the natural world
Egret, the oldest independent
U.S. journal of nature
Egret, Vol. 75, #1
recent nature writing,
natural history and guidebooks with Book
to the best of the environmental
new age CDs discovered
by the Outrider
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.
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.
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.
to The Nature Pages
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.
Once I gave writing
a prominent place in my life, I changed so much that my family
suggested something might be wrong with me.