifle looser in growth, it has the same general habit and for garden purposes is equally satisfactory.  It is low and spreading and rooting along the stem and has a little longer, narrower, more pointed, and grayer leaf. It is only in the last couple of years that botanists have become aware of this creeping Manzanita and have named it A. franciscana. It grows on Mount Davidson in San Francisco, in old Laurel Hill  Cemetery, forming flat masses over serpentine outcroppings and humus-filled gravel and flopping down over the sides of gray and chrome rocks. Ericameris, Baccharis, Ferns, Buckwheats, and Golden Yarrow grow among it; and over it stand Toyons and Live Oaks-rather untidy ones, which seem to have withstood the encroachments of civilization less well than has the Manzanita. Lovely Cypress trees spread their branches over disheveled graves and break the bleak outlines of encircling buildings. The Manzanita has been there longer than the buildings and longer probably than the oldest graves. None of it grows on the graves (which are unmarked, neglected, and usually encircled by rickety old wooden palings) though nothing could be more suitable and enduring. Its surroundings are typically Californian (though this isn't the California which the outlanders think of as typical)--an old stable, a few piles of iron junk, grass which turns green with the rains and tan with the drought, and a background of Eucalyptus. A cart drawn by a thin horse comes down the little-used drive, a man with a pitchfork meanders along beside it. They look like a slow movie; their speed is not the speed of the noisy, traffic-filled streets only a few yards away. The cart, the Manzanita, and the dead belong to another era. It  was in 1854, the Gold Rush days, that the old cemetery was set aside as a quiet haven for San Francisco's pioneer dead; so it is no wonder that it seems to recall a different phase of life. Now it is being regarded impatiently by the folk to who any land is just so many building lots. If they can they will eradicate it as a cemetery and that will be the last of an old San Francisco record and certainly the last of Arctostaphylos franciscana . Why not make the place a  memorial park and leave untouched the air of past days which it now possesses?"

-Lester Rowntree, Flowering Shrubs of California, 1939, pp 121-122

July 17

"Love is sustained by laughter, not by tears."

-La Boheme

July 18

"No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit."

-Ansel Adams

July 19

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day.

-Robert Louis Stevenson

July 20

"If you think of the universe as a jigsaw puzzle of 100,000 pieces, we have a few hundred pieces, and they are by no means contiguous. That's what makes it fun."

-David Burstein, astronomer, interview in Stephn B. Hall, Mapping the Next Millenium, 1992

July 21

"After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut."

-Will Rogers

July 22

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

-Oscar Wilde

July 23

"Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty. There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail."

-Robert Motherwell

July 24

"I look at ANWR (Artic National Wildlife Refuge) as a poison pill in the energy bill."

-Ben Nelson

July 25

"The nation's agricultural policy is due for an update in 2012. This gives Congress an opportunity both to cut spending and to help the environment. Federal subsidies now mostly reward large farms for planting monocultures of corn, soybeans, wheat and rice. Much of that food goes to factory farms, where tightly packed animals provide a breeding ground for infectious diseases and produce vast quantities of waste that poses an environmental hazard. The current system devours fossil fuels, depletes the soil and pollutes waterways. It also makes high-sugar foods and beef artificially cheap, contributing to the obesity and diabetes epidemic. Through a transition in the way subsidies are allocated, the government should encourage a progressive return to sustainable, integrated farming, which alternates commodity crops with legumes and with grass for pasture."

-Scientific American's Board of Editors

July 26

"I would like to paint the way a bird sings."

-Claude Monet

July 27

"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."

-Kahlil Gibran

July 28

Her mouth is a honey-blossom,
No doubt, as the poet sings;
But within her lips, the petals,
Lurks a cruel bee that stings.

-William Dean Howells
July 29

"Mathematics is the language in which God has written the universe."

-Galileo

July 30

"When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with all other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty."

-John Muir

July 31

"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have power to revoke at any moment."

-Marcus Aurelius

August 1

What lies before us-
what lies behind us-
Are tiny Matters
compared to
what lies within.

-Emerson

August 2

“Sharks are as tough as those football fans who take their shirts off during games in Chicago in January, only more intelligent.”

-Dave Barry

August 3

"I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer.  My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music.  It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips."

-Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit

August 4

"From that time on she had known that beauty is a world betrayed. The only way we can encounter it is if its persecutors have overlooked it somewhere."

-Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

August 5

"The summer night is like a perfection of thought."

-Wallace Stevens

August 6

"What is the origin of the urge, the fascincation that drives physicists, mathematicians, and presumably other scientists as well? Psychoanalysis suggests that it is sexual curiosity. You start by asking where little babies come from, one thing leads to another, and you find yourself preparing nitroglycerine or solving differential equations. This explanation is somewhat irritating, and therefore probably basically correct."

-David Ruelle, "Chance and Chaos"

August 7

"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."

-Celia Thaxter
August 8

"The whole world is, to me, very much "alive" - all the little growing things, even the rocks. I can't look at a swell bit of grass and earth, for instance, without feeling the essential life - the things going on - within them. The same goes for a mountain, or a bit of the ocean, or a magnificent piece of old wood."

-Ansel Adams

August 9

“The softest of stuff in the world penetrates quickly the hardest; insubstantial, it enters where no room is.”

-Lao Tzu

August 10

"Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed."

-I. F. Stone

August 11

"In a way, each of us has an El Guapo to face. For some, shyness might be their El Guapo. For others, a lack of education might be their El Guapo. For us, El Guapo is a big, dangerous man who wants to kill us."

-Lucky Day

August 12

"Money is a way of creating scarcity."

-Peter Coyote

August 13

"At the end of a clear day in midsummer the light from the setting sun strikes fire to the houses on the slopes opposite the Golden Gate. From the bay or the city, you can see the windows glitter along the far wall like a thousand blazing jewels. Then, as the sun sinks, the lights along the lower towers begin to go out. Almost imperceptibly the twilight rises like a tide until the last flames along the rim are finally extinguished, and the spectacle is ended."

-Harold Gilliam, The San Francisco Experience

August 14

"Birds are the ultimate expression of liberation and freedom, which may explain why so many Britons "twitch" when watching them.  Japanese men trapped in the corporate world, when surveyed, have indicated that in their next life they would most like to return as a bird."

-letter to The Economist 2 April 05

August 15

"There are three types of people in the world:  those who can count, and those who can't."

-used

August 16

"America demonstrates invincibly one thing that I had doubted up to now, that the middle classes can govern a State...Despite their small passions, their incomplete education, their vulgar habits, they can obviously provide a practical sort of intelligence, and that turns out to be enough."

-Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835

August 17

"We are all wounded creatures."

-Salman Rushdie

August 18

"The greatest wealth is to live content with little."

-Plato

August 19

"Dams have harmed our wildlife and made rivers less useful for recreation."

-Stephen Ambrose

August 20

"You don't have to suffer to be a poet; adolescence is enough suffering for anyone."

-John Ciardi

August 21

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.”

-Carl Jung

August 22

"Genius is only a superior power of seeing."

-John Ruskin

August 23

"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world."

-Ada Louise Huxtable
August 24

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here.

-Wendell Berry

August 25

"So long as a man rides his Hobby-Horse peaceably along the King's highway, and neither compels you or me to get up behind him­ pray, Sir, what have either you or I to do with it?"

-Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy

August 26

"Civilization's shortening attention span is mismatched with the pace of environmental problems."

-Stewart Brand

August 27

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."

-Russel Baker

August 28

"A belief in hell and the knowledge that every ambition is doomed to frustration at the hands of a skeleton have never prevented the majority of human beings from behaving as though death were no more than an unfounded rumor."

-Aldous Huxley

August 29

"Who would be free, themselves must strike the blow."

-Lord Byron

August 30

"With just enough of learning to misquote."

-Lord Byron

August 31

Oh, the summer night
Has a smile of light
And she sits on a sapphire throne.

-Barry Cornwall

September 1

"What does labor want? We want more schoolhouses and less jails, more books and less arsenals; more learning and less vice; more leisure and less greed; more justice and less revenge; in fact, more of the opportunities to cultivate our better natures, to make manhood more noble, womanhood more beautiful, and childhood more happy and bright."

-Samuel Gompers (1956)

September 2

"How many times did the sun shine, how many times did the wind howl over the desolate tundras, over the bleak immensity of the Siberian taigas, over the brown deserts where the Earth's salt shines, over the high peaks capped with silver, over the shivering jungles, over the undulating forests of the tropics! Day after day, through infinite time, the scenery has changed in imperceptible features. Let us smile at the illusion of eternity that appears in these things, and while so many temporary aspects fade away, let us listen to the ancient hymn, the spectacular song of the seas, that has saluted so many chains rising to the light."

-Emile Argand, Tectonics of Asia (1924)

September 3

Post coitum omne animal triste.
After coition every animal is sad.

-Post-Classical saying

September 4

If you follow your bliss,
you will always have your bliss,
money or not.

If you follow money,
you may lose it,
and you will have nothing.

-Joseph Campbell

September 5

"It's a shallow life that doesn't give a person a few scars."

-Garrison Keillor

September 6

"It seems to me that we all look at Nature too much, and live with her too little."

-Oscar Wilde

September 7

"Goldenrods have gotten a bad rap; people think they cause hayfever or other allergic reactions. Allergenic plants are those that are wind-pollinated, such as grasses, ragweed, pines, and oaks. Their pollen grains are individual, not gathered into a clump or ball, in order to maximize the chances of landing on the female organs of another flower of its kind. Wind-pollinated plants do not invest energy in showy petals. Petals are designed to attract the attention of insect pollinators, and when an insect finds the flower, pollen hitches a ride on its hairy legs or body, and a whole bunch of pollen grains want to go along on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. They are sticky in order to adhere to each other, and the balls are too big to travel up to the sinuses of humans; for that, the fine individual grains of wind-borne pollen is needed. So discard what you may have been told about goldenrod and, like an insect, just savor its beauty, interest, and utility."

-Jake Sigg

September 8

Thus may we gather honey from the weed,
And make a moral of the devil himself.

King Henry V, William Shakespeare

September 9

"No one on a working ranch would ever have any reason (or desire) to ride a bull, Brahma or otherwise. No one would ever be required to race a horse around three triangularly placed barrels, and activity that quickly ruins the horse for more productive activity. Bull riding and barrel racing are rodeo kabuki—their relation to anything that might happen on a ranch is confined to costume."

-Larry McMurtry

September 10

"... We are strong and adaptable animals and can certainly make a new life on the hotter Earth, but there will only be a fraction of inhabitable land left ... Soon we face the appalling question of whom can we let aboard the lifeboats? And whom must we reject? ... There will be great clamor from climate refugees seeking a safe haven in those few parts where the climate is  tolerable and food is available. ... We will need a new set of rules for (limiting the population in) climate oases."

-James Lovelock, in The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning, Basic Books, 2009

September 11

"A horse loves freedom, and the weariest old work horse will roll on the ground or break into a lumbering gallop when he is turned loose into the open."

-Gerald Raferty

September 12

"Yes­ around Concord."

-Henry David Thoreau, on being asked if he traveled

September 13

"Leaders have another duty:  To give voters the benefit of their best judgment."

-Edmund Burke

September 14

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."

-Ansel Adams

September 15

"Everything in life is speaking in spite of its apparent silence."

-Hazrat Inayat Khan

September 16

"In what terms should we think of these beings, nonhuman yet possessing so very many human-like characteristics? How should we treat them? Surely we should treat them with the same consideration and kindness as we show to other humans; and as we recognize human rights, so too should we recognize the rights of the great apes? Yes."

-Jane Goodall

September 17

"Democracy begins in conversation."

-John Dewey

September 18 "On a visit to the United States, Winston Churchill attended a luncheon where fried chicken was served. When he politely asked the hostess, ‘May I have more breast?' she scolded him: ‘Mr. Churchill, in America we say ‘white meat' or ‘dark meat.' The next day Churchill sent the woman an orchid with the following note: ‘Madam, I would be much obliged if you would pin this on your white meat.'"
September 19

"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

September 20

"I see myself in all species and I see all species in me."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

September 21

Summer set lip to earth's bosom bare,
And left the flushed print in a poppy there.

-Francis Thompson
September 22

"For sleep, riches and health to be truly enjoyed, they must be interrupted."

-Jean Paul Richter, writer (1763-1825)

September 23

What happens 
to the leaves after
they turn red and golden and fall 
away? What happens

to the singing birds 
when they can't sing
any longer? What happens
to their quick wings?

Do you think there is any
personal heaven 
for any of us?
Do you think anyone,

the other side of that darkness,
will call to us, meaning us?
Beyond the trees
the foxes keep teaching their children

to live in the valley.
So they never seem to vanish, they are always there
in the blossom of the light
that stands up every morning

in the dark sky.
And over one more set of hills,
along the sea,
the last roses have opened their factories of sweetness

and are giving it back to the world.
If I had another life
I would want to spend it all on some
unstinting happiness.

I would be a fox, or a tree
full of waving branches.
I wouldn't mind being a rose
in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition.
Reason they have not yet thought of.
Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what.
Or any other foolish question.

-Mary Oliver, Roses, Late Summer

September 24

"Seeing a dog and horse and man yawn makes me feel how much all animals are built on one structure."

-Charles Darwin, 1838

September 25

"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it."

-Edith Wharton

September 26

A noiseless, patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of
itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the
spheres to connect them,

Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile
anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O
my soul.

-Walt Whitman

September 27

"Heat, ma'am! it was so dreadful here, that I found there was nothing left for it but to take off my flesh and sit in my bones."

-Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir
September 28

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven; A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck that which is planted."

-Ecclesiastes 3:1

September 29

“The gods of the market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew.”

-Rudyard Kipling

September 30

"A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease."

-John Muir

September 31

"Conservation is hard work. People who are motivated by the belief that we are obliged to pass on a healthy world to our kids, or who love wild places and animals, soon learn that we are in the messy and human-centered business of social change."

-Bill Hedden, executive director of Grand Canyon Trust

October 1

"It is far better to know something about everything than to know all about one thing."

-Pascal

October 2

"Experience is a good school, but the fees are high."

-Heine

October 3

"He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances."

-David Hume

October 4

"A life without love is like a year without summer."

-Swedish Proverb
October 5

"At present, I am mainly observing the physical motion of mountains, water, trees and flowers. One is everywhere reminded of similar movements in the human body, of similar impulses of joy and suffering in plants."

-Egon Schiele

October 6

"Some of the creatures that were lost were singularly spectacular and would take a little managing if they were still around. Imagine ground sloths that could look into an upstairs window, tortoises nearly the size of a small fiat, monitor lizards twenty feet long basking beside desert highways in Western Australia. Alas, they are gone and we live on a much diminished planet. Today, across the whole world, only four types of really hefty (a metrick ton or more) land animals survive: elephants, rhinos, hippos, and giraffes. Not for tens of millions of years has life on Earth been so diminutive and tame.
The question that arises is whether the disappearances of the Stone Age and disappearances of more recent times are in effect part of a single extinction event—whether, in short, humans are inherently bad news for other living things. The sad likelihood is that we may well be. According to the University of Chicago paleontologist David Raup, the background rate of extinction on Earth throughout biological history has been one species lost every four years on average. According to one recent calculation, human-caused extinction now may be running as much as 120,000 times that level."

-Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

October 7

"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea."

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
October 8

"I dare say I represent the silent majority of Chinese and Asian immigrants. The overwhelming majority of Chinese and Asians do not eat turtles or frogs. I'm an immigrant Chinese and my wide circle of family, friends and relatives, old and young, from all parts of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and many other parts of Asia, never ever ate those 'foods' or even heard of it. There is really no such thing as 'culture food.' "

-Michele Tsai

October 9

"I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short."

-Pascal

October 10

O Lord, it is time
The summer was so vast
Put your shadows on the sundials
And in the fields let the wind loose.

Order the last fruits to become ripe
Give them two more sunny days
Push them to fulfillment
And force the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

He who has no house now will not build one
He who is alone will be so for a long time to come
Will stay awake, read, write long letters
And restlessly walk in the park among the blown leaves.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, “Autumn”

October 11

"The beauty of our land is a natural resource. Its preservation is linked to the inner prosperity of the human spirit."

-President Lyndon Johnson, 1965

October 12

"Pressures resulting from unrestrained population growth put demands on the natural world that can overwhelm any efforts to achieve a sustainable future. If we are to halt the destruction of our environment, we must accept limits to that growth."

-World Scientists' Warning to Humanity, signed by 1600 senior scientists from 70 countries, including 102 Nobel Prize laureates

October 13

"That's the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over, lest you should think he never could recapture the first fine careless rapture!"

-Robert Browning

October 14

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

-Mark Twain

October 15

"In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous."

-Aristotle

October 16

"You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved."

-Ansel Adams

October 17

"The organizational ecology in the Bay Area is totally filled out.  There's not been much effort to tell what's gone on here...the clarity that marries the people, the politics, the institutions.  Systems that sit on the land.  The Bay Area is a pointillist painting."

-Larry Orman, Longtime director of the Greenbelt Alliance

October 18

"Forty to one hundred species of plant or animal life disappear every day—nobody knows how many for sure."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

October 19

"The sun alone appears, by virtue of his dignity and power, suited for this motive duty (of moving the planets) and worth to become the home of God himself."

-Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)

October 20

"Beautification be damned! Urban and community trees should be planted for economic, environmental and social reasons."

-Donald C. Willeke

October 21

"It's not quite true that you can't go home again. I have done it, coming back here. But it gets less likely. We have had too many divorces, we have consumed too much transportation, we have lived too shallowly in too many places."

-Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose

October 22

“For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together.  For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.”

-Edwin Way Teale

October 23

"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it"

-Jane Wagner

October 24

"I mention all this to make the point that if you were designing an organism to look after life in our lonely cosmos, to monitor where it is going and keep a record of where it has been, you wouldn't choose human beings for the job.
But here's an extremely salient point: we have been chosen, by fate or Providence or whatever you wish to call it. As far as we can tell, we are the best there is. We may be all there is. It's an unnerving thought that we may be the living universe's supreme achievement and its worst nightmare simultaneously."

-Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything

October 25

"Australians were unique due to our corals, our apples, our gum trees and our kangaroos."

-Harold Edward Holt

October 26

"Every language is an old growth forest of the mind, a watershed of thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities."

-Dr. Wade Davies

October 27

"Democracy destroys itself because it abuses its right to freedom and equality. Because it teaches its citizens to consider audacity as a right, lawlessness as a freedom, abrasive speech as equality, and anarchy as progress."

-Isocrates

October 28

"It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living."

-David Attenborough

October 29

"We are the movement and every one of us is so important. Without any one of us the movement is weaker and poorer for the loss. Without all of us the movement ceases to exist. Who will then care about the animals?"

-Barry Horne

October 30

"I value my garden more for being full of blackbirds than of cherries, and very frankly give them fruit for their songs."

-Joseph Addison, The Spectator, 1712

October 31

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon's silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play.

-Joel Benton

November 1

"Let your life be the poem you write."

-Bokonon

November 2

To make a happy fireside clime
To weans and wife,
That's the true pathos and sublime Of human life.

-Robert Burns, Epistle to Dr. Blacklock

November 3

"The particular oak now aglow on my andirons grew on the bank of the old emigrant road where it climbs the sandhill.  The stump, which I measured upon felling the tree, has a diameter of 30 inches.  It shows 80 growth rings, hence the seedling from which it originated must have laid its first ring of wood in 1865, at the end of the Civil War…Only one acorn in a thousand ever grew large enough…the rest were drowned at birth in the prairie sea.

"It is a warming thought that this one wasn't, and thus lived to garner eighty years of June sun.  It is this sunlight that is now being released, through the intervention of my axe and saw, to warm my shack and my spirit through eighty gusts of blizzard.  And with each gust a wisp of smoke from my chimney bears witness, to whomsoever it may concern, that the sun did not shine in vain.

"Now comes the job of making wood.  The maul rings on steel wedges as the sections of trunk are up-ended one by one, only to fall apart in fragrant slabs to be corded by the roadside.

"There is an allegory for historians in the diverse functions of saw, wedge, and axe.

"The saw works only across the years, which it must deal with one by one, in sequence.  From each year the raker teeth pull little chips of fact, which accumulate in little piles, called sawdust by woodsmen and archives by historians; both judge the character of what lies within by the character of the samples thus made visible without.  It is not until the transect is completed that the tree falls, and the stump yields a collective view of a century.  By its fall the tree attests the unity of the hodge-podge called history.

"…These things I ponder as the kettle sings, and the good oak burns to red coals on white ashes.  Those ashes, come spring, I will return to the orchard at the foot of the sandhill.  They will come back to me again, perhaps as red apples, or perhaps as a spirit of enterprise in some fat October squirrel, who, for reasons unknown to himself, is bent on planting acorns."

-Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

November 4

"The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

-Bertrand Russell

November 5

“This is the only bird whose note affects me like music. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It changes all hours to an eternal morning.”

-Henry David Thoreau

November 6

"People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world which cannot sustain people."

-Bryce Nelson

November 7

"Humans seldom value what they cannot name."

-Elaine Brooks

November 8

"It is time to confront the hard truth that traditional approaches to conservation, taken alone, are doomed to fail. Nature reserves are too small, too few, too isolated and too subject to change to support more than a tiny fraction of Earth's biodiversity. The challenge is to make conservation more attractive--from economic and cultural perspectives. We cannot go on treating nature like an all-you-can eat buffet."

-Gretchen Daily, professor of environmental science, Stanford University

November 9

"Probably no comparable area on earth displays as many varieties of weather simultaneously as the region around San Francisco Bay."

-Harold Gilliam, Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

November 10

"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

-Jawaharial Nehru

November 11

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

November 12

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see."

-John Burroughs
November 13

"Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph. Both can stir enduring affirmations and discoveries, and can surely help the spectator in his search for identification with the vast world of natural beauty and wonder surrounding him."

-Ansel Adams

November 14

"Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved."

-Jane Goodall

November 15

"Every man is a damned fool for at least five minutes every day. Wisdom consists in not exceeding the limit."

-Elbert Hubbard, author, editor, printer (1856-1915)

November 16

“Ever seen a leaf - a leaf from a tree?”
“Yes.”
“I saw one recently - a yellow one, a little green, wilted at the edges. Blown by the wind. When I was a little boy, I used to shut my eyes in winter and imagine a green leaf, with veins on it, and the sun shining …”
“What's this - an allegory?”
“No; why? Not an allegory - a leaf, just a leaf. A leaf is good. Everything's good.”

-Dostoevsky, The Possessed, Dialogue between Kirolov and Stavrogin

November 17

"Not to have known—as most men have not—either the mountain or the desert is not to have known oneself."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

November 18

"Misunderstandings and neglect occasion more mischief in the world than even malice and wickedness."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
November 19

"For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad."

-Edwin Way Teale

November 20

"If you do not the expect the unexpected you will not find it, for it is not to be reached by search or trail."

-Heraclitus

November 21

Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth.  He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.
He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it.
He ought to imagine the creatures there and all the faintest motions of the wind.

-N Scott Momaday

November 22

"Look deep, deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything."

-Albert Einstein

November 23

Make a place to sit down.
Sit down. Be quiet.
You must depend upon
affection, reading, knowledge,
skill — more of each
than you have — inspiration,
work, growing older, patience,
for patience joins time
to eternity. Any readers
who like your work, 
doubt their judgment.

Breathe with unconditional breath
the unconditioned air.
Shun electric wire.
Communicate slowly. Live
a three-dimensioned life;
stay away from screens. 
Stay away from anything
that obscures the place it is in.
There are no unsacred places;
There are only sacred places
And desecrated places.

-Wendell Berry, “How To Be a Poet (to remind myself)”

November 24

"I know in my soul that to eat a creature who is raised to be eaten, and who never has a chance to be a real being, is unhealthy...You're just eating misery."

-Alice Walker

November 25

"Now I can look at you in peace; I don't eat you any more."

-Franz Kafka, while admiring fish in an aquarium

November 26

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds!
November!

-Thomas Hood, 1844

November 27

"The only rational response to both the impending end of the oil age and the menace of global warming is to redesign our cities, our farming and our lives. But this cannot happen without massive political pressure, and our problem is that no one ever rioted for austerity. People tend to take to the streets because they want to consume more, not less.
"I refuse to believe that there is not a better means of averting disaster than this. I refuse to believe that human beings are collectively incapable of making rational decisions. But I am beginning to wonder what the basis of my belief might be."

-George Monbiot, Guardian Weekly  22-28 July 2005

November 28

"Surveying the available alternative energy sources for criteria such as energy density, environmental impacts, reliance on depleting raw materials, intermittency versus constancy of supply, and the percentage of energy returned on the energy invested in energy production, none currently appears capable of perpetuating this kind of society."

-Richard Heinberg, from his article, "Temporary Recession or the End of Growth?"

November 29

"It's always darkest before dawn.  So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do  it."

-anon

November 30

Words are things; and a small drop of ink
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think. 

-Lord Byron, (1788-1824)

December 1

"The idea is to die young as late as possible."

-Ashley Montagu

December 2

"The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and, instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are."

-Samuel Johnson

December 3

"Implicit in the term 'national defense' is the notion of defending those values and ideals which set this Nation apart. For almost two centuries, our country has taken singular pride in the democratic ideals enshrined in its Constitution, and the most cherished of those ideals have found expression in the First Amendment. It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties — the freedom of association — which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile."

-Earl Warren, United States v. Robel (1967)

December 4

"A bachelor is a man who comes to work each morning from a different direction."

-Anon.

December 5

Why, who makes much of a miracle?
As to me I know of nothing else but
miracles,...
Every cubic inch of space is a miracle,
Every square yard of the surface of
the earth is spread with the same,
Every foot of the interior swarms with
the same..

-Walt Whitman, "Leaves of Grass"

December 6

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.
Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell,
nor yet a dry, bare sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat:
it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green,
with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle.
The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel:
a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs.

-JRR Tolkien, The Hobbit

December 7

If your eyes are not deceived by the mirage
do not be proud of the sharpness of your understanding.
It may be your freedom from this optical illusion
is due to the imperfectness of your thirst.

-Sohrawardi

December 8

"We are social creatures to the inmost centre of our being. The notion that one can begin anything at all from scratch, free from the past, or unindebted to others, could not conceivably be more wrong."

-Karl Popper, philosopher and a professor (1902-1994)

December 9

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved."

-Charles F. Kettering, inventor and engineer (1876-1958)

December 10

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change."

-Charles Darwin

December 11

"Today we have a temporary aberration called “industrial capitalism” which is inadvertently liquidating its two most important sources of capital.. the natural world and properly functioning societies. No sensible capitalist would do that."

-Amory Lovins

December 12

"The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself."

-Shaw

December 13

"Small changes in climate can cause wars, topple governments and crush economies already strained by poverty, corruption and ethnic conflict."

-Jeffrey D. Sachs

December 14

"If we squander the ecological capital of the soil, the capital on paper won't much matter."

-Wes Jackson, president of the Land Institute

December 15

"A wind has blown the rain away and blown the sky away and all the leaves away, and the trees stand. I think, I too, have known autumn too long."

-e. e. cummings

December 16

"The only thing more powerful than learning from experience, is not learning from experience."

-Archibald MacLeish

December 17

"A forest of these trees is a spectacle too much for one man to see."

-David Douglas
December 18

"Destroying species is like tearing pages out of an unread book, written in a language humans hardly know how to read, about the place where they live."

-Rolston Holmes III
December 19

"…the test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Roosevelt

December 20

"Everything is going according to plan."

-Jack Kodiak

December 21

"I meet no one who privately disagrees that population growth is a problem. No one – except flat-earthers – can deny that the planet is finite. We can all see it in that beautiful picture of our earth taken from the Apollo mission. So why does hardly anyone say so publicly? There seems to be some bizarre taboo around the subject. ‘It's not quite nice, not PC, possibly even racist to mention it.'"

-David Attenborough

December 22

"Perhaps when the time comes that there is no more silence and no more aloneness, there will also be no longer anyone who wants to be alone."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

December 23

"As a matter of principle, I never attend the first annual anything."

-George Carlin

December 24

"Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."

-Barry LePatner

December 25

"In connection with these Christmas customs there are two curious observances among the more secluded dwellers of Shakespeare's greenwood, which, though they partake of the nature of superstitions, may very well be allowed a record here. They both occur on Christmas Eve, just upon the stroke of twelve (the witching hour), when the occupants of cot or farmstead, in the one instance, troop down the rustic garden to the beehives, " to hear the bees sing their Christmas carols." The belief is that these busy insects are as pleased at the birth of a new Christmas Day as the members of the human family, and testify their mirth by singing a set of new carols for the occasion. It is certainly a pretty and poetical custom which draws the peasants into the dim garden at midnight on Christmas Eve in the simple faith that the bees are singing Christmas in."

-George Morley, Shakespeare's Greenwood: The Customs of the Country, 1900
December 26

"The secret of leadership is simple: Do what you believe in. Paint a picture of the future. Go there. People will follow."

-Seth Godin

December 27

"Only those things are beautiful which are inspired by madness and written by reason."

-Andre Gide, author, Nobel laureate (1869-1951)

December 28

"The last thing I want to do is hurt you.  But it's still on my list."

-Anon.

December 29

"It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy."

-Lucille Ball

December 30

"Man stalks across the landscape, and desert follows his footsteps."

-Herodotus (Fifth Century BCE)

December 31

"Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence."

-Christopher Hitchens, author and journalist (1949-2011)

2012
January 1 "To a clear eye the smallest fact is a window through which the infinite may be seen."

-Thomas Henry Huxley, biologist and writer (1825-1895)

January 2

"‘If you don't like the weather,' they say in New England, ‘wait a few minutes.' In the San Francisco Bay Region the advice might be amended: ‘If you don't like the weather, walk a few blocks.'"

-Harold Gilliam, Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

January 3

"The global pattern we observed suggests that plant species in species-rich regions exhibit a greater reduction in fruit production due to insufficient pollination than plant species in regions of lower biodiversity."

-Susan Mazer

January 4

"The world isn't interested in the storms you encountered, but whether or not you brought in the ship."

-Raul Armesto

January 5

"The language of birds is very ancient, and, like other ancient modes of speech, very elliptical:  little is said, but much is meant and understood."

-Gilbert White, English clergyman

January 6

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

  - e.e. cummings

January 7

"Never have children, only grandchildren."

-Gore Vidal

January 8

"America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up."

-Oscar Wilde

January 9

"We are called to assist the earth, to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own–indeed, to embrace the whole creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder."

-Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Price laureate

January 10

"What angers him most is the lack of political will to address the global extinction crisis, with thousands of plant and animal species being lost each year. 'We are now using 120 percent of what the world produces, up from 70 percent in 1950,' he said.  If we can use the principles of social justice to reach a stable population and bring global warming under control, he said there's hope:  'It finally all depends on  us.'"

-Botanist Peter Raven

January 11

"Some years ago power shovels and bulldozers arrived and began to cut into the southern side of the hill from an old quarry site. They clawed their way into the slopes, destroying trees and plant life. New houses rose below the big gash, which can serve as another classic example of landscape butchery."

-Harold Gilliam (on Grand View Park), The San Francisco Experience (1972)

January 12

What did the zoospore say as it was leaving the zoosporangium?
"After you, I encyst!"

-From MykoWeb

January 13

"The world is my country, and science is my religion."

-Christian Huygens, 17th century Dutch astronomer

January 14

"The progress of science has always been the result of a close interplay between our concepts of the universe and our observations of nature. The former can only evolve out of the latter and yet the latter is also conditioned greatly by the former. Thus, in our exploration of nature, the interplay between our concepts and our observations may sometime lead to toally unexpected aspects among already familiar phenomena."

-Tsung-Dao Lee Chinese-born American Nobel prize-winning physicist (born 24 Nov 1926)

January 15

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends."

-Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 16

"…if Americans don't take care of things, it's because it's not in their 'economic' interest to do so when labor, time, money, and just about everything else are more expensive than raw materials, 'the stuff of creation'.  As individuals, we have lost our connection to the land, the best defense against our own excesses."

-Wendell Berry

January 17

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

-Thomas Edison, 1931

January 18

"Only when we understand can we care, only when we care will we help, and only if we help will they be saved."

-Jane Goodall

January 19

"Destroy a public building and it can be rebuilt in a year; destroy a city woodland park and all the people living at the time will have passed away before its restoration can be effected."

-William Hammond Hall, Surveyor, First Superintendent of Golden Gate Park

January 20

"When I took charge of recreation in San Francisco I felt sorry for many of the children. They no longer had woodsheds where they could make things, they had no place to make a garden and no way to learn about the birds and insects and small animals that country children know so well. I felt that the finest form of recreation I could provide the city's children was a place where they could work at all kinds of crafts; where they could handle small animals, have their own gardens, and learn about many forms of living things."

-Josephine Randall

January 21

"Live with skillful nonchalance and ceaseless concern."

-Prajnaparamita Sutra

January 22

"The heart has its reasons that reason cannot know. While Reason may help us develop strategies for mending the earth and ourselves, it will not open us to the process and possibilities that help us reconnect with the animal inside us... Until we do that the mind will continue to spin its wheels."

-Pascal

January 23

Earth is sick
And Heaven is weary of the hollow words
Which states and Kingdoms utter when they talk
Of truth and justice

-Wordsworth

January 24

"Instead of being derided as geeks or nerds, scientists should be seen as courageous realists and the last general heroic explorers of the unknown. They should get more money, more publicity, better clothes, more sex, and free rehab when the fame goes to their heads."

-Matthew Chapman, great-great grandson of Charles Darwin

January 25

Either we have hope within us or we don't.
It is a dimension of the soul and is not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world.
It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart.
It transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.
Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy that things are going well or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not because it stands a chance to succeed.
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.
It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.

-Vaclav Havel

January 26

"Once you fall in love with them, you can't fall out of love....There's no end to the marvel."

-Thomas Eisner, on insects

January 27

"I fully support the goal of species protection and conservation and believe that recovery and ultimately delisting of species should be the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's top priority under ESA."

-Dennis Cardoza

January 28

"Nothing worth doing can be achieved in a lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing that is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing that we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love."

-Reinhold Niebuhr

January 29

Earth, my likeness,
Though you look so impassive, ample and spheric there,
I now suspect that is not all;
I now suspect there is something fierce in you eligible to burst forth…
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, nature is incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop'd,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

-Walt Whitman

January 30

"People that are really very weird can get into sensitive positions and have a tremendous impact on history."

-Dan Quayle

January 31

"If the world were merely seductive, that would be easy. If it were merely challenging, that would be no problem. But I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."

-E. B. White

February 1

"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."

-Albert Einstein

February 2

"Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed."

-Chinese proverb

February 3

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation."

-Plato

February 4

"Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass."

-John Steinbeck

February 5

"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence."

-Ansel Adams

February 6

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can't breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

-Margaret Atwood, "The Moment"

February 7

"Locally, our biggest challenge is breaking down barriers created by those more interested in messaging than working together. It's hard to lay ideology aside and find common ground, but it must be done for real solutions to emerge." 

-Tim Peterson, Grand Canyon Trust

February 8

"What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains."

-Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947

February 9

"Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature."

-Gerard De Nerval

February 10

"I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in tune once more."

-John Burroughs
February 11

"Wilderness preservation is an American invention--a unique contribution of our nation to world civilization. As we mark the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act (1964), Americans should renew their pride in and commitment to the National Wilderness Preservation System. It is one of the best ideas our country ever had.
One place to start the celebration is with the recognition that wilderness is the basic component of American culture. From its raw materials we built a civilization. With the idea of wilderness we sought to give that civilization identity and meaning. Our early environmental history is inextricably tied to wild country. Hate it or love it, if you want to understand American history there is no escaping the need to come to terms with our wilderness past. From this perspective, designated Wilderness Areas are historical documents; destroying them is comparable to tearing pages from our books and laws. We cannot teach our children what is special about our history on freeways or in shopping malls. ..Protecting the remnants of wild country left today is an action that defines our nation. Take away wilderness and you diminish the opportunity to be American."

-Roderick Nash, Yosemite, Fall 2004

February 12

Expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.
Become a stranger
To need of pity
Or, if compassion be freely
Given out
Take only enough
Stop short of urge to plead
Then purge away the need.

Wish for nothing larger
Than your own small heart
Or greater than a star;
Tame wild disappointment
With caress unmoved and cold
Make of it a parka
For your soul.

Discover the reason why
So tiny a human midget
Exists at all
So scared unwise
But expect nothing. Live frugally
On surprise.

-Alice Walker, “Expect Nothing”

February 13

"Prayers are to men as dolls are to children. They are not without use and comfort, but it is not easy to take them very seriously."

-Samuel Butler, poet (1612-1680)

February 14

"I dreamt that my hair was kempt. Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it."

-Ogden Nash, poet (1902-1971)

February 15

"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines."

-Henry David Thoreau
February 16

"To be capable of embarrassment is the beginning of moral consciousness. Honor grows from qualms."

-John Leonard, critic (1939-2008)

February 17

"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines."

-Henry David Thoreau
February 18

Shades of a sleeping lion, the hill
stands out of the blue bay
above a gray city.
Friendliness of earth's shoulder
in empty air and wind.

Fog, just beginning,
curls over the ridge's pelt,
while sunlight's
first descent
sharpens cougar shadows.

The ravine's stretch
along curved flanks,
tufted with live-oak
and forested islay,
fading scrub,
thinning down
to the highway;
land-filled lagoon.

Dusty shadows of branches
stark for a while
before afternoon heat
gathers its turning radiance
down into gentle evening.
Vanishing shadows cross the slope,
swirling out of the fog's edges.

Under secret sprouts and dyings
of its inward folding silence,
lion shoulder never stirs,
unmoving under cold or fire,
thunder or sun.

-David Schooley, "Cougar Ridge"

February 19

"As future dams reach completion, their reservoirs will begin to fill, and the silt and sand will not reach the sea. Downstream, river deltas will become starved for fresh sediment, and regions that once received enough muck to stay above water will slowly begin to subside. Rising sea levels will aggravate the problem. Examples: Rising sea level combined with land subsidence at the Mississippi delta is causing Louisiana to sink as ground equal to two football fields is lost each hour, and the Nile delta is retreating 33 feet a year. Fish stocks have plummeted in both areas, as nutrients are no longer flowing in; in addition, toxics are no longer getting buried."

-Excerpted from Science News 21 May 2005

February 20

"Habit is necessary; it is the habit of having habits, of turning a trail into a rut, that must be incessantly fought against if one is to remain alive."

-Edith Wharton

February 21

"Soil is not usually lost in slab or heaps of magnificent tonnage. It is lost a little at a time over millions of acres by careless acts of millions of people. It cannot be solved by heroic feats of gigantic technology, but only by millions of small acts and restraints."

-Wendell Berry

February 22

"99% of today's agricultural production depends on only 24 different domesticated plant species. Of those, rice, wheat, and corn account for most of the world's caloric intake. Each of these three extremely important cereals is already produced in amounts exceeding half a billion tons every year. To keep pace with a global population projected to reach nine billion by 2050, while maintaining our present average daily consumption of between 0.9 and 3.3 pounds of these grains per person, cereal crops will have to yield 1.5 % more food every year and on a diminishing supply of cultivated land."

-Scientific American August 2004

February 23

"The closer you get to real matter, rock air fire and wood, boy, the more spiritual the world is."

-Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums

February 24

"...The ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician."

-William James Mayo

February 25

"We are close to waking up when we dream that we are dreaming."

-Novalis

February 26

"The kiss originated when the first male reptile licked the first female reptile, implying in a subtle, complimentary way that she was as succulent as the small reptile he had for dinner the night before."

-F. Scott Fitzgerald

February 27

"I believe wildlife belongs in the wild because bears deserve to live - not needlessly be killed for their gallbladders and bile to create traditional Asian medicines and toiletries. There are synthetic alternatives to using bear parts, as well as dozens of herbal substitutes that would still conform to traditional Chinese medicinal practices."

-Ricky Gervais
February 28

There should be no monotony in studying your botany.
It helps to train and spur the brain--unless you haven't gotany.

It teaches you--does botany--to know the plants and spotany,
And learn just why they live and die, in case you plant or potany.

You learn from reading botany of wooly plants and cottony,
That grew on earth, and what they're worth, and why some pots have notany.

You sketch the plants in botany; you learn to chart and plotany,
Like corn or oats.  You jot down notes--if you know how to jotany.

Your time, if you'll allotany, will teach you how and whatany
Of old plants or trees can do or be.  And that's the use of botany!

-anonymous

February 29

Surely, you too have longed for this -- 
to pour yourself out
on the rising circles of the air 
to ride, unthinking, 
on the flesh of emptiness.

Can you claim, in your civilized life, 
that you have never leaned toward 
the headlong dive, the snap of bones,
the chance to be so terrible, 
so free from evil, beyond choice?

The air that they are riding 
is the same breath as your own. 
How could you not remember? 
That same swift stillness binds 
your cells in balance, rushes 
through the pulsing circles of your blood.

Each breath proclaims it -- 
the flash of feathers, the chance to rest 
on such a muscled quietness, 
to be in that fierce presence, 
wholly wind, wholly wild.

-Lynn Ungar, “Hawks”

March 1

"Nothing in the world is so powerful as an idea whose time has come."

-Victor Hugo
March 2

"The glorious lamp of heaven, the radiant sun, Is Nature's eye."

-John Dryden

March 3

"There is nothing so American as our national parks. The scenery and wildlife are native. The fundamental idea behind the parks is native. It is, in brief, that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us. The parks stand as the outward symbol of this great human principle."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

March 4

"Don't mistake pleasure for happiness. They're a different breed of dog."

-Josh Billings, columnist and humorist (1818-1885)

March 5

"These bears, being so hard to die, rather intimidate us all."

-Captain Meriwhether Lewis, 1805

March 6

"One of the most serious challenges to human destiny in the last third of this century will be the growth of the population. Whether man's response to that challenge will be a cause for pride or for despair in the year 2000 will depend very much on what we do today. If we now begin our work in an appropriate manner, and if we continue to devote a considerable amount of attention and energy to this problem, then mankind will be able to surmount this challenge as it has surmounted so many during the long march of civilization."

-Richard Nixon, July 18, 1969

March 7

"I deem it my duty and task to advocate outwardly also, with all the powers of my intellect, the Copernican theory, which I in my innermost have recognized as true, and whose loveliness fills me with unbelievable rapture when I contemplate it."

-Johannes Kepler, Epitome of Copernican Astronomy, 1617-21

March 8

"When I call to mind my earliest impressions, I wonder whether the process ordinarily referred to as growing up is not actually a process of growing down; whether experience, so much touted among adults as the thing children lack, is not actually a progressive dilution of the essentials by the trivialities of the living."

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

March 9

"Saw God divide the night with flying flame, and thunder on the everlasting hills."

-Alfred Lord Tennyson, "A Dream of Fair Women"

March 10

"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves."

-Amelia Earhart

March 11

"To the complaint, 'There are no people in these photographs,' I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer."

-Ansel Adams

March 12

"Dinosaurs are the best way to teach kids, and adults, the immensity of geologic time."

Robert T. Bakker, Honolulu Advertiser, Jul. 9, 2000

March 13

"A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the Earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

March 14

"I had been to school...and could say the multiplication table up to 6x7=35, and don't reckon I could ever get any further than that if I was to live forever. I don't take stock in mathematics, anyway."

-Huckleberry Finn

March 15

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."

-Leonardo da Vinci

March 16

"Mountains complement desert as desert complements city, as wilderness complements and completes civilization."

-Edward Abbey, Desert Solitaire

March 17

"The first genetic map to be prepared for the whole of the British Isles has shown that there is no significant genetic variation. The Institution of Molecular Science at Oxford profiled 6,000 people and compared their blood samples with DNA extracted from the remains of Stone Age people. There was a 99 per cent correlation. This suggests that the original gene pool has hardly been disturbed by the waves of invading Celts, Gaels, Romans, Vikings and Normans."

-ATQ Stewart, "The Shape of Irish History"

March 18

"A hypocrite is a person who—but who isn't?"

-Don Marquis
March 19

This morning as I walked along the lakeshore,
I fell in love with a wren
and later in the day with a mouse
the cat had dropped under the dining room table.

In the shadows of an autumn evening,
I fell for a seamstress
still at her machine in the tailor's window,
and later for a bowl of broth,
 steam rising like smoke from a naval battle.

This is the best kind of love, I thought,
without recompense, without gifts,
or unkind words, without suspicion,
or silence on the telephone.

The love of the chestnut,
the jazz cap and one hand on the wheel.

No lust, no slam of the door –
the love of the miniature orange tree,
  the clean white shirt, the hot evening shower,
the highway that cuts across Florida.

No waiting, no huffiness, or rancor –
 just a twinge every now and then

for the wren who had built her nest
on a low branch overhanging the water
and for the dead mouse,
still dressed in its light brown suit.

But my heart is always propped up
in a field on its tripod,
ready for the next arrow.

After I carried the mouse by the tail
to a pile of leaves in the woods,
I found myself standing at the bathroom sink
gazing down affectionately at the soap,

so patient and soluble,
so at home in its pale green soap dish.
I could feel myself falling again
as I felt its turning in my wet hands
and caught the scent of lavender and stone.

-Billy Collins, "Aimless Love"

March 20

"So many gods, so many creeds, So many paths that wind and wind, While just the art of being kind is all the sad world needs."

-Ella Wheeler Wilcox, poet (1850-1919)

March 21

"There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature‹the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."

-Rachel Carson

March 22

"We must believe in free will. We've got no choice."

-Isaac Bashevis Singer

March 23

"Hell, there are no rules here-- we're trying to accomplish something."

-Thomas A. Edison

March 24

"In March and April the Bay Region weather is highly variable. Days marked by the last gusts of winter blowing themselves out are followed by days of hazy, balmy warmth. The green hills, the grassy vacant lots, and the residents of the region themselves gratefully absorb the increasing sunlight."

-Harold Gilliam, Weather of the Bay Region

March 25

Do not argue with me. Argue with these stones.
Truth has no trouble in knowing itself.

-Hugh MacDiarmid, 'On A Raised Beach'

March 26

Let yourself be silently drawn
by the strange pull of what you really love.
It will not lead you astray.

-Rumi

March 27

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even “A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.  Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance."  The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's get the Bastards."They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.
Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."
Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

-John Cleese - British writer, actor and tall person

March 28

"More plant species in the U.S. have been eliminated or threatened by livestock grazing than by any other cause, according to the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO)."

-George Wuerthner

March 29 "Earthquakes don't kill people," joke seismologists, "buildings do."
March 30

"Scientific thought demands some kind of unique soil in which to flourish.  It has about it the rarity of a fungus springing up in a forest glade only to perish before nightfall.  Perhaps, indeed, its own dynamism contains its doom.  Perhaps the tendency of science to fragment and crumble also partakes of the qualities of the mushroom.  This much at least we know:  science among us is an invented cultural institution, an institution not present in all societies, and not one that may be counted upon to arise from human instinct.
Science is as capable of decay and death as any other human activity, such as a religion or a system of government.  It cannot be equated with individual thought or the unique observations of genius, even though it partakes of these things.  As a way of life it has rules which have to be learned, and practices and techniques which have to be transmitted from generation to generation by the formal process of education.  Neither is it technology, although technology may contribute to science, or science to technology.  Many lost civilizations--Roman, Mayan, Egyptian--had great builders, whether of roads, aqueducts, temples, or pyramids.  Their remains show enormous experience of transmitted and improved techniques, but still these are not precisely within the true domain of science.
Science exists only within a tradition of constant experimental investigation of the natural world.  It demands that every hypothesis we formulate be subject to proof, whether in nature or in the laboratory, before we can accept its validity.  Men, even scientists, find this type of thinking extremely difficult to sustain.  In this sense science is not natural to man at all.  It has to be learned, consciously practiced, stripped out of the sea of emotions, prejudices, and wishes in which our daily lives are steeped.  No man can long endure such rarefied heights without descending to common earth.  Even the professional scientist frequently confines such activity to a specific discipline and outside of it indulges his illogical prejudices."

-Loren Eiseley, The Man Who Saw Through Time (1961)

March 31

"$100 placed at 7 percent interest compounded quarterly for 200 years will increase to more than $100,000,000 — by which time it will be worth nothing."

-Robert Heinlein

April 1

"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play."

-Heraclitus, philosopher (500 BCE)

April 2

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

-Elizabeth Barrett Browning

April 3

"Incredibly, the illegal trade in bear gall, live birds, leopard skin, rhino horn, tiger bone, ivory, and other wildlife represents the third most lucrative form of international crime, after drugs and gun smuggling."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

April 4

I objurgate the centipede,
A bug we do not really need.
At sleepy-time he beats a path
Straight to the bedroom or the bath.
You always wallop where he's not,
Or, if he is, he makes a spot.

-Ogden Nash

April 5

"In the long run protection must come by the devices and resources of united effort, high intelligence, and careful handling. We must work for it, plan for it, strive for it. It is a noble object. If the beauty and glamour of the Golden Land in its youth can be preserved and harmonized with the practical phases of our civilization, then we may proudly say that our race was fit to enjoy it and to keep it, rising to the spirit and glad wonder of Nature in the valleys, mountains and canyons of our California."

-Willis Linn Jepson, 1917

April 6

"Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food."

-Michael Pollan

April 7

"when faces called flowers float out of the ground and breathing is wishing and wishing is having...it's april....it's spring...."

e.e. cummings

April 8

"Change is the law of life."

-John F. Kennedy

April 9

"Coomaraswamy has a definition of art--art is the making of things well--that underlies art no matter what its function or category."

-Joseph Campbell

April 10

"when faces called flowers float out of the ground and breathing is wishing and wishing is having...it's april....it's spring...."

-e.e. cummings

April 11

The extraordinary patience of things!
This beautiful place defaced with a crop of suburban houses-
How beautiful when we first beheld it,
Unbroken field of poppy and lupin walled with clean cliffs;
No intrusion but two or three horses pasturing,
Or a few milch cows rubbing their flanks on the outcrop rockheads-
Now the spoiler has come: does it care?
Not faintly. It has all time. It knows the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all
Their works dissolve. Meanwhile the image of the pristine
beauty Lives in the very grain of the granite,
Safe as the endless ocean that climbs our cliff. -As for us:
We must uncenter our minds from ourselves;
We must unhumanize our views a little, and become confident
As the rock and ocean that we were made from.

-Robinson Jeffers, Carmel Point

April 12

"When nature made the blue-bird she wished to propitiate both the sky and the earth, so she gave him the color of the one on his back and the hue of the other on his breast."

-John Burroughs

April 13

"As early as 1956, Green Hairstreaks were reported disappearing from the San Francisco area. Today, virtually all populations on the Bay's islands, hills, and shorelines have been eliminated as the natural habitat has given way to development."

-Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies; 1981

April 14

I stuck my head out the window
this morning and spring kissed me
bang in the face.

-Langston Hughes

April 15

"We are such spendthrifts with our lives, the trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I'm not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out."

-Paul Newman

April 16

Don't think just now of the trudging forward of thought,
but of the wing-drive of unquestioning affirmation.

It's summer, you never saw such a blue sky,
and here they are, those white birds with quick wings,

sweeping over the waves,
chattering and plunging,

their thin beaks snapping, their hard eyes
happy as little nails.

The years to come -- this is a promise --
will grant you ample time

to try the difficult steps in the empire of thought
where you seek for the shining proofs you think you must have.

But nothing you ever understand will be sweeter, or more binding,
than this deep affinity between your eyes and the world.

The flock thickens
over the roiling, salt brightness. Listen,

maybe such devotion, in which one holds the world
in the clasp of attention, isn't the perfect prayer,

but it must be close, for the sorrow, whose name is doubt,
is thus subdued, and not through the weaponry of reason,

but of pure submission. Tell me, what else
could beauty be for? And now the tide

is at its very crown,
the white birds sprinkle down,

gathering up the loose silver, rising
as if weightless. It isn't instruction, or a parable.

It isn't for any vanity or ambition
except for the one allowed, to stay alive.

It's only a nimble frolic
over the waves. And you find, for hours,

you cannot even remember the questions
that weigh so in your mind.

-Mary Oliver, “Terns”

April 17

But there's a tree, of many, one
A single field which I have looked upon
Both of them speak of something that is gone....

-Wordsworth

April 18

"Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary."

-Reinhold Niebuhr, theologian (1892-1971)

April 19

"When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities."

-David Hume

April 20

"Louise Serpa fell in love with her first cowboy at age seventeen—I departed from the only cowboy I ever cared about, my father, at age eighteen. She sees cowboys as noble men—indeed, a few of them are noble. I see them as physically competent but emotionally limited men who are in most cases sexist, chauvinist, xenophobic, quasi-fascistic, and not infrequently dull."

-Larry McMurtry

April 21

"People say that what we are seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think this is what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive."

-Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth

April 22

"In this age, when a meager utilitarianism seems ready to absorb every feeling and sentiment, and what is sometimes called improvement in its march makes us fear that the bright and tender flowers of the imagination shall all be crushed beneath its iron tramp, it would be well to cultivate the oasis that yet remains to us, and thus preserve the germs of a future and a purer system."

-Thomas Cole, from  Essay on American Scenery

April 23

"Do we really have to destroy tomorrow in order to live today?"

-Gaylord Nelson

April 24

A child said What is the grass? Fetching
It to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not
Know what it is any more than he.

-Walt Whitman

April 25

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

-Douglas Adams

April 26

“If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone.”

-Jack Handy quotes

April 27

"It is unbecoming for young men to utter maxims."

-Aristotle

April 28

"The ultimate test of our conscience is the willingness to sacrifice something today for generations of tomorrow, whose words of thanks will not be heard."

-Gaylord Nelson

April 29

"Being a woman has only bothered me in climbing trees."

-Frances Perkins
April 30

"The world, we are told, was made especially for man -- a presumption not supported by all the facts... Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?"

-John Muir, naturalist and explorer (1838-1914)

May 1

"The white people never cared for land or deer or bear.  We don't chop down the trees.  We only use dead wood.  But the white people plow up the ground, pull down the trees, kill everything.  How can the spirit of the earth like the white man?...Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore."

-Wintu woman in California

May 2

"The highest reward for a person's toil is not what they get for it, but what they become by it."

-John Ruskin

May 3

"...no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power."

-P.J. O'Rourke

May 4

"In exchange for freedom of inquiry, scientists are obliged to explain their work.  If science is considered a closed priesthood, too difficult and arcane for the average person to understand, the dangers of abuse are greater.  But if science is a topic of general interest and concern - if both its delights and its social consequences are discussed regularly and competently in the schools, the press, and at the dinner table - we have greatly improved our prospects for learning how the world really is and for improving both it and us."

-Carl Sagan

May 5 SAM: What'll you have Normie?
NORM: Well, I'm in a gambling mood, Sammy. I'll take a glass of whatever comes out of that tap.
SAM: Looks like beer, Norm.
NORM: Call me Mister Lucky.
May 6 2000 pounds of Chinese soup = Won ton
May 7

"After learning the tricks of the trade, many of us think we know the trade."

-anon.

May 8

"It's a small world, but I wouldn't want to paint it."

-Steven Wright

May 9

"I cry a lot because I miss people. They die and I can't stop them. They leave me and I love them more."

-Maurice Sendak

May 10

"A great thing about these trees is that they are excellent for cleaning, both groundwater, and of course, air."

-Mike Lowry

May 11

This being human is a guest house. 
Every morning a new arrival. 

A joy, a depression, a meanness, 
some momentary awareness comes 
as an unexpected visitor. 

Welcome and entertain them all! 
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, 
who violently sweep your house 
empty of its furniture, 
still, treat each guest honorably. 
He may be clearing you out 
for some new delight. 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice, 
meet them at the door laughing, 
and invite them in. 

Be grateful for whoever comes, 
because each has been sent 
as a guide from beyond.

-Rumi, “The Guest House”

May 12

"The eighteen-year old rodeo queen and her princess told me that rodeo people, including themselves, ‘hated Democrats, environmentalists, and gays.' I was astonished that their political and social outlook could be reduced to such simple platitudes of hate. And why?"

-Joan Burbick, 2002

May 13

"The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit."

-Nelson Henderson

May 14

"Most species have not even been discovered yet, let alone examined for their biological characteristics….Potentially, at least, natural history could be at the threshold of a golden age. Whether the potential is realized will depend, of course, on whether we have the good sense to preserve what is left of the natural world."

-Thomas Eisner, For Love of Insects

May 15

"Society is like a lawn, where every roughness is smoothed, every bramble eradicated, and where the eye is delighted by the smiling verdure of a velvet surface; he, however, who would study nature in its wildness and variety, must plunge into the forest, must explore the glen, must stem the torrent, and dare the precipice."

-Washington Irving
May 16

"God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things."

-Pablo Picasso

May 17

I stuck my head out the window
this morning and spring kissed me
bang in the face.

-Langston Hughes

May 18

"The forceps of our minds are clumsy forceps, and crush the truth a little in taking hold of it."

-HG Wells

May 19

"One of the unnoticed good effects of television is that people now watch it instead of producing pamphlets squaring the circle."

-Underwood Dudley, Mathematical Cranks

May 20

"Everything temporal is but a symbol."

-Goethe

May 21

"Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are."

-Bertolt Brecht

May 22

"The first casualty when war comes is truth."

-Senator Hiram Johnson

May 23

"Discovering is more important than discovery itself."

-David Cavagnaro

May 24

"Act well your part, there all the honor lies."

-Alexander Pope

May 25

"Better than a thousand days of diligent study is one day with a great teacher."

-Japanese proverb

May 26

“The feeling of awed wonder that science can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable.  It is a deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest that music and poetry can deliver.  It is truly one of the things that makes life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively if it convinces us that the time we have for living it is finite.” 

-Richard Dawkins

May 27

"The word "environment" suggests that it's a separate thing, outside of you, whereas people vote in terms of what's inside them."

-George Lakoff

May 28

"Five buzzards rise and circle in a sky of gathering grey cloud - a shifting pentagram of dark birds. They call in high, sharp voices, as silvered as the afternoon light.
There is some wing-flipping sparring. The birds' calls ring through the air as far below apples fall from the trees. A hummingbird hawk-moth visits late flowers, hovering, darting, vanishing like some shared exotic dream. On dusty paths iridescent green-bronze ground beetles run like predatory metal vehicles. A magnificent emperor dragonfly zooms through the air, flinging himself at every corner of his empire, leaving invisible beams of raw energy through space. All these animals have a powerful presence and a way of living that makes our own look feeble and ill-adapted. So what happened to crane-flies?
In through the open window comes a daddy-long-legs, a wraith cursed with a comedy body, too much legs with too little wings. It jerks and dithers to reach the light bulb in a spindly, suicidal joke. There is something arcane about the misfit crane-flies and there are thousands of them around at the moment. After spending all that time underground, munching grass roots, the grubs - leatherjackets - have transformed, on some predetermined signal, to act out the punchline of their lives. In the day they cluster on warm walls. At night they seek out light bulbs and candle flames, as if feeding on light itself is enough, especially light that will kill them. I am developing a great respect for daddy-long-legs, in whom I recognise so much of ourselves."

-Paul Evans, Guardian Weekly, 26/9/06

May 29

"Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I will not forget you."

-William Arthur Ward

May 30

"Approximately 80% of our air pollution stems from hydrocarbons released by vegetation, so let's not go overboard in setting and enforcing tough emission standards from man-made sources."

-Ronald Reagan

May 31

Frogs Eat Butterflies.
Snakes Eat Frogs.
Hogs Eat Snakes.
Men Eat Hogs.

-Wallace Stevens

June 1

"Life is just one damned thing after another."

-Elbert Hubbard

June 2

"Intense feeling too often obscures the truth…"

-Harry Truman

June 3

"You don't see artists sitting around a lot, talking about ideology. They find out what they believe, and what they're doing, by doing it."

-Peter Coyote

June 4

Mysteries, Yes

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.

How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.

Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

-Mary Oliver

June 5

"There is something about a closet that makes a skeleton restless."

-anon.

June 6

"To know when to be generous and when to be firm--this is wisdom."

-Elbert Hubbard

June 7

"There is a kind of plant that eats organic food with its flowers; when a fly settles upon the blossom, the petals close upon it and hold it fast till the plant has absorbed the insect into its system; but they will close on nothing but what is good to eat; of a drop of rain or a piece of stick they will take no notice. Curious! that so unconscious a thing should have such a keen eye to its own interest."

-Samuel Butler
June 8

"One cannot fail to see that deforestation, ozone depletion, ocean pollution, and the threat of global warming interconnect to challenge our future.  We no longer enjoy the luxury of leisurely action."

-President George H. W. Bush, January 1990

June 9

So all the doctors in the country were called in, to make a report on his
case; and of course every one of them flatly contradicted the other: else
what use is there in being men of science? But at last the majority agreed
on a report, in the true medical language, one half bad Latin, the other
half worse Greek, and the rest what might have been English, if they had
only learned to write it.

-Charles Kingsley, The Water Babies

June 10

"Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject."

-Anon.

June 11

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined;
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think,
What man has made of man.

-Wordsworth

June 12

"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."

-Mark Twain

June 13

"Our lives are like islands in the sea, or like trees in the forest. The maple and the pine may whisper to each other with their leaves ... But the trees also commingle their roots in the darkness underground, and the islands also hang together through the ocean's bottom."

-William James

June 14 "The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea."

-Isak Dinesen

June 15

“The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

June 16

"The first step towards philosophy is incredulity."

-Denis Diderot

June 17

"No matter how bad things get you got to go on living, even if it kills you."

-Sholom Aleichem

June 18

"If all mankind were to disappear tomorrow, it is unlikely that a single insect would go extinct except for three kinds of body lice--and even then there would still be gorilla lice, closely related to the human parasites. In two or three centuries, the ecosystems of the world would regenerate back to the rich state of equilibrium that existed 10,000 years ago.
But if insects were to vanish, the terrestrial environment would collapse into chaos. Most of the flowering plants, lacking pollinators, would soon perish. The great majority of mammals, birds, and other land vertebrates, losing the specialized foliage, fruits, and insect prey on which they feed, would follow the plants into oblivion. The soil would remain unturned because insects--not earthworms--are the principal burrowers and renewers of the earth. Wind-pollinated grasses would spread across a deforested, impoverished world. Humanity would suffer terribly, pushed to the edge of extinction."

-Edward O. Wilson, Omni, 1991

June 19

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by.
Yes, but some of them are golden only because we let them slip by.

-James M. Barrie, novelist and playwright (1860-1937)

June 20

"What do they call it...the primordial soup? the glop? That heartbreaking second when it all got together, the sugars and the acids and the ultraviolets, and the next thing you knew there were tangerines and string quartets."

-Edward Albee
June 21

"The vine that has grown old on an old tree falls with the ruin of that tree and through that bad companionship must perish with it."

-Leonardo da Vinci

June 22

"That is all the National Parks are about. Use, but do no harm."

-Wallace Stegner

June 23

We set the pace.
But this press of time --
take it as a little thing
next to what endures.

All this hurrying
soon will be over.
Only when we tarry
do we touch the holy.

Young ones, don't waste your courage
racing so fast,
flying so high.

See how all things are at rest --
darkness and morning light,
blossom and book.

-Rainer Maria Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus, Part One, XXII

June 24

"If one considers the period for which animals and plants have existed on this planet and the great numbers of disease-producing microbes that must have gained entrance into the soil, one can only wonder that the soil harbors so few bacteria capable of causing infectious diseases in man and in animals."

-Selman Waksman (1940)

June 25

"Ecology teaches us that mankind is not the center of life on the planet.  Ecology has taught us that the whole earth is part of our 'body' and that we must learn to respect it as we respect ourselves. As we feel for ourselves, we must feel for all forms of life - the whales, the seals, the forests, the seas. The tremendous beauty of ecological thought is that it shows us a pathway back to an understanding and appreciation of life itself - an understanding and appreciation that is imperative to that very way of life."

-Greenpeace philosophy

June 26

"The universe is not only queerer than we suppose, it is queerer than we can suppose."

J. B. S. Haldane
June 27

"At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes--an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense."

-Carl Sagan

June 28

"What do they know - all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world - about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka."

-Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Letter Writer

June 29

"An artist must possess Nature. He must identify himself with her rhythm, by efforts that will prepare the mastery which will later enable him to express himself in his own language."

-Henri Matisse

June 30

"Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm -- which therefore neither produced unmanageable surpluses of manure, to be wasted and to pollute the water supply, nor depended on such quantities of commercial fertilizer. The genius of American farm experts is very well demonstrated here: they can take a solution and divide it neatly into two problems."

-Wendell Berry

June 31  
July 1

"We've picked up some bad habits in the last 500,000 years."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

July 2

"Wilderness is a place where the wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and nonliving beings flourishing according to their own sorts of order."

-Gary Snyder

July 3

"If man walks in nature's midst, then he is nature's guest and must learn to behave as a well-brought-up guest." 

-Friedensreich Hundertwasser

July 4

"The Lord created medicines out of the Earth, and he that is wise will not despise them."

-Ecclesiasticus 38:4

July 5

I was born to catch dragons in their dens
And pick flowers
To tell tales and laugh away the morning
To drift and dream like a lazy stream
And walk barefoot across sunshine days.

-James Kavanaugh "Sunshine Days and Foggy Nights"

July 6

"When I climbed Shiprock in 1937, when I earlier made the attempt on Mount Waddington in 1935, there were fewer than 1,000 climbers in the country. Now we have about 250,000."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

July 7

"Sometimes we get a deeper look into the world's heart—and our own—when we stand not on the shifting sands of society and ego but on the bedrock realities of the natural, and spiritual, world."

-Parker Palmer

July 8

“This is the only bird whose note affects me like music. It lifts and exhilarates me. It is inspiring. It changes all hours to an eternal morning.”

-Henry David Thoreau

July 9

"Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else. And root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children. Stick to Facts, sir!"

-Charles Dickens, Hard Times, (1854)

July 10

"The cruel wild beast is not behind the bars of the cage. He stands in front of it."

-Dr. Axel Munthe (1857­1949)

July 11

"...Exploiters who followed the explorers have been busy both at home and abroad rooting up, exterminating or merely pushing to the wall species after species in order to make room for themselves and for 'useful' products. The variety of nature grows less and less. The monotony of the chain store begins to dominate more and more completely. One must go farther and farther to find a window in which anything not found elsewhere is to be seen."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

July 12

"Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing."

-Theodore Roosevelt

July 13

"Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age, but they die young."

-Benjamin Franklin

July 14

"I went to a restaurant that serves 'breakfast at any time'. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance."

-Steven Wright
July 15

"Morality is simply the attitude we adopt toward people we personally dislike."

-Oscar Wilde

July 16

"I learned law so well, the day I graduated I sued the college, won the case, and got my tuition back."

-Fred Allen

July 17

"Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another."

-Anatole France

July 18

"I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees. The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets."

-Hamlin Garland

July 19 July...life is at its fullest
bees and birds, flowers and grass
things grow--if the water lasts
July 20

"There are difficulties about coming to terms with the dry season and giving it an honored place beside the four traditional Anglo seasons.  For all its harshness, the California dry season is actually quite fragile.  It very quickly shows the marks of mistreatment or neglect.  A golden meadow of dry grass and tarweeds turns into a dusty trash heap when subjected to any degree of trampling or littering.  The native perennial grasses are beautiful plants perfectly adapted to living through dry summers, but they've been largely wiped out by livestock grazing and competition from introduced annual grasses.  The native oak trees seem to be headed in the same direction, since the heavy grazing that goes on in most areas makes it difficult for them to reproduce."

-David Rains Wallace, The Untamed Garden

July 21

"Summer has set in with its usual severity."

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
July 22

"The spread of civilisation may be likened to a fire; First, a feeble spark, next a flickering flame, then a mighty blaze, ever increasing in speed and power."

-Nikola Tesla

July 23

"The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green earth, dwelling deeply in the present moment and feeling truly alive."

-Thich Nhat Hanh

July 24

A poet should be of the
old-fashioned meaningless brand:
obscure, esoteric, symbolic,
the critics demand it;
so if there's a poem of mine
that you do understand
I'll gladly explain what it means
till you don't understand it.

-Piet Hein, poet and scientist (1905-1996)

July 25

"The basis of all animal rights should be the Golden Rule: we should treat them as we would wish them to treat us, were any other species in our dominant position."

-Christine Stevens, activist (1918-2002)

July 26

"I always felt that insects are the general rule, and everything else is a special case."

-Paul Bystrak

July 27

"Many who have spent a lifetime in it can tell us less of love than the child that lost a dog yesterday."

-Thornton Wilder, writer (1897-1975)

July 28

"Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action."

-Benjamin Disraeli

July 29

"Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination."

-Voltaire

July 30

"There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man."

-Aristotle

July 31

"You can best serve civilization by being against what usually passes for it."

-Wendell Berry

August 1

"The biggest human temptation is... to settle for too little."

-Thomas Merton

August 2

"I have written on all sorts of subjects . . . yet I have no enemies; except indeed all the Whigs, all the Tories, and all the Christians."

-David Hume

August 3

A drunk was in front of a judge.

The  judge says, "You've been brought here for drinking."  

The  drunk says, "Okay, let's get started."

August 4

"Day and night I was consumed by the computing, to see whether this idea would agree with the Copernican orbits, or if my joy would be carried away with the wind. Within a few days everything worked, and I watched as one body after another fit precisely into its place among the planets."

-Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), German astronomer, on his discovery of the laws of planetary motion

August 5

"Fifteen hundred years is ample time in which to lose mutual comprehension. Iceland was colonized by the Norwegians at the end of the ninth century AD. Today's Icelanders, with considerable effort, can understand people from the Scandinavian peninsula, but the Scandinavians hardly understand the Icelanders. A thousand years is the minimum time span for a language to change so much that it becomes incomprehensible."

-Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, "The Great Human Diasporas"

August 6

"I've been doing a lot of abstract painting lately, extremely abstract. No brush, no paint, no canvas. I just think about it."

-Steven Wright
August 7

Since my house burned down
I now own a better view
of the rising moon.

-Mizuta Masahide, poet and samurai (1657-1723)

August 8

"You don't take a photograph, you make it."

-Ansel Adams

August 9

"When we started out in 1961, we thought all we had to do was to get a good law and the Bay would be saved. What we have learned is that the law itself must be saved, that this requires constant vigilance against those that would change or weaken it."

-"Kay" Kerr, Co-founder of Save the Bay

August 10

"Seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you."

-James Freeman Clarke (1810­1888)

August 11

"When Harold Ross was editor of The New Yorker, he sent a messenger to poet/writer Dorothy Parker with an urgent request for an article she had promised. Messenger rang doorbell many times; eventually Dorothy Parker came to an upstairs window. 'Harold Ross sent me here to pick up your article,' he said. 'You tell Ross I'm too fucking busy,' she said and left, then returned to the window and said: 'And vice versa.'"

-as recalled by Jake Sigg

August 12

"We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature's inexhaustible sources of energy -- sun, wind and tide. ... I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."

-Thomas Edison, inventor (1847-1931)

August 13

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

-Anton Chekhov
August 14 A cruise ship passes a small desert island. Everyone watches as a ratty-looking bearded man runs out on the beach and starts shouting and waving his hands.
“Who's that?” asks one of the passengers.
“I have no idea,” replies the captain. “But every year we sail past, and he goes nuts.”
August 15

"The [Bay Area] contains a fortuitous assemblage of citizens with a special culture and style of life, a special environmental awareness and appreciation. There is a heady mixture of international cosmopolitanism, of varied shorelines with the flavor of ships and water, of the free spirit of the frontier, and of youthful and harmonious living."

-Rice Odell, 1972

August 16

"Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you."

-Annie Dillard

August 17

"We lived like that “Happy Family“ you sometimes see in traveling zoos: a lion caged with a lamb. It is a startling exhibit but the lamb has to be replaced frequently."

-Robert Heinlein

August 18

“To ask what a life, human or insect, is ‘good for' presumes that value lies in utility, and that worth is not intrinsic.”

-Jeffrey Lockwood

August 19

"You may drive out Nature with a pitchfork, yet she still will hurry back."

-Horace (65­8 B.C.) Epistles, 1.10

August 20

"…the reason a rare invertebrate population should trump, say, a road-widening project, is not based on what these animal contribute to human existence, but rather is an acknowledgment that, here, in our midst, are unique and wonderful species, with longstanding relationships with their place."

-Sarah Foltz Jordan

August 21

"All the ants on the planet, taken together, have a biomass greater than that of humans. Ants have been incredibly industrious for millions of years. Yet their productiveness nourishes plants, animals, and soil. Human industry has been in full swing for little over a century, yet it has brought about a decline in almost every ecosystem on the planet. Nature doesn't have a design problem. People do."

-William McDonough, architect and designer (quoted in Sierra July/Aug 05)

August 22

"Your reader attempts to advise you on seeing the whole picture while not realizing that the whole picture is much bigger than he percieves it to be. So many folks in this debate limit their perspectives to that of the local context and fail to acknowledge that this is a National issue. 
Properties managed by the National Park Service are superlative gems that belong to the American public and the quality of stewardship of these properties must be kept to the highest standard. Allowing commercial dog walking in the GGNRA would set a scary precedent for our National Parks nationwide (and there are more than a few National Park units that are near substantial human populations.)
As for the notion of wilderness only being far away from our city...consider the bird that migrates from South America to to build its nest here, the elephant seal that hauls out on one of our beaches for a bit of rest, or the wildflower that blooms in the same field as its ancient progenitors...wilderness is all around us.
And yes, I have seen people running their dogs off leash in Yosemite."

-Matt Zlatunich

August 23

"Politicians are like weather vanes. Our job is to make the wind blow."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

August 24

I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.

-John O'Donohue

August 25

"Many wealthy people are little more than janitors of their possessions."

-Frank Lloyd Wright, architect (1867-1959)

August 26

"No man was ever more than about nine meals away from crime or suicide."

-Eric Sevareid, journalist (1912-1992)

August 27

Up high, the flies are playing,
And frolicking, and swaying.
The frog thinks: Dance! I know
You'll end up here below.

-Wilhelm Busch quotes (German painter and poet, 1832-1908)

August 28

"The people who love coyotes inappropriately are as bad as those that hate them. They're the ones who are 'cootchy coo'-ing them onto the back porch, feeding them peanut butter and jelly sandwiches."

-Mary Ann Bonnell, senior natural resources specialist for the city of Aurora, Colorado

August 29

"To the dolphin alone beyond all other, nature has granted what the best philosophers seek: friendship for no advantage."

-Plutarch, 62 AD

August 30

"Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped."

-African proverb

August 31

"Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

-Oscar Wilde, The Critic as Artist

September 1

"We do not err because truth is difficult to see. It is visible at a glance. We err because this is more comfortable."

-Alexander Solzhenitsyn, novelist, Nobel laureate (1918-2008)

September 2

"Goodness is the only investment that never fails."

-Henry David Thoreau

September 3

"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught."

-Oscar Wilde

September 4

"There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all."

-Peter F. Drucker

September 5

The sea isn't a place but a fact,
and a mystery.

-Mary Oliver, "The Waves"

September 6

"When I hear of the destruction of a species, I feel just as if all the works of some great writer have perished"

-Theodore Roosevelt

September 7 One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, 'My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,
superiority, and ego.
'The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and
faith.'
The grandson thought for a minute, and then asked his grandfather, 'Which wolf wins?'
The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'
September 8

"An optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true."

-James Cabell

September 9

"The old idea that we are like nature, red in tooth and claw, is simply wrong. We are astonishingly cooperative. If we are encouraged at all, human beings are a pretty OK species."

-Ernest Callenbach

September 10

"There is no reason why the history and philosophy of science should not be taught in such a way as to bring home to all pupils the grandeur of science and the scope of its discoveries."

-Prince Louis-Victor de Broglie, New Perspectives in Physics (1962)

September 11

"To appoint one's self, in this way, an inspector of spiders' webs, for many years in succession and for long seasons, means joining a not overcrowded profession, I admit. Heaven knows, it does not enable one to put money by! No matter: the meditative mind returns from that school fully satisfied."

J. H. Fabre, 1912

September 12

"This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway…"

-Bob Dylan

September 13

"Should you shield the canyons from the windstorms you would never see the true beauty of their carvings."

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, psychiatrist and author (1926-2004)

September 14

"Set aside a certain number of days, during which you shall be content with the scantiest and cheapest fare, with course and rough dress, saying to yourself the while: ‘Is this the condition that I feared?'"

-Seneca

September 15

"Life is too short to be small."

-Benjamin Disraeli

September 16

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."

-Mark Twain

September 17

"Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire."

-David Rains Wallace

September 18

"It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so."

-Robert A. Heinlein, science-fiction author (1907-1988)

September 19

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." 

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 20

"'Lying is an accursed vice. It is only our words which bind us together and make us human. If we realized the horror and weight of lying, we would see that it is more worthy of the stake than other crimes....Once let the tongue acquire the habit of lying and it is astonishing how impossible it is to make it give it up."

-Montaigne

September 21

"For special places to work their magic on kids they need to be able to do some clamber and damage. They need to be free to climb trees, muck about, catch things, and get wet—above all, to leave the trail."

-Robert Michael Pyle

September 22

The big thieves hang the little ones.

-Czech proverb

September 23

"I am never bored anywhere; being bored is an insult to oneself."

-Jules Renard

September 24

"Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies."

-Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844-1900)

September 25

"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood."

-Fred Rogers

September 26

"Almost all these hotspots around the world, most have been destroyed to the point where there is no wildlife and very little of the natural world left."

-Jim Fowler

September 27

"Wherever you go, go with all your heart."

-Confucius

September 28

"It appears from Mr. Smith's account that there is no scarcity of buffalo as he penetrated the country."

William Henry Ashley

September 29

"Most of the public lands in the West, and especially the Southwest, are what you might call 'cow burnt.' Almost anywhere and everywhere you go in the American West you find hordes of [cows].... They are a pest and a plague. They pollute our springs and streams, and rivers. They infest our canyons, valleys, meadows, and forests. They graze off the native bluestems and gama and bunch grasses, leaving behind jungles of prickly pear. They trample down the native forbs and shrubs and cacti. They spread the exotic cheatgrass, the Russian thistle, and the crested wheat grass. Weeds. Even when the cattle are not physically present, you see the dung and the flies and the mud and the dust and the general destruction. If you don¹t see it, you smell it. The whole American West stinks of cattle."

-Edward Abbey, a speech delivered before cattlemen at the University of Montana, 1985

September 30

"And the fox said to the little prince: men have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."

-Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author and aviator (1900-1945)

October 1

"A park should be an agglomeration of hill and dale, meadow, lawn and coppice presenting a series of sylvan and pastoral views, calculated to banish all thoughts of urban objects, and lead the imagination to picture space beyond as a continued succession of rural scenes and incidents."

-William Hammond Hall, 1873

October 2

"The future is already here. It's just distributed unevenly."

-Paul Saffo, the Institute of the Future

October 3

The fact that man knows right from wrong proves his intellectual superiority to the other creatures; but the fact that he can do wrong proves his moral inferiority to any creatures that cannot.

-Mark Twain, What Is Man, 1906

October 4

"If we look at .. a flower which sends its sweet smell to the pollinating bees.. we can see that we all dance to a mysterious tune"

-Einstein quoted in William Hermanns, Einstein and the Poet: In Search of the Cosmic Man (1983)

October 5

"The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution."

-Paul Cezanne

October 6

"Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has the grander view?"

-Victor Hugo, Les Miserables, 1862

October 7

"Stupidity is better kept a secret than displayed."

-Heraclitus of Ephesus

October 8

"I'm good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet… I don't know Y."

-Chris Turner

October 9

"Years ago I recognized my kinship with living things, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on the Earth. I said then and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

-Eugene Debs

October 10

"I'm a born-again atheist."

-Gore Vidal

October 11

Why is it that no one ever sent me yet
one perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it's always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

-Dorothy Parker

October 12

"How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time."

-Henry J. Heimlich

October 13

"Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned."

-Heinrich Heine, poet, journalist, and essayist (1797-1856)

October 14

"I wish I could have known earlier that you have all the time you'll need right up to the day you die."

-William Wiley
October 15

"A spoon does not know the taste of soup, nor a learned fool the taste of wisdom."

-Welsh Proverb

October 16

"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the true method."

-Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

October 17

"It is a somewhat sobering thought that we know more about the number and position of stars in our galaxy, places that none of us will ever visit, than we do about the myriad of small animals that live in our backyard. This is despite the fact that these creatures eat our plants, sometimes bite us but most importantly contribute to the cycling of nutrients that sustain life."

-Mark Dangerfield

October 18

"Remember that when the last rhino in Africa or Indonesia dies in agony with a bullet in its guts, or dies in a zoo of old age, 40 million years of evolution goes with it. Forever. And with the passing of the great mammals, a splendor will have gone out of our world and cannot return."

-Anna Merz

October 19

"Beware of the man who works hard to learn something, learns it, and finds himself no wiser than before... He is full of murderous resentment of people who are ignorant without having come by their ignorance the hard way."

-Kurt Vonnegut

October 20

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.

-Robert Frost, October

October 21

"What I stand for is what I stand on." 

-Wendell Berry

October 22 His science has progressed past stone,
His strange and dark geometries,
Impossible to flesh and bone,
Revive upon the passing breeze
The house the blundering foot destroys.
Indifferent to what is lost
He trusts the wind and yet employs
The jeweled stability of frost.
Foundations buried underfoot
Are forfeit to the mole and worm
But spiders know it and will put
Their trust in airy dreams more firm
Than any rock and raise from dew
Frail stairs the careless wind blows through.

Loren Eiseley, “The Spider”
October 23

"If it weren't for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song."

-Carl Perkins

October 24

"There are only two things which are infinite: The Universe, and human stupidity."

-Albert Einstein

October 25

"Science has nothing to be ashamed of even in the ruins of Nagasaki. The shame is theirs who appeal to other values than the human imaginative values which science has evolved. The shame is ours if we do not make science part of our world... "

-Jacob Bronowski Science and Human Values (1961, 2nd Ed. 1965), 73. Three essays first given in lectures at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1953).

October 26

“What is a naturalist, really?” writes David Cavagnaro in the foreword to my book, The Sutter Buttes: A Naturalist's View. “A naturalist, I think, is first a person of the Earth, a shaman really, one who feels as well as sees, one who simply knows with greater breadth and depth than intellect alone can muster. Second, a naturalist is an interpreter, one who can translate the complex language of nature into the vocabulary of the common man, one who can reach out to us from the heart of the natural world and lead us in.” I would add that a naturalist is one who cultivates imagination, who facilitates seeing more, sensing connections, developing deeper levels of awareness, understanding, and appreciation. A good naturalist is not someone who merely knows the names of plants and animals and geologic structures; he or she helps others find a point of entry into communication with nature, to be able to listen in on some of the many conversations going on there.

-Walt Anderson

October 27

"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone."

-Thoreau

October 28 "The notion of progress based on domination of nature has its foundation in the 'enlightened' thought of John Locke, who wrote that 'land that is left wholly to nature...is called, as indeed it is, waste.' Modern civilization's failure to recognize the fundamental interconnection between humans and earth lies at the root of the current global environmental crisis and biotic Armageddon."
October 29

"We are far more concerned about the desecration of the flag than we are about the desecration of our land."

-Wendell Berry, farmer and author (b. 1934)

October 30

"[Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

-JK Galbraith

October 31

"Until man duplicates a blade of grass, nature can laugh at his so called scientific knowledge."

-Thomas Edison

November 1

If I had a boat
I'd go out on the ocean
And If I had a pony
I'd ride him on my boat
And we could all together
Go out on the ocean
Me upon my pony on my boat

-Lyle Lovett, “If I Had A Boat”

November 2

"He is a true fugitive who flies from reason."

-Marcus Aurelius

November 3

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops."

-Henry Adams, historian and teacher (1838-1918)

November 4 "The Mayans: great at predicting the end of the world, not so good at predicting the invasion of the Spanish."
November 5

"Where the light is brightest, the shadows are deepest."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher (1749-1832)

November 6

"An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics."

-Plutarch

November 7

"Humanity will in fact live on, and so will the ants. But humankind's actions are impoverishing the earth; we are obliterating vast numbers of species and rendering the biosphere a far less beautiful and interesting place for human occupancy. The damage can be fully repaired by evolution only after millions of years, and only then if we let the ecosystems grow back. Meanwhile let us not despise the lowly ants, but honor them. For a while longer at least, they will help to hold the world in balance to our liking, and they will serve as a reminder of what a wonderful place it was when first we arrived."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

November 8

I have not really, not yet, talked with otter
about his life.
He has so many teeth, he has trouble with vowels.

-Mary Oliver, "Almost a Conversation"

November 9

"Myself have agreed to try whether I can master and kill this Sperma-ceti whale, for I could never hear any of that sort that was killed by any man, such is his fierceness and swiftness."

-Richard Strafford¹s letter from the Bermudas, 1668

November 10

"You have about 5% of the market that is green and committed to fuel efficiency. But the other 95% will give up an extra five miles per gallon in fuel economy for a better cup-holder."

-Mike Jackson, chief executive of AutoNation, the largest US car retailer

November 11

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts."

-Rachel Carson, The Sense of Wonder

November 12

"Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher."

-William Wordsworth

November 13

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roars;
I love not man the less, but nature more.

-George Gordon

November 14

"He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money."

-Benjamin Franklin

November 15

"Every animal that walks the earth, or swims, or flies is precious beyond description."

-James Michener

November 16

Either we have hope within us or we don't.
It is a dimension of the soul and is not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the world.
It is an orientation of the spirit, an orientation of the heart.
It transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.
Hope in this deep and powerful sense is not the same as joy that things are going well or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success,
but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not because it stands a chance to succeed.
Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism.
It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out.

-Vaclav Havel

November 17

"Teach children to love nature; people take care of what they love."

-Elizabeth Terwilliger

November 18

"On the west coast of a large continent is a big peninsula. Built on hills at the end of the peninsula is a major port city which once was destroyed by a great earthquake and fire. A graceful twin-towered suspension bridge links the city with its suburbs across the bay. In the ocean to the west are islets called the Farallones. The city is at 38 degrees north latitude. Its mild climate brings summer temperatures in the mid-60s and winter temperatures in the low 50s. The city is called Lisbon."

-Michael Lampen, archivist and historian, quoted by Herb Caen in San Francisco Chronicle

November 19

"If you think of the universe as a jigsaw puzzle of 100,000 pieces, we have a few hundred pieces, and they are by no means contiguous. That's what makes it fun."

-David Burstein, astronomer, interview in Stephn B. Hall, Mapping the Next Millenium, 1992

November 20

"To this I may add another form of temptation, manifold in its dangers…There exists in the soul…a cupidity which does not take delight in the carnal pleasure but in perceptions acquired through the flesh. It is a vain inquisitiveness dignified with the title of knowledge and science. As this is rooted in the appetite for knowing, and as among the senses the eyes play a leading role in acquiring knowledge, the divine word calls it ‘the lust of the eyes' (I John, 2:16)…To satisfy this diseased craving…people study the operations of nature, which lie beyond our grasp when there is no advantage of knowing and the investigators simply desire knowledge for its own sake. This motive is again at work if, using a perverted science for the same end, people try to achieve things by magical arts."

-Aurelius Augustinus Augustine (354-430)

November 21

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity..."

-John Muir, Our National Parks

November 22

These mountains are always changing.
They brace against winter,
To sprout leaves of green
And shed them red and gold.
They stand as brothers to fight the wind
That rolls through this valley of smoke.

There's a river that runs through these mountains,
Carving its way through granite and stone.
She runs, not in a hurry, but slows to enjoy the ride
Forever she flows through the ages and times,
For the entire world, a pretty view.

Birds that are singing,
Deer that go running,
And turkeys that act like they're kings
They all find a home here,
Just like me.

-Amelia Fuller, age 12

November 23

A book of verses underneath the bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread‹and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness‹
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

-Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat, stanza XII, c. 1120 AD

November 24

"To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all."

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

November 25

"Be humble for you are made of Earth. Be noble for you are made of stars."

-Serbian proverb

November 26

"Give a man a fish, and you'll feed him for a day. Give him a religion, and he'll starve to death while praying for a fish."

-Timothy Jones

November 27

"The weather of any single mountain range, with its ridges and canyons and valleys, is complex enough, but the section of the Coast Range comprising the Bay Region divides and subdivides into various sub-ranges, each with its own hill-and-valley topography creating it own modifications of the basic weather and climate patterns."

-Harold Gilliam, Weather of the San Francisco Bay Region

November 28

"Artists can color the sky red because they know it's blue. Those of us who aren't artists must color things the way they really are or people might think we're stupid."

-Jules Feiffer

November 29

"I feel like I'm nothing without wildlife. They are the stars. I feel awkward without them."

-Bindi Irwin

November 30

"He wrapped himself in quotations- as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors."

-Rudyard Kipling

December 1

"Nature alone is antique, and the oldest art a mushroom."

-Thomas Carlyle

December 2

"Is it not evident in these last hundred years...that almost a new Nature has been revealed to us? ...more noble secrets in optics, medicine, anatomy discovered, than in all those credulous and doting ages from Aristotle to us?"

-John Dryden, poet, 1668

December 3

"I am among those who think that science has great beauty. A scientist in his laboratory is not only a technician: he is also a child placed before natural phenomena which impress him like a fairy tale."

-Marie Curie
December 4

"I never said it was possible. I only said it was true."

-Charles Richet , French Nobel prize-winning physiologist

December 5

"Eat honey, my son, for it is good."

-King Solomon (Proverbs 24:13)

December 6

Santa's helpers are subordinate clauses.

-anon.

December 7

"One of the most obvious facts about grownups to a child is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child."

-Randall Jarrell

December 8

Our lifestyle, our wildlife, our land and our water remain critical to our definition of Wyoming and to our economic future.

-Dave Freudenthal

December 9

"I believe sustainable use is the greatest propaganda in wildlife conservation at the moment."

-Steve Irwin

December 10

"All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions."

-Adlai Stevenson

December 11

The birds are silent in the woods.
Just wait: Soon enough
You will be quiet too.

-Robert Hass
December 12

"What one finds…will be what one takes the trouble to look for—the brilliant little flower springing improbably out of the bare, packed sand, the lizard scuttling with incredible speed from cactus clump to spiny bush, the sudden flash of a bright-colored bird.  This dry world, all of which seems so strange to you, is normal to them.  It is their paradise, their universe as-it-ought-to-be…
These are things which other nations can never recover.  Should we lose them, we could not recover them either.  The generation now living may very well be that which will make the irrevocable decision whether or not America will continue to be for centuries to come the one great nation which had the foresight to preserve an important part of its heritage.  If we do not preserve it, then we shall have diminished by just that much the unique privilege of being an American."

-Joseph Wood Krutch

December 13

"At high tide fish eat ants; at low tide ants eat fish."

-Thai proverb

December 14

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are [a] few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

-President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954
December 15

"Santa is so jolly because he knows where all the bad girls live."

-anon.

December 16

Flowers are words
Which even a baby may understand.

-Arthur C. Coxe, The Singing of Birds

December 17

"Any device in science is a window on to nature, and each new window contributes to the breadth of our view."

-Cecil Frank Powell, British Nobel prize-winning physicist (born 5 Dec 1903)

December 18

"It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry."

-Thomas Paine, philosopher and writer (1737-1809)

December 19

"Day and night I was consumed by the computing, to see whether this idea would agree with the Copernican orbits, or if my joy would be carried away with the wind. Within a few days everything worked, and I watched as one body after another fit precisely into its place among the planets."

-Johannes Kepler (1571­1630), German astronomer, on his discovery of the laws of planetary motion

December 20

"There are two thousand kinds of Carplike fishes, none of them much good."

-Will Cuppy, How to Become Extinct

December 21

"The worst thing that can happen during the 1980s is not energy depletion, economic collapse, limited nuclear war, or conquest by a totalitarian government. As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they can be repaired within a few generations. The one process ongoing in the 1980s that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly that our descendents are least likely to forgive us."

-E.O. Wilson, 1985

December 22

"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

December 23

"I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."

-Frank Lloyd Wright

December 24

"The animal frame, though destined to fulfill so many other ends, is as a machine more perfect than a steam engine - that is, is capable of more work with the same expenditure of fuel."

-James Prescott Joule

December 25

"As to Jesus of Nazareth, my Opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the System of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupting Changes, and I have, with most of the present Dissenters in England, some Doubts as to his Divinity; tho' it is a question I do not dogmatize upon, having never studied it, and think it needless to busy myself with it now, when I expect soon an Opportunity of knowing the Truth with less Trouble."

-Benjamin Franklin, To Ezra Stiles, March 9, 1790, Essays and Letters

December 26

"Christianity has a built-in defense system: anything that questions a belief, no matter how logical the argument is, is the work of Satan by the very fact that it makes you question a belief. It's a very interesting defense mechanism and the only way to get by it -- and believe me, I was raised Southern Baptist -- is to take massive amounts of mushrooms, sit in a field, and just go, 'Show me.'"

-Bill Hicks

December 27 Just imagine
Waking up one day,
Looking out your window starting to say...
No bad smells
No smoke
No noise
No trash
No junk
No muddy waters.

Just imagine
No dead birds because of
No dead trees because of
No dead people because of
No place to play because of

Be happy!
Be safe!
And just imagine a kid
Living by the Anacostia River.

El'Jay Johnson ( age 8), “Anacostia River”
December 28

"I love mankind; it's people I can't stand."

-Charles M. Schultz

December 29

"To dream of mushrooms denotes fleeting happiness, to dream you are gathering them, fickleness in a lover or consort."

-Richard Folkard, Plant Lore (1884)
December 30

"Not presume to dictate, but broiled fowl and mushrooms - capital thing!"

-Charles Dickens

December 31

"Earth and sky, wood and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books."

-Sir John Lubbock

2013
January 1

"When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future."

-Dian Fossey

January 2

"One of the nice things that is true of the Exploratorium is that people trust it. We don't “rig” any of the exhibits; the exhibits do not show things artificially. The natural phenomena are there and the visitors can ask questions of the exhibits, and the exhibits can then answer these because they behave according to nature."

-Dr. Frank Oppenheimer

January 3

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low and achieving our mark."

-Michelangelo

January 4

I never will have time
I never will have time enough
To say
How beautiful it is
The way the moon
Floats in the air
As easily
And lightly as a bird
Although she is a world
Made all of stone.

I never will have time enough
To praise
The way the stars
Hang glittering in the dark
Of steepest heaven
Their dewy sparks
Their brimming drops of light
So fresh so clear
That when you look at them
It quenches thirst.

-Ann Porter, "Looking at the Sky”

January 5

"God loved the birds and invented trees. Man loved the birds and invented cages."

-Jacques Deval, Afin de vivre bel et bien

January 6

"Up to 1505 the Dodos had everything their own way on the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, and the future looked rosy, indeed. They probably thought they were making splendid progress as a species and had most of life's problems licked. And then came the Portuguese."

-Will Cuppy, How to Become Extinct

January 7

"In short, the scientific vocabulary is really an adventure. Hidden in the queer jawbreakers and in the shorter oddities are little stories; concise descriptions; thumbnail sections of history; tiny bits of testimony to great scientific achievements and too human error, too; reminders of great men and of mistaken and forgotten theories. As the words pass in review, they are all so different, and each in its own way is so interesting"

-Isaac Asimov

January 8

"To put the matter as simply as possible we, having entered our bug period as children, were blessed by never being required to abandon it."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

January 9

"These foul and loathsome animals are abhorrent because of their cold body, pale color, cartilaginous skeleton, filthy skin, fierce aspect, calculating eye, offensive smell, harsh voice, squalid habitation and terrible venom; and so their Creator has not exerted his powers to make many of them."

-Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

January 10

"Yes, there are indeed too many men in the world. In earlier days it wasn't so noticeable. But now that everyone wants air to breathe, and a car to drive as well, one does notice it."

-Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

January 11

"...a rabbit hunt organized for Napoleon's enjoyment.  A thousand rabbits were released to ensure a bountiful bag for the emperor, but gamekeepers used tame rather than wild rabbits, rabbits that mistook the emperor for their keeper with food.  Instead of bounding away as challenging targets, they mobbed the conqueror of Europe as he fled to his carriage."

-From  Washington Post  review of book  Napoleon & Wellington:  The Battle of Waterloo and the Great Commanders Who Fought It  by Andrew Roberts

January 12

As long as it takes to pass
A ship keeps raising its hull;
the wetter ground like glass
Reflects a standing gull.

The land may vary more;
But wherever the truth may be­
The water comes ashore,
And the people look at the sea.

-Robert Frost

January 13

"It's a fool's life, a rogue's life, and a good life if you keep laughing all the way to the grave."

-Edward Abbey, 1972

January 14

"Mushrooms are like men--the bad most closely counterfeit the good."

-Gavarni

January 15

"I desired to know what Mushrooms they had in the Market. I found but few, at which I was surpris'd, for I have all my Life been very Curious and inquisitive about this kind of Plant, but I was absolutely astonish'd to find, that as for Champignons, and Moriglio's, they were as great strangers to 'em as if they had been bred in Japan."

-William King's Journey to London, 1699, demonstrating the continuing English suspicion of fungi…

January 16

"What will it say about the human race if we let the tiger go extinct? What can we save? Can we save ourselves?"

-Ashok Kumar

January 17

"Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything, we ought to know a little about everything."

-Blaise Pascal

January 18

"The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruit."

-Moliere, actor and playwright (1622-1673)

January 19

"The mere sense of living is joy enough."

-Emily Dickinson

January 20

"We don't understand life any better at forty than at twenty, but we know it and admit it."

-Jules Renard

January 21

"To be sure, the dog is loyal. But why, on that account, should we take him as an example? He is loyal to man, not to other dogs."

-Karl Kraus, writer (1874-1936)

January 22

"Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely. the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."

-Darwin

January 23

"There are joys which long to be ours. God sends ten thousand truths, which come about us like birds seeking inlet; but we are shut up to them, and so they bring us nothing, but sit and sing awhile upon the roof, and then fly away."

-Henry Ward Beecher

January 24

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

-Mary Oliver

January 25 1 millionth of a fish = 1 microfiche
January 26

"Nothing is enough for the man for whom enough is too little."

-Epicurus - the Greek philosopher (341-271 BC)

January 27

"I am...a mushroom on whom the dew of heaven drops now and then"

-John Ford, The Broken Heart (1633)

January 28

"Cruelty is one fashion statement we can all do without."

-Rue McClanahan

January 29

"In the year 1690 some persons were on a high hill observing the whales spouting and sporting with each other, when one observed; there‹‹pointing to the sea‹‹is a green pasture where our children's grandchildren will go for bread."

-Obed Macy's History of Nantucket

January 30

"Once in his life a man ought to concentrate his mind upon the remembered earth.  He ought to give himself up to a particular landscape in his experience, to look at it from as many angles as he can, to wonder upon it, to dwell upon it.
He ought to imagine that he touches it with his hands at every season and listens to the sounds that are made upon it."

-Navarre Scott Momaday
January 31

"Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty- five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

-Douglas Adams, "The Salmon of Doubt"

February 1

"We saw also a couple of Zorrillos, or skunks—odious animals, which are far from uncommon. In general appearance, the Zorrillo resembles a polecat, but it is rather larger and much thicker in proportion. Conscious of its power, it roams by day about the open plain, and fears neither dog nor man. If a dog is urged to the attack, its courage is instantly checked by a few drops of the fetid oil, which brings on violent sickness and running at the nose. Whatever is once polluted by it, is for ever useless. Azara says the smell can be perceived at a league distant; more than once, when entering the harbour of Monte Video, the wind being off shore, we have perceived the odour on board the Beagle. Certain it is, that every animal most willingly makes room for the Zorrillo."

-Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle

February 2 This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union Address fall on the same day. As Air America Radio pointed out, "It is an ironic juxtaposition: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication, and the other involves a groundhog."
February 3

"The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein,"

-Joe Theisman
February 4

"What science sows the people will reap."

-Dmitry Mendeleyev
February 5

"I have no doubt that we will be successful in harnessing the sun's energy... If sunbeams were weapons of war, we would have had solar energy centuries ago."

-Sir George Porter, English Nobel prize-winning chemist

February 6

"In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people."

-Ruth Harrison, Animal Machines

February 7

"Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf and take an insect view of its plain."

-Henry David Thoreau
February 8

"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight."

-Benjamin Franklin

February 9

The heroic life is living the individual adventure.

There is no security
in following the call to adventure.

Nothing is exciting
if you know
what the outcome is going to be.

-Joseph Campbell

February 10

"Acorns may be California's single greatest natural resource.  An oak tree can more than 400 pounds of acorns a year.  There are an estimated 1 billion oak trees in California.  That's hundreds of millions of pounds of nutrient that serves as the staple for more kinds of creatures than any other food source in the state.  But the bulk of nutrients oaks churn out is only the beginning of their contribution.  Oak trees form the organizational backbone of numerous habitats from coastal valley bottoms to highland meadows, providing food, shelter, and stability for whole communities of organisms.  According to a 1997 University of California study, California's oak woodlands harbor more biodiversity than any other major habitat type in the state:  At least 4,000 kinds of insects inhabit them, along with 2,000 kinds of plants, thousands of fungi and lichens, 170 different birds, 60 amphibians and reptiles, and 100 different mammals."

-Gordy Slack, The Essential Tree, in Bay Nature, Oct-Dec 2003

February 11

"Ants in particular are arguably the most aggressive and warlike of all animals. They far exceed human beings in organized nastiness; our species is by comparison gentle and sweet‹tempered. The foreign policy of ants can be summed up as follows: restless aggression, territorial conquest, and genocidal annihilation of neighboring colonies whenever possible. If ants had nuclear weapons, they would probably end the world in a week."

-Bert Holldobler & Edward O. Wilson, Journey to the Ants

February 12

"To a person uninstructed in Natural History, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall."

-T. H. Huxley

February 13

"The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore so it eats it! (It's rather like getting tenure.)"

-Daniel Dennett, "Consciousness Explained"

February 14

"Love is the answer; but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions."

-Woody Allen

February 15 There was a young lady of Leeds
Who swallowed six packets of seeds
In a month, silly lass
She was covered in grass
And she couldn't sit down for the weeds!
February 16

"The sediments of the past are many miles in collective thickness: yet the feeble silt of the rivers built them all from base to summit."

-John Joly, Irish geologist (died 8 Dec 1933)

February 17

"If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate."

-Steven Wright

February 18

"Shortsighted men...in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things."

-Theodore Roosevelt

February 19

There's too many kids in this tub
There's too many elbows to scrub
I just washed a behind that I'm sure wasn't mine
There's too many kids in this tub.

-Clark Natwick

February 20

"Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold."

-Leo Tolstoy, novelist and philosopher (1828-1910)

February 21

"The environment one experiences between the ages of about 7 and 12 years of age has a way of becoming one's natural habitat."

-Jules Evens

February 22

"Ignorance, when it is voluntary, is criminal; and he may properly be charged with evil who refused to learn how he might prevent it."

-Samuel Johnson

February 23

"It must have appeared almost as improbable to the earlier geologists, that the laws of earthquakes should one day throw light on the origin of mountains, as it must to the first astronomers that the fall of an apple should assist in explaining the motion of the moon."

-Sir Charles Lyell , Scottish geologist (born 14 Nov 1797)

February 24

"A practical scheme, says Oscar Wilde, is either one already in existence, or a scheme that could be carried out under the existing conditions; but it is exactly the existing conditions that one objects to.  And any scheme that could accept these conditions is wrong and foolish. The true criterion of the practical, therefore, is not whether the latter can keep intact the wrong and foolish; rather is it whether the scheme has the vitality enough to leave the stagnant waters of the old, and build, as well, sustain life."

-Emma Goldman

February 25

"The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest."

-Henry David Thoreau

February 26

“'My God! Mr. Chace, what is the matter?'
I answered, ‘We have been stove by a whale.'”

-Narrative of the shipwreck of the whaleship Essex of Nantucket, which was attacked and finally destroyed by a large sperm whale in the Pacific Ocean.
By Owen Chace of Nantucket, First Mate of said vessel, New York, 1821

February 27

"During the Middle Ages there were all kinds of crazy ideas, such as that a piece of rhinoceros horn would increase potency. Then a method was discovered for separating the ideas - which was to try one to see if it worked, and if it didn't work, to eliminate it. This method became organized, of course, into science."

-Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1965), from the book "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!"

February 28

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you."

-African Proverb

March 1

"Not everybody trusts paintings but people believe photographs."

-Ansel Adams

March 2

"A sense of history should be the most precious gift of science and of the arts."

-Aldo Leopold

March 3

"Disputes with men, pertinaciously obstinate in their principles, are, of all others, the most irksome; except, perhaps, those with persons, entirely disingenuous, who really do not believe the opinions they defend, but engage in the controversy, from affectation, from a spirit of opposition, or from a desire of showing wit and ingenuity, superior to the rest of mankind. The same blind adherence to their own arguments is to be expected in both; the same contempt of their antagonists; and the same passionate vehemence, in inforcing sophistry and falsehood. And as reasoning is not the source, whence either disputant derives his tenets; it is in vain to expect, that any logic, which speaks not to the affections, will ever engage him to embrace sounder principles. " 

-Hume

March 4

"The well-traveled Sierra and the lonely Bob Marshall Wilderness in Montana, according to an army study for World War II, are the only two places in the Lower Forty-eight where you can get more than ten miles away from a road."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

March 5

"The bank is so crowded nowadays that many people are moving away altogether. O no, it isn't what it used to be, at all. Otters, kingfishers, dabchicks, moorhens, all of them about all day long and always wanting to do something‹as if a fellow had no business of his own to attend to."

-Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

March 6

"I installed a skylight in my apartment.... The people who live above me are furious!"

-Steven Wright

March 7

"Developers have their own ideas about what to do with a resource such as Lake Baikal, the Grand Canyon, Mineral King, Mount Everest, or Hilton Head. They want to use it up. We just want it to last."

-David Brower, Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run

March 8

Scientists try to tell you that the wind is caused by atmospheric conditions at the north pole or over distant Canadian ranches,
But I guess scientists don't ever go to the country because everybody who has ever been to the country knows that the wind is caused by the trees waggling their branches,

On the ocean where there are no trees, they refer to the wind as gales,
And it is probably caused by whales,
And in the Sahara, where there are no trees or whales either,
they call the wind simoom or something,
And it is the result of the profanation of Tutankhamen's tomb or something.

Some people are very refined,
And when they recite poetry or sing songs they pronounce wind, wined,
Well, dear wined, everytime you say woooo,
Why I wish you would say it to the people who say wined,
right afer you have said it somewhere where somebody is making fertilizer or glue.

-Ogden Nash

March 9

It is the first mild day of March:
Each minute sweeter than before,
The redbreast sings from the tall larch
That stands beside our door.

-William Wordsworth, “To My Sister”

March 10

"There is a trend toward uniformity in environment, people, and ways of life all over the earth. This trend is inimical to life, including human life....Diversity has always characterized the biosphere to which man belonged. In living systems, complexity brings stability and ability to withstand change. The future survival of man may well depend on the continuing complexity of the biosphere..."

-Raymond Dasmann, A Different Kind of Country

March 11

"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy‹but that could change."

-Dan Quayle

March 12

"The invasion of noxious weeds has created a level of destruction to America's environment and economy that is matched only by the damage caused by floods, earthquakes, wildfire, hurricanes, and mudslides."

-Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior

March 13

"The Darwinian insight can be turned upside down and grotesquely misused: Voracious robber barons may explain their cutthroat practices by an appeal to Social Darwinism; Nazis and other racists may call on "survival of the fittest" to justify genocide. But Darwin did not make John D. Rockefeller or Adolf Hitler. Greed, the Industrial Revolution, the free enterprise system, and corruption of government by the monied are adequate to explain nineteenth-century capitalism. Ethnocentrism, xenophobia, social hierarchies, the long history of anti-Semitism in Germany, the Versailles Treaty, German child-rearing practices, inflation,and the Depression seem adequate to explain Hitler's rise to power. Very likely these or similar events would have transpired with or without Darwin. And modern Darwinism makes it abundantly clear that many less ruthless traits, some not always admired by robber barons and Fuhrers - altruism, general intelligence, compassion - may be the key to survival."

-Carl Sagan, 1995

March 14

"Apart from the lost dune fauna, San Francisco has never been much of a butterfly place. The cool gray dampness of the summer is basically hostile to butterfly life. As the smallest county in the state, San Francisco still has 68 butterfly species recorded. That's 80 percent of the total for the British Isles! But by California standards it's a poor fauna, and strikingly, mostly a nonresident one."

-Arthur M. Shapiro, Field Guide To Butterflies of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento Valley Regions

March 15

I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in.
Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?

-Aldo Leopold, Sketches Here and There

March 16

"Political language-and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists-is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."

-George Orwell

March 17

"It's easy to think that the spread of civilization pushes back the darkness of the unknown, and that mysterious places and mysterious creatures are confined to the wild, remote areas. But, as numerous entries in this book show, the mysterious can often be found as close as one¹s own backyard....Despite our advances in civilization, we still live close to our primitive psychic roots. Just beyond the city or suburbs-or even within them-lie numerous portals to the Unknown. Here the rules of the mundane world are suspended, and if conditions are right, we might have an unusual encounter or experience."

-Rosemary Ellen Guiley, foreward to the Atlas of the Mysterious in North America

March 18

Oh! call us not weeds, but flowers
of the sea.
For lovely, and gay, and bright­
tinted are we!
Our blush is as deep as the rose
of thy bowers‹
Then call us not weeds, we are
Ocean's gay flowers.

-author unknown, 1846

March 19

"Life is your art. An open, aware heart is your camera. A oneness with your world is your film. Your bright eyes and easy smile is your museum."

-Ansel Adams

March 20

"Our ultimate analysis of space leads us not to a 'here' and 'there' ... space is not a lot of points close together, it is a lot of distances interlocked."

-Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, British astrophysicist (died 22 Nov 1944)

March 21

"Svante Arrhenius has advanced an ingenious theory to account for the glacial periods which have marked several stages of geological history.  According to the experiments of Langley, the carbon dioxide and the water vapor, which the atmosphere contains, are more opaque to the heat rays of great wave lengths which are emitted by the earth, than to the waves of various lengths which emanate from the sun.  Arrhenius infers that any increase in the proportion of carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere will increase the protection of the earth against cooling and will consequently raise the temperature of its surface.  The theory assumes that the earth's atmosphere was poor in carbon dioxide and water vapor during the earth's cool glacial periods, and rich in these gases during hot periods."

-Scientific American, June 1911

March 22

"...until we consider animal life to be worthy of the consideration and reverence we bestow upon old books and pictures and historic monuments, there will always be the animal refugee living a precarious life on the edge of extermination, dependent for existence on the charity of a few human beings."

-Gerald Malcolm Durrell, naturalist, writer and founder of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust (died 30 Jan 1995)

March 23

"The only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey...and the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it."

-Winnie the Pooh, House at Pooh Corner, by A.A. Milne

March 24

"The secret of my health is applying honey inside and oil outside."

-Democritus (reputedly lived to be 109)

March 25

"…will never be fully appreciated by those whose minds are filled with money-getting and the sordid things of modern everyday life. To such Muir is an enigma--a fanatic--visionary and impractical. There is nothing in common to arouse sympathetic interest. That anyone should spend his whole life in ascertaining the fundamental truths of nature and glory in their discovery with a joy that would put to shame even the religious zealot is to many utterly incomprehensible. That a man should brave the storms and thread the pathless wilderness, exult in the earthquake's violence, rejoice in the icy blasts of the northern glaciers, and that he should do all this alone and unarmed, year in and year out, is a marvel that but few can understand."

-William E. Colby (member of the Sierra Club Board of Directors, 1900-1949; organizer of the first Club outing)

March 26

My neighborhood
To me
Is not what it would be
To others

Trees replace the houses
Cats and skunks replace the cars
And a rabbit
Is the rare Ferrari

I may not live there
But it's my home
As holy as any temple
As humble as any shack

The San Bruno Mountains
Is what I'm talking about
With its paths so known to me
As if they were carved into my hands

I know more people there
Than I do on my block
Jim, Carmelita, Isabelle and more
They all come from the mountains

With my swords and staves,
Daggers and wands
I vanquish evil monsters and samurai
All on a two-mile hike

Even before I could walk
I strolled those paths
Learning the way of the forest
And the spirit of the mountain

-Soli Alpert, “My Neighborhood”

March 27

"Stars are not seen by sunshine."

-Spanish Proverb

March 28

"Though few outside the rarefied world of environmental litigation are familiar with the Center, evidence of its work is ubiquitous. Almost every species that since 2001 had been grudgingly listed by the Bush administration as imperiled -- a total of 63 -- has been protected because the Center used the courts to force the issue on a recalcitrant White House?More than 100 million acres of wildlands have been preserved as habitats for these endangered species -- an area more than twice the size of all the national parks in the contiguous 48 states combined. It is no exaggeration to say that the modern American environmental movement has been reinvented by the Center."

-Edward Humes, on the Center for Biological Diversity

March 29

"[M]ark this well, the laws of economics are the last thing the roads booster is thinking about."

-Leopold, Aldo: A Plea for Wilderness Hunting Grounds, Outdoor Life, November 1925. Reproduced in Aldo Leopold's Southwest, edited by David E. Brown & Neil B. Carmony, University of New Mexico Press, 1990, pg. 156.

March 30

"There was once an Editor of the Chemical Society, given to dogmatic expressions of opinion, who once duly said firmly that 'isomer' was wrong usage and 'isomeride' was correct, because the ending 'er' always meant a 'do-er'. 'As in water?' snapped Sidgwick."

-Nevil Vincent Sidgwick, English chemist. (died 15 Mar 1952)
March 31

"So long as the fur of the beaver was extensively employed as a material for fine hats, it bore a very high price, and the chase of this quadruped was so keen that naturalists feared its speedy consideration. When a Parisian manufacturer invented the silk hat, which soon came into almost universal use, the demand for beavers' fur fell off, and this animal–whose habits, as we have seen, are an important agency in the formation of bogs and other modifications of forest nature–immediately began to increase, reappeared in haunts which we had long abandoned, and can no longer be regarded as rare enough to be in immediate danger of extirpation. Thus the convenience or the caprice of Parisian fashion has unconsciously exercised an influence which may sensibly affect the physical geography of a distant continent."

-George Perkins Marsh, American conservationist was the first to reveal the menace of environmental misuse, to explain its causes, and to prescribe reforms. (born 15 Mar 1801)

April 1

Nietzsche was the one who did the job for me. At a certain moment in his
life, the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.'
Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, 'This is what I
need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an
opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment‹not
discouragement‹you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can
survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life.
What a privelege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have
a chance to flow.

Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments
which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents
that shaped the life you have now. You¹ll see that this is really true.

Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and
feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws
you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.


The dark night of the soul
comes just before revelation.

When everything else is lost,
and all seems darkness,
then comes the new life
and all that is needed.

-Joseph Campbell

April 2

"I remember when an editor at the National Geographic promised to run about a dozen of my landscape pictures from a story on the John Muir trail as an essay, but when the group of editors got together, someone said that my pictures looked like postcards."

-Galen Rowell

April 3

"As founder and co-chair of the upper Mississippi River Congressional task force, I have long sought to preserve the river's health and historical multiple uses, including as a natural waterway and a home to wildlife, for the benefit of future generations of Americans."

-Ron Kind

April 4

O sweet spontaneous
earth how often have
the
doting
fingers of
prurient philosophers pinched
and
poked
thee,
has the naughty thumb
of science prodded
thy
beauty. how
often have religions taken
thee upon their scraggy knees
squeezing and

buffeting thee that thou mightest conceive
gods
(but
true
to the incomparable
couch of death thy
rhythmic
lover
thou answerest

them only with
spring)

-e e cummings, O SWEET SPONTANEOUS EARTH

April 5

"In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth."

-John Milton

April 6

"I respect kindness in human beings first of all, and kindness to animals. I don't respect the law; I have a total irreverence for anything connected with society except that which makes the roads safer, the beer stronger, the food cheaper and the old men and old women warmer in the winter and happier in the summer."

-Brendan Behan

April 7

"Opinions founded on prejudice are always sustained with the greatest violence."

-Hebrew Proverb

April 8

"A human being is a part of the whole, called by us the 'Universe', a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security."

-Albert Einstein, New York Post, 28 November 1972

April 9

To make a prairie it takes a clover
and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery,
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.

-Emily Dickinson

April 10

"The naturalist's task,” Warshall began, “is to observe without human-centered thoughts and human-centered agendas, to observe with a Gaian perspective and with the perspective of the organisms you're watching. The naturalist considers all species in space/time as equally beautiful."

-Peter Warshall

April 11

"The electors see their representative not only as a legislator for the state but also as the natural protector of local interests in the legislature; indeed, they almost seem to think that he has a power of attorney to represent each constituent, and they trust him to be as eager in their private interests as in those of the country."

-Alexis de Tocqueville

April 12

"One must ask children and birds how cherries and strawberries taste."

-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

April 13

"We are alone, absolutely alone on this chance planet: and, amid all the forms of life that surround us, not one, excepting the dog, has made an alliance with us."

-Maurice Maeterlinck

April 14

"After the German occupation, when I found myself in England, I thought I was in paradise. ... I think that whatever I accomplished it was due to my British experience and the chance that country gave me when I arrived there. ... (A) great number of scientists educated in England became Nobel Prize winners eventually. They simply received good schooling and training. The British taught me how to think practically and exercise my brain; at the same time they showed me, psychologically speaking, the approach necessary in planning a scientific experiment. What was most required was systematic planning, hard work and a great effort. I am not a patient person but I am disciplined ... "

-Andrew Schally , Polish-born American, Nobel prize-winning endocrinologist
April 15

"It is the destiny of wine to be drunk, and it is the destiny of glucose to be oxidized. But it was not oxidized immediately: its drinker kept it in his liver for more than a week, well curled up and tranquil, as a reserve aliment for a sudden effort; an effort that he was forced to make the following Sunday, pursuing a bolting horse. Farewell to the hexagonal structure: in the space of a few instants the skein was unwound and became glucose again, and this was dragged by the bloodstream all the way to a minute muscle fiber in the thigh, and here brutally split into two molecules of lactic acid, the grim harbinger of fatigue: only later, some minutes after, the panting of the lungs was able to supply the oxygen necessary to quietly oxidize the latter. So a new molecule of carbon dioxide returned to the atmosphere, and a parcel of the energy that the sun had handed to the vine-shoot passed from the state of chemical energy to that of mechanical energy, and thereafter settled down in the slothful condition of heat, warming up imperceptibly the air moved by the running and the blood of the runner. 'Such is life,' although rarely is it described in this manner: an inserting itself, a drawing off to its advantage, a parasitizing of the downward course of energy, from its noble solar form to the degraded one of low-temperature heat. In this downward course, which leads to equilibrium and thus death, life draws a bend and nests in it."

-Primo Levi
April 16

"I see America spreading disaster. I see America as a black curse upon the world. I see a long night settling in and that mushroom which has poisoned the world withering at the roots."

-Henry Miller
April 17

"We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do... It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it."

-Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

April 18

"Considered as a mere question of physics, (and keeping all moral considerations entirely out of sight,) the appearance of man is a geological phenomenon of vast importance, indirectly modifying the whole surface of the earth, breaking in upon any supposition of zoological continuity, and utterly unaccounted for by what we have any right to call the laws of nature."

-Adam Sedgwick
April 19

"In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments—only consequences."

-Robert G. Ingersoll

April 20

Even as Sir Richard applauded the notable efforts and successes of the World Wildlife Fund (now known as the Worldwide Fund for Nature or WWF) on its 50th birthday, he cautioned that serious problems remain, in no small part because Earth's population has more than doubled from three to seven billion over the same 50 years.

He said:  “Over twice as many [humans] – and every one of them needing space.  Space for their homes, space to grow their food (or to get others to grow it for them), space to build schools and roads and airfields…most of it could only come from the land which, for millions of years, animals and pla