Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nature

“Measured against the agenda of human survival, how might we rethink education? Let me suggest six principles.

First, all education is environmental education.” — David Orr, What Is Education For?


I actually met and spoke to David Orr at a conference near the Aldo Leopold Foundation Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin a few years ago. He is a fascinating speaker, a person who has clearly thought a great deal about how humans fit into the natural world.

Yesterday, I spent the morning volunteering in a homeschool class at a Nature Center. The children, aged 6-8, shared their journal entries during snack time. They each had spent time in a “Secret Place”, observing the natural world around them, drawing pictures, writing sentences using vocabulary words, and playing. I was so pleased to see this, and told them that they were following in the footsteps of Aldo Leopold, Henry David Thoreau, Beatrix Potter and many, many others — very important thinkers and learners.

What do we need to learn from Nature? So much. I have a page on this blog called “Spiritual Lessons from Nature”. Click on the link just under the header if you’re curious about them.

Some things I’ve learned about Nature: it’s powerful and deserving of respect. 

It’s complex and autonomous.

It’s vast and largely incomprehensible.

It’s older than anyone can imagine. 

It’s more detailed than anyone can see. 

Humans are just one small leaf on the great Tree of Life.  That’s always good to remember. 

Thanks to Patti for hosting this challenge and for sharing stunning photos of Fiji.

32 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Nature

  1. Pingback: Nature – Timeless Wisdoms

  2. Wonderful post, Scilla. I love your list of what you’ve learned from nature. The complexity of nature astounded me in Fiji. I couldn’t believe all the teaming, thrumming, buzzing life around us. It was a bit overwhelming!!

    • The stork is an old world bird that migrates from Europe to Africa. The sandhill crane is a North American bird that migrates from Florida to northern states and Canada. There are lots of crane species in Asia as well, and to the Japanese they are a symbol of marriage (not babies): they mate for life.

      • Oh thanks! They certainly look similar. The European stork nests in the tall chimneys in the flat, Pannonian part of Slovenia. It is said that it brings children. 🙂 Have a look what a man a bit more to the south, in Croatia, does to help a stork which can’t fly:

      • What a wonderful video! Each year when our sandhill couple returns, I hope for babies that will fledge. My first year, there were twins that fledged, but ever since, we have not been so lucky. Two years ago, one of the twin colts was hit by a car on the street in front of my neighbor’s house. Last year, we had a late snowstorm that killed the first colt. The couple had another brood of two that hatched, but then we didn’t see them after a few weeks. The picture in the gallery was taken just before they flew south again…as a couple, with no fledglings.

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