“No art can exceed the mellow beauty of one square rod of ground in the woods this afternoon. The noise of the locust, the bee, and the pine; the light, the insect forms, butterflies, cankerworms hanging, balloon-spiders swinging, devils-needles cruising, chirping grasshoppers; the tints and forms of the leaves and trees,—not a flower but its form seems a type, not a capsule but is an elegant seedbox,—then the myriad asters, polygalas, and golden-rods, and through the bush the far pines, and overhead the eternal sky.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals 1820-1836
Is the essential being destroyed to produce the superfluous?
Half of our medications come from the plant kingdom. The human body seems to recognize and be healed by remedies derived by plants. Our cells speak the same language. We are of the same family.
Yann Arthus-Bertrand was appointed by the United Nations to produce the official film for the International Year of Forests.
“I cannot think of a better way to mobilize masses to act on pressing environmental problems than through the use of art. Poetry, photography, and other artistic mediums are able to connect us with environmental issues in ways dry text will never manage,” Rebeka Ryvola in Beauty in Peril at Culture of Science.
there is pleasure in the pathless woods,
there is rapture on the lonely shore,
there is society where none intrudes,
by the deep sea and the music in its roar;
I love not man the less, but nature more.
“The road gods beckoned.” ~ Basho.
Poet Matsuo Basho set off in 1689 into Japan’s backcountry. His journal, Narrow Road to a Far Province, described a path, still visible on Natagiri Pass, that devotees have followed ever since.
Photograph by Michael Yamashita, National Geographic
In a tiny corner of western Poland a forest of about 400 pine trees grow with a 90 degree bend at the base of their trunks - all bent northward. Surrounded by a larger forest of straight growing pine trees this collection of curved trees, or “Crooked Forest,” is a mystery.
Planted around 1930, the trees managed to grow for seven to 10 years before getting held down, in what is understood to have been human mechanical intervention. Though why exactly the original tree farmers wanted so many crooked trees is unknown.