The Touch of Nature to Re-ground Ourselves

Touch of Nature

AT CERTAIN TIMES, meaning every day of our lives, we are in need of a touch of nature. To re-ground ourselves, to be reminded of a world of beauty and meaning, in which personal woes and human cares of the moment are superseded by systems and orders and processes that long predate and will long outlive us. The songs of

Sparky the Cardinal

Drawing by Douglas Wood - Sparky the cardinal

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, Sparky the Cardinal is singing his fool head off this morning. Which, as Spring has obstinately decided to stop being Spring and go back to being Winter, is a fine and wonderful thing.

Signs of Spring

Signs of Spring

AT THE CHURCH O’ THE PINES, there are many signs of spring. Chipmunks, ducks, geese, cranes, swans, the first fresh catkins and swelling buds, the soft green leaves of spring ephemerals, wild leeks, Virginia waterleaf, the song of chorus frogs at night… Another sign—the bonsai trees come out of protective cold-storage in the garage and into the open air. Here

An Inquiry About The Old Turtle From A Reader

About the old Turtle

HI FRIENDS–I RECENTLY RECEIVED AN INQUIRY about Old Turtle from a reader interested in original sources and inspiration. It’s a good question and I tried to give a good answer. I thought perhaps some of you FB friends would be interested as well. Here is the exchange.

The Birthday of Conservationist and Author Sigurd F. Olson

Birthday of conservationist

THIS WEEK MARKS THE BIRTHDAY OF CONSERVATIONIST AND AUTHOR SIGURD F. OLSON. One of the great environmental figures of the 20th century, he ranks in importance with figures like John Burroughs and Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold and John Muir, Rachel Carson and Marjory Stoneman Douglas. His writing was lyrical and poetic, but suffused with a deep knowledge and scientific

I Have A Chipmunk Named Spot

Chipmunk named Spot - Douglas Wood

I HAVE A CHIPMUNK NAMED SPOT. Or rather he has me—as provider and admirer and wrapped around his little…er… toe. I came to be attached to Spot last summer, when he would climb up my leg as I sat on the deck and eat peanuts off my knee. Actually he would stuff them into his cheeks and run off to

The Past Four Years

The Past Four Years - Text and Drawing from Paddle Whispers

OVER THE PAST YEAR, AND PERHAPS THE PAST FOUR YEARS, many of us have occasionally struggled with feelings of being unmoored—old verities lost or questioned, a sense of being tossed and blown by ill winds we cannot control. Trees, of course, deal with similar issues. Luckily they have roots. As do we. And I believe that trees are remarkable teachers,

‘Wisdom of Nature’ Series

Wisdom of Nature Series

I AM SO PLEASED to see the first of over a dozen new book projects beginning to come to fruition with my Chinese publishing house, King-in. What I have called my ‘Wisdom of Nature’ series—a collection of six small books with brief aphoristic texts and original pen-and-ink drawings, is being produced as a lovely boxed set in China. They are

“River of Grass” by Marjory Stoneman Douglas

Grass, Tree & House - The River Grass

IN 1947 A FEISTY LITTLE 57-YEAR-OLD WOMAN NAMED MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS published a book entitled ‘River Of Grass.’ It launched a consciousness and a movement to save the Everglades, until that time thought of as a ‘worthless swamp.’ The book eventually came to be considered as significant as Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring,’ in terms of meaning and impact. When Marjory