Monday, April 26, 2010


Sitting here at home today, listening to Chris Botti's amazing trumpet, his mood-altering rendition of Caruso, I am drawn to quiet thoughts of quiet beauty. Here is a sampling of the beauty that I find in or near my little corner of the world -- accompanied by the moving words of some who have also found inspiration in the natural world.

              Flowers at the Local Farmers Market

"Flowers seem intended for the solace of ordinary humanity"
 John Ruskin

     Great Egret at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird . . . So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing -- that's what counts.  I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
 Richard P. Feynman

Sunrise at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

"The grand show is eternal.  It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising.  Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls."
John Muir

     Blue Heron, Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

"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 great heron feeds.  I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought or grief.  I come into the presence of still water.  And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.  For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and I am free."
Wendell Berry


       "Guarded within the old red wall's embrace,
      Marshalled like soldiers in gay company,
    The tulips stand arrayed.  Here infantry
Wheels out into the sunlight."

             Amy Lowell
            A Tulip Garden

Looking at these images again, I am overwhelmed by the ineffable beauty of the world around us -- its diversity, its myriad colors, its constant ebb and flow, its stirring  call to the human spirit -- and I am grateful for the the poets and other writers who have always called upon us to pay attention and be present with nature.


  1. The words of Wendell Berry touched me deeply as did your thoughts and the photos you chose. Dawn is my favorite time of day, waiting for the sun to rise.
    Chris Botti is a favorite...I have him listed on my Blogger profile.

  2. I was also moved by the quote you have from Wendell Berry.
    There is so much in nature that I don't understand but the observation of it gives me a feeling of positive humility and perspective.
    ... Tramp

  3. Thanks, Wanda, Tramp, and SW. I read the Wendell Berry poem often, and always find afterword that I, too, "rest in the grace of the world."

  4. Like the Richard P. Feynman quote. Talking of quotes, nice Alan Watts quote too (in the right column). I've been reading his "The Way of Zen" on and off recently. Something he said in the Introduction about the usefulness of Eastern thought to our modern Western situation made me think he's perhaps a man who might -or at least should- find his way back into vogue sometime soon, albeit postumously.

    Thanks for visiting my blog - I'll certainly be dropping in here, again, too!

  5. Amazing serendipity, Dominic. When I first noticed your comment on my screen, "The Way of Zen" was right there on my desk. Alan Watts is someone I read over and over; never can get enough. Thanks for the comment. I look forward to following your interesting site.