24 July 2017
Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.
Note: Dahlia Photomontage taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed, iColorama, Pixlr and Stackables.
“In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau
As a naturalist, philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau is legendary. This month scores of devotees celebrated his 200-year-old birthday on 12 July in Concord, the place of his birth. His legacy remains at Walden Pond, and many of us including environmentalists and conservationists continue his work of education and preservation. His influence shaped America’s national parks program and other protective measures of America’s natural wonders.
But also I am enamored by his dedication to the human condition, and the combination of his passions has made him one of my heroes. He devoted his life as much to the discovery of our inner wild landscapes as the outer ones.
If I were to divide my fascinations, passions and obsessions into portions, gardening and nature would take a sizable chuck of the space in my thoughts. And they have increased exponentially with the stance of my country’s leaders on everything from the climate pact to land preservation to drilling off the Atlantic Coast to discretion of national parks to reversal of laws protecting waterways, and other endless assaults on the planet.
These actions pump anxiety into my veins. So I’m happy to focus on Thoreau as a stellar advocate for America’s sacred lands and those who inhabit their wildness. The untamed has an essential role in my gardens, and much of my planning and care center around the creation of wildlife habitats and reducing the human imprint.
Here is a famous passage that I hope will bring Thoreau into your daily thoughts and reading life.
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.”
In the Lens section is my ode to Thoreau: a summer dahlia made into a photomontage that exemplifies the layer upon layer of nature’s longevity as well as the treasure trove of Mother Nature’s intensely technicolored jewels.
In honor of Thoreau’s legacy celebrate the wild.