Category Archives: Flora

Wise Words Wednesday: Some favorite nature quotes by John Muir

the fellas

John Muir was American’s most famous naturalist and conservationist. Some of his quotes are among the favorite nature quotes of all time.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.  

Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done  and suffered by her creatures.  All scars she heals, whether  in rocks or water or sky or hearts.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it  hitched to everything else in the Universe.

You can find many more beautiful words on the Sierra Club John Muir Exhibit website. Muir was the first president of the Sierra Club. You can also celebrate John Muir Day on April 21st. A great way to honor Muir’s birthday is watching Ken Burns’ amazing documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

A trip on gossamer wings: Fly with the butterflies

Monarch Butterfly

For the love of butterflies

Hey Florida nature lovers!

It feels like Florida lately! Forget spring fever…it feels like summer already. What is a vision of spring/summer without butterflies?!

I set out to take some photos of butterflies recently. My lens and I surrendered pretty quickly. Butterflies are so much fun to watch…and to chase…but, alas, my lens and I were too slow for those delicate and swift little creatures.

Luckily, in Gainesville, I am just minutes away from butterfly paradise.

The Florida Museum of Natural History on the University of Florida campus is home to the Butterfly Rainforest. There you can find some lovely Florida natives including my lovely Monarch as seen above, as well as other beautiful creatures from around the world.

Tree nymph web

You do have to pay admission to get in, but once inside, it really is a tiny paradise. Plants, flowers, a waterfall, birds, butterflies, and enchanted humans.

flowers in rainforest

A few butterflies sat on my shoulder for a minute. I was delighted! If you don’t want to pay to get inside…there is a lovely butterfly garden outdoors, with ideas for plants you can grow to make your own butterfly garden.

Blue phlox

“Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.” – Jeffrey Glassberg

butterfly 4

Here’s hoping you share a little bit of Florida sunshine with me today! You deserve it!

The Irish love of nature

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to fellow nature lovers, like the Irish

Saucer magnolia under blue sky webMy blog is about celebrating the natural beauty all around us in Florida. Maybe it’s my Irish heritage that strengthens my love of nature. So, for St. Patrick’s Day, I honor the Irish love of nature. They know a lot about natural beauty…and have celebrated nature for centuries in verse.

In the introduction to Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry (1911), author Kuno Meyer writes,

In Nature poetry the Gaelic muse may vie with that of any other nation. Indeed, these poems occupy a unique position in the literature of the world. To seek out and watch and love Nature, in its tiniest phenomena as in its grandest, was given to no people so early and so fully as to the Celt. Many hundreds of Gaelic and Welsh poems testify to this fact (p. xii).

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Foto Friday: My favorite nature photo of the week

Foto Friday: My favorite nature photo of the week is this Anhinga sunning itself

Sunning anhinga

Sunning Anhinga

This beautiful Anhinga caught my attention as I was walking along the LaChua Trail. The trail is a great place to watch wildlife. While I was there, I saw a variety of creatures: Anhingas, Herons, Egrets, and some very large Alligators. Yes, Alligators. Just several feet away from me. I have a great respect for creatures that can make a midday snack out of me, so I was sure to keep the suggested distance.

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Wise Words Wednesday: Great quotes about nature

Quotes about nature

egret in water web

It’s Wise Words Wednesday and I have a great quote about nature to share with you today! Hope your week is moving along nicely. Mine started a bit bumpy…and rainy…but I am optimistic as always.

The wise words this week are from Albert Einstein. I’ll just go ahead and tell you, without shame, that I have a geek crush on Albert Einstein. An Einstein bobblehead is on my desk…one of his quotes is on my office door. Anyway…there is a wonderful quote in H. Eves’ Mathematical Circles Adieu (1977) in which Einstein encourages humans to embrace nature. Eves writes that the context for the quote is a letter written by Einstein in 1950 to a rabbi. The rabbi’s teenage daughter was unconsolable after the death of her sister, the rabbi’s older daughter. He was not able to comfort his daughter with religious theology and was hoping Einstein could give him advice. Here is what the scientist wrote in reply:

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security. H Eves Mathematical Circles Adieu (1977).

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