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Posts tagged ‘Nature Quotes’


“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

It has been a long spring, made worse by this COVID-19 pandemic and the decisions telling all of us to stay home to stay safe.  We are frequently reminded that we should only be venturing out for what is essential.  Of course, for most, “essential” tasks revolve around obtaining food, water, medications and healthcare.  But for me, what is truly essential includes much more than these basics!

What exactly does essential mean? According to The Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, something is essential if it is “of utmost importance, basic, indispensable, necessary.”  Some obvious synonyms would be fundamental, cardinal, vital.  Anything that is essential has a sense of urgency and importance.  It is the key thing that keeps one going.


Trips into Nature keep me going, make me feel calm and grounded, link me to the miracle of life that is all around. With this long pandemic-shrouded spring, I really needed a trip into Nature.  My plan was to spend the day driving the back roads in and around the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve in Lancaster.  But just before I was set to leave, I saw a news item that said the roads were barricaded to keep people out.  Drats.

My guess is that hordes of people may have descended on the area over the weekend, trampling the fields, crowding the roads, and otherwise ignoring social distancing. After all, it was the first good-weather weekend since this ordeal began.  Or it could just be a random edict.  Either way, my plans were being undermined—and that would not do.


My new plan was simpler, just drive to Gorman at the Grapevine and wander the Gorman Postal Road.  If flowers are in bloom in the area, they are usually there too.  It was a glorious afternoon.

California Poppy

“The earth laughs in flowers.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Spring is Nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s Party!’”  Robin Williams

Lupine, One of My Favorites!

“To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon the verdant green hills is the most perfect refreshment.”  Jane Austen

“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.”  David Attenborough

Great Valley Phacelia

“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.”  David Suzuki

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  John Muir

“On earth there is no heaven, but there are pieces of it.”  Jules Renard

“I go to Nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”  John Burroughs

“When one tugs at a single thing in Nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”  John Muir

This little guy did not cooperate at all for photos.  The butterflies in the area never even paused anywhere!

“Nature is not a place to visit.  It is home.”  Gary Snyder

“The happiest man is he who has learned from Nature the lesson of worship.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Kern Tarweed (maybe)

“They are much to be pitied who have not been given a taste for Nature early in life.”  Jane Austen

I always love it when there is a nice spring breeze wandering the hills as well.  (Sorry I forgot to turn off the radio.  At least I am not singing along!)




“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  Rachel Carson

This year, with the pandemic making life scary and crazy, we need Nature more than ever. We need its beauty, variety, and solace. We also need to take time to value its many lessons:  patience, strength, hope, wonder, and spiritual connections.

Now more than ever, as we are asked to stay home and stay safe, it is important to find ways to keep Nature a part of our day to day lives. Play in your yard, walk in a garden or along a trail, feed the birds, play with pets, share flowers, plant vegetables.  You can even watch shows about Nature or work to help improve the protections for the Nature that is all around us, but that is too often overlooked.

One of the ways I am celebrating is by sharing some of my favorite Nature Photographs as I wait until I can take another Nature Trip.  I would love to head back to any of these wonderful places.

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, ‘This is what it is to be happy.’”   Sylvia Plath

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”  Lao Tzu

Views of Fall Color near Bishop, CA

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”  John Muir

Views of Yosemite National Park

“Adopt the pace of nature; her secret is patience.”   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Views near Carrizo Plain National Park, CA

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”  Henry David Thoreau

Carmel Valley, CA

Drive through Redwoods, CA

“I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”  Vincent Van Gogh

Grand Tetons, WY

“My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.”  Claude Monet

Views near Red Rock Canyon State Park, CA

“Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.”   Hans Christian Anderson

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you.”  Frank Lloyd Wright

Mono Lake, CA

Monument Valley, Arizona/Utah

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Mt. Whitney, CA

Mt. Shasta, CA

Crater Lake National Park, OR

California State Poppy Preserve

Views of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

“We see God face to face every hour and know the savor of Nature.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Looking for Fall Colors

“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.”  John Burroughs

“If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere.”  Vincent Van Gogh

I love hitting the road this time of year! 

Yosemite 2016

One of my favorite places to watch the fall color transformation is Yosemite National Park.  This year, however, I decided I would visit Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, figuring they would have some yellows and reds hidden away among the big trees and raging river.  I traveled in late October, but the weather—even at the higher elevations of these two parks—was in the 90s.

I did find some color, hidden along the roads and out in the fields.  The colors were a bit muted, but they were there.

It was clear the transformation from green to golds and yellows and oranges and reds was just starting.  Some trees even had leaves that were green and yellow and dried-up brown all on the same branch.

Although the fall colors were not overwhelming like is often shown in photos from Maine or Vermont, I loved being out in nature here in California, finding the start of autumn.  These colorful leaves suggest that even in this year of high temperatures, terrible violence and tragedies, and raging wildfires, Nature is still moving forward.  Change is coming—as it does every year.  Fall. Winter. Spring.  We can only hope that 2018 will be a bit better, in every way.

I always look for beauty in the changes in Nature.  Maybe later this month I will head to the Eastern Sierras to see what fall transformation is going on there.  Even if I do not find extensive fall colors, being out in Nature is so rejuvenating.

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“Look deep into the eyes of nature and everything will make sense.”  Albert Einstein

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”  E. B. White

“Nature and Books belong to the eyes that see them.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”  Lao Tzu

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature.  It will never fail you.”  Claude Monet

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.”  John Muir

“We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.”  William Hazlitt

“Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Let us permit nature to have her own way.  She understands her business better than we do.”  Michel de Montaigne

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite along 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

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.  There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”  Rachel Carson

“Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.”  Walt Whitman

Oh, Yosemite in the Fall!

It has been over three years since I have taken a trek out into Nature.  That is way too long!

Therefore, this autumn I was determined to get away, seeking the colors of fall.  But when I first made this decision, it was too early in the season—the colors were not yet emerging.  I thought about heading up to Bishop at some point, so I could find fall colors as well as take a side trip to Mono Lake.  But I did not want to drive 7-8 hours just to get there before I could start wandering around. Then I got busy, and all of a sudden it was the end of October and finding fall colors was still on my list.  But this past week opened up as light in terms of work load, and I could actually take a couple days off.

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”  John Muir

That’s when it dawned on me:  I could head to a place about 220 miles northeast of me.  After all, I had been there before in the fall and saw some the yellows and oranges of the season. But then hesitations set in.  I was not thrilled to see that the park’s website says the area “is not known for spectacular fall colors.” Other reasons not to take the trip kept coming to mind as well:  I could only get away for a couple of days. It was raining the night before I was going to leave with more rain predicted the next day.  In fact, several of the roads into and through the park were closed because of snow, and the need for chains—that I do not have—were a distinct possibility. Even if the weather were great, some of the roads were under construction. And the website said the park’s various waterfalls boasted no more than a trickle of water.

I thought about not going.

But every time I thought about canceling, I just had to remember that I was heading to Yosemite National Park. YOSEMITE!

phone tunnel view sunny

Cold, rain, limited access—none of that mattered.  It would be great to get back to Yosemite even for a day.  And the trip was stupendous:  I did not get rained on.  The road construction delays were minimal.  The dense clouds of the first day were replaced by sunshine the next morning.  It was cold, but who cares?

100_0984I wandered among the trees and found fall colors.  Although there100_0943 were no vibrant reds or oranges, the yellows, golds, browns, and corals were in abundance.  As I wandered through the trees, I heard the chittering of the birds and watched the bushy-tailed squirrels racing over the branches.  I watched a peregrine falcon soar over head and a mule deer wander along the road at dusk.  At one point, a raven stopped to chat, patiently waiting on a fence post.  At other times, I sat beside the Merced River, enjoying the silence and the solitude.


100_1062The road to the Mariposa Grove opened the second day, but the road to Glacier Point stayed closed due to snow.  The impressive granite walls of Yosemite Valley were accessible both days:  Half Dome, El Capitan, Sentinel Rock, and the Cloud’s Rest View.  The groves of pine, fir and sequoias were punctuated with the subdued colors of fall at every turn.  I could ask for nothing better.  As John Muir says, “This grand show is eternal.”

Here are some of the photos I captured as I wandered through Yosemite National Park in October 2013: 


“The mountains are calling and I must go.”  John Muir



“I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.”  John Muir







“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”  John Muir



leaves again



“The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom.”  Theodore Roosevelt




President Lincoln preserved the Mariposa Grove in 1864 at the same time Yosemite Valley was protected.  Later, Theodore Roosevelt apparently agreed with the action:  “A grove of giant redwood or sequoias should be kept just as we keep a beautiful cathedral.”





“No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied—it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.”  Ansel Adams

“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.”  John Muir

(What a difference a day makes!)

Tuesday Afternoon

Tuesday Afternoon

Wednesday Morning

Wednesday Morning

“Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder in a vast edifice of stone and space.”  Ansel Adams



“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mystery, its melancholy, and its charms.”  Theodore Roosevelt


 When Muir arrived in San Francisco in 1868, a carpenter he met in the city asked him where he wanted to go.  Muir’s response:  “Anywhere that is wild.”  Muir started walking east, out of the city.  Makes sense to me!

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NOTE:  I shared a fuller look at Yosemite in an earlier post that was fresh pressed in May 2011.  If you have not been to Yosemite yet, place the visit on your bucket list!  If you have been, what memories can you share? Or is there another national park you can recommend we all visit?  Another one of my favorites is the Grand Canyon.  Maybe I will get back there in the summer!

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