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Friday, 23 December 2011

That night, as I peered and asked questions and chattered my teeth in the bitter desert wind, all the time I could hear the howling of coyotes. It is a sound that begins with a few sharp barks, rather like the whining splash of a horsewhip in the air, and is followed by a long tremulous, singing quaver. By repute this is the loneliest of all earthly sounds.

(- Donald Culross Peattie, The Road of A Naturalist, 1948)

Coyote sound

...the stars were out, populating all heaven with their separate radiance. Their shine tonight upon the upturned faces of my friends was gentle. But how, we wondered, can people dare to believe seriously in astrology?

Have those so confident of Sarurn's cooperation in their affairs ever really looked at Saturn?  It's one thing to catch its twinkle with the naked eye, and another to peer into the astronomer's little mirror and see the ringed planet hung out there in all its giddy and enormous indifference. (Donald Culross Peattie, The Road of A Naturalist, 1948)

Sound of the stars

I did not ask, God knows, to die for my country, but to live in it for a cause large enough to survive all causes...

No use, in days when one ship of state after another went hull-down into the sucking tide, to cling to any loyalty not great enough to fit the day when men shall pledge united loyalty to all other men.
(- Donald Culross Peattie, The Road of a Naturalist, 1948)

Mahatma Ghandi speech

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

For we are all part of Nature; and now in the night, attentive to the grand enduring whole, I heard that the guns in my head were silenced...

Turnstones and plovers sound

I heard instead the sound of sap creeping up, of the wind in a plover's wing as it beat southward to nest.  Life is the battle in which we all fall, but it is never lost.  (The Road of a Naturalist, Donal Culross peattie, 1948)

Monday, 12 December 2011

...the darkness is absolute. It gives me the terrifying sense of vacuum that I have felt in swimming at night....

I am genuinely afraid in a dark sea.  There is no horizon, no certainty of any shore. (The Road of a Naturalist- Donald Culross Peattie, 1948)

We think of night as descending from the sky, but it is, of course, born of the earth...

It is the earth's own shadow, and it wells up from the hollows and cups and pits of the planet.  Like rising flood waters, it last of all engulfs the high places...(The Road of A Naturalist- Donald Culross Peattie, 1948)