Sunday, December 14, 2008

Deep in the Peaty Blogs

I'm always on the lookout for blogs which reference deep ecology, and one that comes up in every search due to the blogger's self-description is Beyond the Fields We Know from Ontario. I finally took a look and found over three years worth of daily entries of lovely photographs and words. There's also a lengthy list of other artistic natury blogs which I randomly explored as a title caught my attention.

One of them led me to the Nature Blog Network which provides links to and descriptions of almost 600 categorized blogs focused on the natural world. I began meandering through the woods leaving a trail of bookmarks so I could find my way back. Nature remains in southern Ohio, there's Sitka Nature in Alaska, A Passion for Nature in western New York, Sand Creek Almanac right here in northern Minnesota, and I was especially happy to find the Moose Hill Journal inspired by a large Mass Audubon sanctuary where I spent many happy days hiking. And while we're back in Massachusetts, did you know Henry Thoreau has a blog? Yes, he's keeping his journal online these days.

These are just a few blogs which caught my attention; I'm sure the various link lists on those sites have many more just as interesting. I don't claim they're the best, I don't agree with everything I read on them, and I'm sure they'd all be horrified by statements on this blog. There are a lot of beautiful photographs out there which can be too slow loading on my archaic dial-up internet which started getting popular about 15 years ago and which I'm still completely content with.

I look forward to exploring these nature blogs, and I can certainly understand the motivation and attraction. If I did digital photography, I'd probably be showing you a photo of Lake Superior or the sky above every day. And nature writing has always been a favorite interest of mine, no surprise to anyone who's been reading this blog.

But just as Ed Abbey hated being called a nature writer, and like all the other areas I explore here and in the uncomputerized world, it will always just be part of a bigger whole. For me personally, only writing rhapsodically about fiddler crabs and fiddleheads while the sixth great extinction takes place and industrialism collapses is too much denial of reality, too much self-absorption. Joy and inner peace are fine things; anger and despair are just as valid a part of being alive, especially for anyone who cares about other species in these times.

I've never been interested in being a specialist or pledging my allegiance to any one school of thought, and therefore always find something to disagree with everywhere I look. Thoreau described himself as "a mystic, a transcendentalist, and a natural philosopher to boot." Me, I'm an anti-civilization, animal liberating, deep ecologist, spiritual atheist, Taoist animist, arts loving pedestrian with boots.

If the weather forecasters are correct (though a look outside and at a weather map gives me doubts) I'll need those boots the next time I go out. We've been under a blizzard warning since midnight with a foot of snow supposedly on the way, but so far little is happening other than 40 mph wind. Speaking of self-absorption, I've been slow in celebrating winter's arrival this year. Though in my defense, we only got our lasting snow cover about a week ago. There's plenty of heartwarming cold to come.


MojoMan said...

Thanks for the mention. Now I have to explore your blog to find something horrifying!

greentangle said...

Ha! Well, I know the Kunstler type stuff won't shock you, so maybe it will be my pro-animal opinions. I do at least try to keep a sense of humor involved (sometimes). Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy Moose Hill for me.