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Below are the 18 most recent journal entries recorded in Writings of Nature, Ecology, and Place's LiveJournal:

Thursday, July 24th, 2008
11:38 pm
Hi I just stumbled on this community, so I joined. It looks pretty quiet here in the woods at the moment...

Right now I'm re-reading Susan Fenimore Cooper's Rural Hours (1850), and enjoying it.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2008
1:04 pm
Deep Ecology
What does "deep ecology" mean to you? Don't look it up, just describe your understanding of the phrase. What does it evoke in your heart when you hear those words together?
Friday, January 19th, 2007
8:07 pm
let's-revive-the-community! post
here's a list i compiled of some works one might consider "classics" of nature writing - i'll be adding this to the community info. i'm sure there are many more works i'm missing; please feel free to pipe up with your favorites. :)

Walden - Henry David Thoreau
Silent Spring; The Sea Around Us; The Edge of the Sea - Rachel Carson
My First Summer in the Sierra - John Muir
The Everglades: River of Grass - Marjory Stone Douglas
Desert Solitaire - Edward Abbey
The Outermost House - Henry Beston
A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek - Annie Dillard
Arctic Dreams - Barry Lopez
Ecology of a Cracker Childhood - Janisse Ray
The Snow Leopard - Peter Matthiessen
Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place - Terry Tempest Williams
A Country Year - Sue Hubbell
Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
5:57 pm
Hi all, I'm an ES major, finishing my second year at UNE in Maine. I am taking a course called Contemporary Nature Writing that I'm really enjoying. Our reading list (thus far):

- Edward Abbey (Desert Solitaire) -- I fell in love with this as soon as I read it.
- Gary Synder (Turtle Island)
- Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek)
- Barry Lopez (Arctic Dreams)
- The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry

We have a few other really good ones -- I'll update later; I'm actually on my way out to a pot-luck.
Thrilled to see this community. Ciao folks.
Sunday, February 12th, 2006
6:17 pm
two books that definitely fit and one that might
Kind of crap reviews, but I enjoyed all these books, even if I fail to write clearly about them, and I'd recommend them, though The Flight of the Iguana and Desert Solitaire appealed to me more than Ship Fever.

The Flight of the Iguana, David Quammen

In a series of essays originally published in magazines, Quammen explores the oddities of natural history and human behavior in humorous and often profound ways. I didn’t like his essay on dogs, but I most certainly did enjoy everything else. Most of what he wrote made me laugh and wonder. A few of the essays, specifically the ones he wrote about refugees from El Salvador trying to get into the U.S., and in desperate need of political asylum that we wouldn’t grant upset me and made me wish I knew what I could do to make the world better.

Ship Fever, Andrea Barrett

Another interesting choice, given the subject of my English class. Ship Fever is a series of short stories centering around science, especially natural history. A couple of stories center around colonialism, with European explores going to exotic locations to collect specimens. But she also writes about immigrants in the U.S., and my favorite story in the collection, “Ship Fever” talks about the mass starvation and immigration of the Irish to Canada, once again detailing oppression and other nasties, and what people might try to do to fight against them, and what they risk in doing so.

Desert Solitaire, Edward Abbey (reread)

I first read this book when I was volunteering as a wilderness ranger, which was certainly one of the best ways to be introduced to Edward Abbey’s own story as a park ranger, and it remains one of my favorite books. Northern Idaho is quite different from the Utah canyon lands (landscape-wise, not so much politically), but the experience of solitude and conversations with odd strangers were fairly similar. The thing I like about Abbey is his iconoclast tendencies, not even his beloved desert is sacred. His sense of humor also greatly appeals. He can write about his experiences without descending into maudlin and irritating sentimentality, which is something I’ve yet to learn to avoid in my own writing. Abbey’s monkey wrenching sensibility comes through in several places in this book, an aspect of his environmentalism I’ve never found particularly helpful (The Monkey Wrench Gang read like frustrated fantasy to me) but he also has interesting insights and ideas on what our problem (as a culture is) and how we might solve it, and some amazing description of adventures in the southwestern desert.

Current Mood: mellow
Tuesday, October 4th, 2005
1:16 pm
Sitting in the woods
A Fallen White Pine

Oh yes I am sitting on a fallen white pine on a windy late summer day, which I estimate to have been seventy feet tall. Covered in moss and fallen needles it makes a good seat. The sun being let in from the opening in the canopy created by the demise of this white pine offers a greener spot than the rest of the preserve. Bracken fern, golden rod, wild sarsaparilla, grasses, sedges, white pine and fur seedlings scatter the forest floor reflecting green light upon my face. This spot reminds me that the forest is a living breathing organism capable of self-regeneration. With the fall of one tree, the passing of the old guard, the forest is young again in this spot surrounded by the wisdom of the ages. Like the white pine that I sit and write on I too shall fall to the passing of too much time. In my grave I will be surrounded by the next generation. The white pine in it’s passing will bequeath the raw materials for others to grow, space for animals to live and play, water to be released to sustain life in times of drought and a seat for someone to sit on. If only I can be as useful as a fallen white pine in my passing.
Thursday, August 11th, 2005
4:56 pm
Essay Contest focussing on animal advocacy, environmentalism
Lantern Books is proud to announce our first annual essay contest.
The aim of our essay competition is to allow new thinking to emerge
on the key subjects of Lantern's publishing program and to encourage
new voices to step forward to shape the debate of the future. Please
read the rules and guidelines below.
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Wednesday, June 29th, 2005
1:13 pm
anyone have a favorite reading/ discussion on the idea of landscape? (versus a specific discussion of particular landscape, such as Janisse Ray's work). I was looking for more of an overview about the concept of landscape - the complicated mix of cultural and ecological layers.

although when I asked another friend into nature writing and landscape - she said that she didn't think nature writing did really take on landscape in such a conscious way - more that it was a backdrop for people watching animals and such.

I thought, holy cow! but it was a provocative thought. Probably why I didn't like it.
Friday, June 24th, 2005
9:54 pm
Hello! I love good nature writing, and was glad to find this group. Berry
is a favorite of mine, although not just for nature writing. My own work
has been published in South Carolina Wildlife Magazine and Smoky Mountain

Those of you who write, what are you working on right now? I have no
nature writing in progress, although there is one stalled essay about
tomatoes that I need to get back to . . .
Saturday, May 14th, 2005
1:45 pm
The Island Within
"The decaying stump is now a witness stand, where I pass judgment on myself. I hold few convictions so deeply as my belief that a profound transgression was committed here, by devastating an entire forest rather than taking from it selectively and in moderation. Yet whatever judments I might make against those who cut it down I must also make against myself. I belong to the same nation, speak the same language, vote in the same elections, share many of the same values, avail myself of the same technology, and owe much of my existence to the same vast system of global exchange. There is no refuge in blaming only the loggers or their industry or the government that consigned this forest to them. The entire society--one in which I take active membership--holds responsibility for laying this valley bare."

--Richard Nelson, The Island Within

I've just started reading this book for my Visions of Environment class, and the above quote really struck me. It's so easy to sit in class, taking my notes down with pen and paper and feeling smug and outraged at what we do to the world. But I use resources too, and since I'm writing here, I definitely benefit from the technology my society makes readily available to me. It provided a good "pause and think" moment.

I'm only three chapters in to The Island Within but I'm already enjoying it deeply. The author is (or was) and anthropologist who studied with several groups of Alaskan natives. He speaks frequently and specifically of the Koyukon people, and the book is fascinating for providing a glimpse into their worldview as well as amazing descriptions of coastal Alaska. (He's purposely vague on where in coastal Alaska his island is.)

I'd definitely recommend this book, if you haven't read it already, and if any of you have, I'd be really interested to here what you thought.

Current Mood: cheerful
Tuesday, May 10th, 2005
11:27 am
nothing like a book full of trees
Hello! I just discovered this community and thought it looked pretty cool. I've just finished a class called Topics in Environmental Literature. It was great to study environmental literature. We had various short readings by Silko, Sanders, Nabhan, Turner (gag), Hanh, Quale, Carson, Thoreau, Emerson, Muir, and Austin. We also read a few books...a bit of Turtle Island by Gary Snyder, The Journey Home by Edward Abbey, Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan, and Solar Storms by Linda Hogan. I especially loved Solar Storms. It's an excellent novel full of lovely environmental topics, I would definitely recommend it.
10:35 am
Please please please to MEETCHA!
I set my bowl of cereal on the table, but didn't even get to sit down. New songs reverberated off the closed window, calling me to let the world in. I cranked the window open, and was greeted by a soft warm breeze and the call of a Chestnut-sided Warbler. Every year, each new migrant stirs my memory, the hours spent listening to "birding-by-ear" CDs some times paying off. "There's a Yellow Warbler!", I think. "And a Wood Thrush, and a Northern Oriole, and..." Far off a burry, sing-song eludes me for a moment, and then joyously the image of a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak comes to mind. Yes! Now I hear it clearly.

The winds must have been good last night for so many new arrivals to greet my day. I have the windows open full at work, and I keep getting draw from my PC to my canopy view of the world. So far Eastern Kingbird, Warbling Vireo, RB Grosbeak, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Green Heron and an Osprey have all paid a visit. I wonder what else is in store today?

Cross posted to birdlovers

Current Mood: ecstatic
Tuesday, March 29th, 2005
11:09 pm
"I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours."

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."

Walden, Henry David Thoreau

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Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005
11:38 am
Hi again...
I am just wondering, why are we all here at this community...? Why environmental literature? Do you all write, are you studying environmental literature at university? Do you want to save the world? :P Who are your faveorite authors? lets get some disscussion happening I say! :)
Friday, March 18th, 2005
6:35 pm
Since I was asked ...
the_mystic_kat asked about the English class I've been taking focused on environmental literature, so here's some of what I've got, behind the cut.

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Wednesday, March 16th, 2005
2:26 pm
Hi i have just joined, i thought this community sounded pretty good, combining my two main passions in life, nature and writing :)

I am 21, a student, wavering between environmental studies and a n English major (we have to do economics, stat and sciencey classes for the enviro major - just not my bag baby!).

I am living in Wellington N.Z (home of peter Jackson if anyone cares :)).

I haven't read a lot of nature writers, but on the non-fiction front I would say I absolutely adore David Suzuki.

Basicaly I look forward to hearing about other writers and sharing knowledge. It seems like the few of us in this group are all doing interesting things, and have a lot to share. Feel free to friend me...
Sunday, March 6th, 2005
10:36 pm
Hello there! I wandered in through my interests list, and thought a community about nature writing sounded really neat. Would you consider discussing writing nature writing as well as reading it? (I'm interested in both.)

So ... um ... suppose I better introduce myself a bit. I'm a student at a tiny private college in Idaho, I'm majoring in environmental studies and creative writing, and I very much like Edward Abbey's idea that to really know a place one must get out of the car and wander until various extremities (knees, feet, hands, what-have-you) are bleeding.

I'm currently taking a nature writing/environmental lit. class, which (after one week) looks like it will be quite interesting and fuel for much thought.

I'd offer up a topic for discussion, but my brain's gone rather blank.

Oh ... right, favorite nature writers. Hmmm ... John Muir, definitely. I wish I could be like John Muir and head off into the rain with a bit of tea and some crusty bread. Instead, I sit inside my cabin with my sleeping bag wrapped around my legs and read John Muir while the rain pours down (interesting summer job). I also enjoy Ed Abbey's essays and Desert Solitaire. I didn't like The Monkey Wrench Gang very well though. (I blame this on being traumatized by Earth First!ers at a young age.) I'm currently enjoying Emily Dickinson, who writes lovely poetry, whether it's nature related or not. Aldo Leopold's Sand County Almanac was also a good read, as was a very obscure book about the area I'm from (central Idaho) The Lochsa Story by Bud Moore, though in the end, I'm not sure I agreed with his approach to land use.

Favorites, anyone else?
10:40 am
1st entry
So I'm not sure if this community will take, but I was curious if there were others out there who would be interested in discussing nature writing. I admit I'm not well-versed in the genre, so I'm looking forward to disovering new writers, books, and the like.

Anyhow, welcome! [And I apologize for such a meager first post - hopefully there will be more meaningful discussion to follow. :) ]
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