Over the past two months I’ve written a regular nature column for Belt Magazine, featuring David Wilson on illustration. Here are the links:
My sons are moved to ecstasy by the presence of wild animals in native landscapes. Without those animals, this woodland and stream bottom would seem slack, uninhabited. This abundance and diversity of animal life, a living cloud of wild creatures, surrounds us always, even in our homes and cities. But here in the creek, our shared existence is much more apparent.
Equating animals with happiness has been hardwired into our psyche. Cohabitating a world with an abundance and diversity of animals has always been a part of basic human experience. In fact, equating animals with happiness has been hardwired into our psyche. Look at children’s cartoons and toys, made up almost entirely of anthropomorphic representations of animals, telling kids that they’re not alone in this world.
Very few of us have an opportunity—given the demands of work, families and our iPhone overlords—to experience Nature’s extravagance. To purposefully press our faces to wild creatures’ living flesh. Though I’ve lived most of my life just a short drive from the “warbler capital of the world,” I had never seen one.