Is Raymond Williams speaking to me? To you? What is the nature we seek to conserve?

To the conservationist, the naturalist, the nature enthusiast, who embraces conservation as a defensive strategy against the intervention and interference of man on supposedly external nature, of capitalism on the land and sea…

Some people in this defence are those who understand nature best, and who insist on making very full connections and relationships. But a signficant number of others are in the plainest sense hypocrites. Established at powerful points in the process which is creating the disorder, they change their clothes at week-ends, or when they can get down to the country; join appeals and campaigns to keep on last bit of England green and unspoilt; and then go back, spiritually refreshed, to invest in the smoke and the spoil.

— Raymond Williams, “Ideas of Nature,” p. 81 in Problems in Materialism and Culture: Selected Essays (1980).

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Fireworks as I buzz by…

Burst of color

A blurry, jarring Costa Rican bus ride from Puerto Viejo de Talamanca to San Jose. I was absolutely enamored by these white barked trees with bright orange blossoms that flew by my window.

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Sunrise against the forest

Light reaching down into the woods

Every Wednesday I have to get up early enough to beat traffic. I have early class. Lately, when I’m just hitting the road, the dawn has barely arrived. The dark such that I keep my lights on.

By the time I get to campus, the sun has climbed just high enough to reach the tops of the trees.

What a glorious sight!

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More treetops

A great advantage of not owning a car. While riding, I have the luxury to look around so much more.

Of course people sometimes think I’m goofy. And I am, so I don’t care.

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Ode to autumn

Rubrum maple

Stare straight up at flames on blue canvas. Stare straight up so long that your neck hurts. Wait for the breeze to rustle limb and branch and leaf. Wait for it.

Wait some more.

A single leaf falls And then another and another. Sparks from natural fire that warm my soul.

(It’s been two years since I’ve seen a North American autumn. God bless it.)

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