In Search of the Sublime with Albert Bierstadt in Colorado

July 2015. The word “sublime” isn’t used much these days, but it would have been 150 years ago. America’s westward expansion, and the Civil War, embedded in the context of global exploration and a rapid expansion of science, were challenging the
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Colorado Fires and Firemoths

July 2015. Two years ago in June, as the giant Black Forest fire near Colorado Springs, Colorado, was just being contained, I wrote about a tiny, brightly colored, fire-dependent moth, Schinia masoni, the Colorado Firemoth. If you want to see this
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Miombo Magic at Machinga Malawi

June 2015. Another day of testing our methodology for rapid botanical surveys for the “Strengthening the Information Base of Natural Habitats, Biodiversity, and Environmental Services in the Shire River Basin” component of the World Bank’s Shire River Basin Management Program, which
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The View from Zomba Mountain: Plants, Water, and People in Southern Malawi

June 2015. We drove up and up and up along the road slashing across the edge of the escarpment above Zomba town, with views expanding across to Mount Mulanje about 70 kilometers east. At the beginning of the dry season burning
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An Afternoon at Slabsides with John o’ the Birds

May 2015. When I checked John Burroughs’s first book of nature essays, Wake-Robin, out of the Stanford Library where I was an undergraduate, I wrote him off as an eastern nature wimp. My hero was John Muir, who described climbing to
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The Art of Ecology: Sketching with Cole and Church

May 2015. Even now, in the second decade of the 21st Century, our view of the relationship between humans and nature, and our identity as a society, is shaped by the artists of the Hudson River School, which was the dominant
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Breaking the Curse of Voodoo Economics and Designing an Ecological Economy

May 2015. A recent front page story in the Washington Post was headlined “Growth suffers winter freeze: Economy slows to near-halt,” and began with the sentence “The U.S. economy slowed nearly to a halt in the first three months of the
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Lunch at Grey Towers

From the terrace in front of the mansion, with its stone towers and steep roofs of shiny grey local slate, the lawn sloped steeply down toward the town of Milford, Pennsylvania, and gave a long view east over the Delaware
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The Meaning of Human Existence: A Continuing Conversation with E.O.Wilson

April 2015. My first conversation with Edward O. Wilson, the famous Harvard biologist, was forty years ago. We were sitting on an old couch on the front porch of my rented house in a neighborhood called “The Hill” in Boulder,
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Dreaming of Whales in the Desert

April 2015. Winter has lingered on and on here near Washington, DC, and spring has been slow and reluctant. The National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to end before the cherry blossoms even reach their peak bloom this year. And
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