Crow and Hawk

Crows urgently cawed, making quite a racket, a raucous ruckus tearing the peace of a quiet day. The crows were harassing a red-tailed hawk, a common avian behavior known as mobbing. Again and again the crows charged the hawk, as if they were trying to prove their crow bravery. But the hawk ignored them. Eventually... Continue Reading →



“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their... Continue Reading →

Break Away 

Break away as soon as you can to a nearby forest —the wilder the better. Walk among the trees. And breathe. Just breathe. Wherever you are there is something to see. Wherever you are there's probably something you've never seen before. Just breathe. Just be there. Just be there in this moment, in this place.... Continue Reading →

Trail Proverbs

There's no doubt that hiking is good for our mental and emotional health. Study after study show this to be true. But I've found there are general life lessons to be learned as well. Call them trail proverbs, if you like. These thoughts are borne of the trail and apply everywhere. Here are a few... Continue Reading →

Rain Walking 

“It is worth the while to walk in wet weather—the earth & leaves are strewn with pearls.”—Henry David Thoreau, August 7, 1853 journal entry. 

Camping with John Muir

Today, on his birthday, I'm thinking of John Muir (born April 21, 1838), a Scottish immigrant who helped America see the true nature of our wild gifts. At a critical time, Muir helped us see that wilderness is more than just a warehouse of "resources" to be plundered. One of the coolest things Muir ever... Continue Reading →

First Wood Thrush!

At sunset tonight, I stood—as I always do—completely captivated by the season's first Wood Thrush. I was pretty sure this evening when I went out the door that I would be treated to their elfin song, and I wasn't disappointed. The Wood Thrushes are just back from winter in Central America, and they always return... Continue Reading →

First Fireflies 

Fireflies all around, up in the trees, like sparks drifting through the woods, lighting fires in my imagination. I don't know much about the various species of fireflies, but these come out every year just as the big trees get their leaves. They're not the same as the kind we get later in summer, and... Continue Reading →

Spring Transitions 

For one with alert natural senses, I think the seasons are many more than four. It seems to me the seasons are constantly changing, and there must be at least a dozen. In my neck of the woods, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee, the season of the ephemeral spring wildflower is almost over. The Toothworts... Continue Reading →

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