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Explore the natural world with Snowy Egret, the oldest independent U.S. journal of nature writing.

Snowy Egret, Vol. 75, #1
Snowy Egret, Vol. 75, #1

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Field Guide to Wisconsin Streams

Earth is the one constant throughout the history of humankind. Contemporary people think of our planet in terms of humans and cultures; aboriginal people think of the earth as populated by trees and rocks and animals as well as humans, seeing the earth as a force capable of informning and healing.

Raccoon

Try This.

Recall the last animal you spotted or the first that comes to mind - bird, insect, four-legged. Describe any characteristics you may have in common. Do not disregard any creatures because you prefer not to align yourself with an alley cat or earwig. Accept what occurs to you and write a stream-of-consciousness paragraph or two about this creature. Surprising connections will arise.

Writing Wild

Forming a Creative Partnership with Nature
by Tina Welling
New World Library, 2014

A Jackson Hole outdoorswoman, novelist Tina Welling credits the natural world for inspiring and enlivening her writing, which is largely situated in and about the American West. This book describes how nature informs and directs her creativity.

Composed like a lesson book, with  suggested exercises and guidelines for drawing personal creative energy from encounters with nature, the volume is intended for nature writers, journal keepers, or anyone seeking a deeper relationship with wildness.

Welling describes the moment "Writing Wild" was conceived, while hiking on Snow King Mountain in Wyoming:

"I paused to catch my breath from the upslope climb and gazed around the shadowy forest of tall, lanky pines. My glance caught on a fully rounded tree, leafless and apparently dead, standing upright with an abundance of sweeping limbs, making the tree stand out from others. At that moment, the sun broke through the cloud cover, and as I stood there, a dense, dew-beaded spiderweb, lacing the branches top to bottom, was abruptly illuminated.

"One moment, the dead tree was notable only for its shapely flare, unusual in a harsh, high-altitude environment. The next moment, it was aflame with stars. My throat tightened, and tears stung my eyes. The forest was silent, I was alone, and the tree spangled before me, woven with fairy lights.... I knew suddenly that there was an interconnectedness between the earth's creative energy and my own personal creative energy."

Welling details a three-step process - naming, describing, interacting - which she subsequently developed to draw similar moments of revelation from her experiences in tha natural world.

Dew Drops On by Bronle Crosby




Back to The Nature Pages

Nature's Rhythm I
All of nature pulses with aliveness , and so should our language. Language follows attention. Beautiful writing looks inward, then outward, inward, outward. Dull pages come from a lack of rhythm.


Cowboys Never Cry [Kindle Edition]
Once I gave writing a prominent place in my life, I changed so much that my family suggested something might be wrong with me.