Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Aldo Leopold’

When I’m watching birds, like this common yellowthroat, I forget all about one-gallus creatures. — Watercolor by Pat Bean

 

“If something is true, no amount of wishful thinking will change it.” Richard Dawkins

Wishful Thinking

I recently came across the word one-gallus while rereading Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac. I had no idea what it meant, so I looked up the meaning. When I found it, I laughed out loud.  Leopold had called people who didn’t respect wildlife “low-class, ignorant and backward.”

I used to read with a dictionary beside me, but these days it’s my Kindle because it gives me quick access to the internet. I love this modern highway of information, although like almost every change in life, it comes with a dark side – those one-gallus creatures who use it maliciously.

Does the good in life always have to be countered with a dark side? This is a question I ask myself often. I would like the answer to be no, but the longer I live on this planet the more saddened I become that my wished-for answer is never going to come to pass.

And this brings me to one of my favorite quotes: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Or in my case, asking the same thing over and over and expecting a different answer.

I did get a different answer, however, when I went online to double-check the name of the author of the quote. It’s usually attributed to Albert Einstein, but now someone is saying it might have been Benjamin Franklin, or Mark Twain, or none of the above.

If made me think that perhaps nothing is set in concrete, and that perhaps there is still a chance, slight though it will be, that we can eliminate the word one-gallus from the dictionary.

But I suspect this is simply wishful thinking.

            Bean Pat: Bluebirds to cheer your day https://pinolaphoto.com/2018/11/16/a-bluebird-day-at-the-celery-bog/  A photo blog that makes me happy

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, she is calling Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »

The “Big Tree” on Texas’s Goose Island is one of the world’s largest live oak trees. It was considered to be Texas’ largest until a bigger one was found in Brazoria County, where I lived for 15 years. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher ‘standard of living’ is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free. For us of the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television.” – Aldo Leopold

About Trees…and Life

I’m rereading Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, a thoughtful philosopher and naturalist who wrote about the environment. It’s well worth rereading, and I do so every few years.

A first edition cover of Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

Aldo wrote that he loved all trees, but that he was in love with pines. I also love all trees so naturally his words got me asking myself what was my favorite tree. It only took me a second to conclude that it was a live oak.

While it can’t compare to the giant redwoods, it does get mighty big. If it lives long enough, its winding, crooked branches can be wider than the trees height. It stays green in winter, and I often see it with graceful lengths of moss hanging from its limbs.

I lived on the Texas Gulf Coast in 1961, when Hurricane Carla came roaring through. It was two weeks after it struck before we evacuees were allowed back to our homes. Fortunately, ours, inland a bit in the town of Lake Jackson, only had a few roof shingles missing.

What was missing, however, was all of the moss from the live oak trees. The hurricane blew the moss off all the trees, taking with it the landscapes southern charm.          Now, here are a few more of Aldo Leopold’s quotes that make me think:

           “Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.”
The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: ‘What good is it?”

  “To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”

“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot.” — said Aldo Leopold, about his book.

Sand County Almanac, which has had many printings, was first published in 1949, a year after Leopold’s death at the age of 61.

          Bean Pat: Books of the 1970s https://lithub.com/a-century-of-reading-the-10-books-that-defined-the-1970s/

Now available on Amazon

Of the top 10, I had read seven, and many of the others as well. What about you?

Pat Bean is a Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder. Her book, Travels with Maggie, is now up on Amazon at http://tinyurl.com/y8z7553y  Currently, she is writing a book, she is calling Bird Droppings, which is about her late-bloomer birding adventures. You can contact her at patbean@msn.com

Read Full Post »