vrijdag 3 augustus 2012

Quotes from Aldo Leopold

"The weeds in a city lot convey the same lesson as the redwoods; the farmer may see in his cow-pasture what may not be vouchsafed to the scientist adventuring in the South Seas." - Aldo Leopold.

Finally I read that classic of US nature writing: A Sand County Almanac (1949) by Aldo Leopold. It's a wonderful book that mixes slightly insane hyperbole, dreamy-yet-factual descriptions of place, remarkable ecological observations that are still urgent today. Invading species, the history of landscapes, the husbandry of wild species, the need to think like a mountain (that is seeing ecosystems rather than species), the place of top predators in nature, the dangers of tourism, the moral need for wildness. The concerns of Leopold are modern, his language is that of an antiquated American gentleman, formal but pleasant. Leopold is voice from a bygone age, his book I will reread.  

"Just as there is honor among thieves, so there is solidarity and cooperation among plant and animal pests. Where one pest is stopped by natural barriers, another arrives to breach the same wall by a new approach. In the end every region and every resource gets their quota of uninvited ecological guests."

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