Author Archives

  • The Divine Image

    William Blake’s Reward   Twirled between forefinger and thumb, the daisy became a wheel in the little boy’s imagination; arcing overhead at arm’s length, it was the sun wheeling across a pale blue sky, its golden disk radiating white hot… Read More ›

  • Sleepers, Wake!

      The Ordeal of J.S. Bach The boy watched in muted grief as adults threw handfuls of dirt upon the coffin below.  The hole in the ground became a hole in the young boy’s life, a hole that his mother… Read More ›

  • DESTINY MANIFEST

    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 I trust you have enjoyed this tour through the writings of Abbey,… Read More ›

  • Aldo Leopold’s Legacy — The Pine Cone

    Aldo Leopold is a man whose legacies are so numerous, so broad and far-reaching, so deep and so consequential for 20th Century America that an entire book could easily be dedicated to describing them. Unfortunately, this is not the place… Read More ›

  • With a Sling and a Stone

    Michelangelo’s Approach to the Ordeal   The marble not yet carved can hold the form Of every thought the greatest artist has, And no conception ever comes to pass Unless the hand obeys the intellect. — from “Sonnet XV” by… Read More ›

  • A Sand County Almanac Critique

    In A Sand County Almanac we have the final statement, the fully ripened fruit of America’s foremost conservationist cum ecologist. As with all final fruit, it reads more philosophical than ecological, more poetry than prose, more profound than professional. The… Read More ›

  • The Land Ethic

    In his most famous essay, Leopold explains our relationship with the land, with the world, with life itself, and points at our blind acquiescence to the neo-classical economic paradigm. He offers a litmus test for the right use of land,… Read More ›

  • Escudilla

    Leopold laments the loss of wildness in this companion-piece to “Thinking Like a Mountain.” He had been among those who worked to tame the frontier. As a forester Leopold mapped it, measured its weight in gold, timbered it, grazed it,… Read More ›

  • Thinking Like a Mountain

    Leopold admits to the shortsighted mistakes he has made in the name of conservation. Because we cannot see or understand all of the “cogs and wheels” that keep an ecosystem healthy, efforts to remove any one of its components, such… Read More ›

  • Marshland Elegy

    Free verse and a masterful twist on anthropomorphism tell the birth and death of Wisconsin’s bog meadows from the point of view of the sandhill crane such that man is trivialized to the status of just another marsh animal, but… Read More ›