Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Five Greatest Joys in Nature

This comes from Roy in England at The Fenland Walker blog. I wasn't tagged, but this is (gasp) a meme that is actually on topic for this blog. How could I resist?

My five greatest joys in nature:

1. Butterflies


You're shocked, I know. One of the things that I worried about when I switched from the biotech industry to the museum world was that I would stop loving butterflies and simply see them as work. It hasn't been a problem at all. I started to learn to identify butterflies when I was 7. They have been companions in the natural world for almost my entire life.

2. Bluff Spring Fen

If any one thing is my life's work, it's my stewardship at Bluff Spring Fen. I was introduced to the Fen by Leon at the very beginning of our relationship. In addition to being a passion in its own right, it is part of the glue that has bonded us together for many years.

3. The Sea The Sea (heading title for Pablo)


I grew up a 15 minute walk from the Atlantic Ocean. I went through a period of genuine mourning for it when I moved to Chicago 30 years ago. My grief was alleviated by my growing love of the tallgrass prairie and of Bluff Spring Fen. Still, 30 years on I still miss the ocean. I think I miss the rhythm of the tides most of all.

4. El Orden de las Solidades (heading title for TR)


The high plains. The desert. The high Sierra or Rocky Mountains. I'm drawn to the wild and lonley places of the American West. I love the silence and the vastness. I love the awareness of my own insignificance while I'm immersed in the wilderness. I always feel grounded and centered when there.

5. Tiger Beetles

The most recent of my five joys in Nature. I was introduced to them four years ago by my friend John from Colorado. I love them because learning about their biology represents a new intelectual challenge for me as I enter the later phases of middle age. They remind me that I need never stop learning.



At 00:24, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was getting worried Butterflies at number 1 was no surprise, but then as I scanned down through each successive 'favorite' I started worrying you would not include... ah, there it is - tiger beetles, yeah!

At 00:48, Blogger SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

No Ted, I agree with Doug, butterflies should be number 1. LOL!! Now I've put my foot in it and started a war!! LOL!! Don't worry I like tiger beetles too. :)

A lovely post Doug. This is a very wide selection of things and each well worth being classified as one of the top five.

At 05:12, Blogger Lemuel said...

After I got over the initial shock of your first choice (tee-hee), I enjoyed your post. Even though I am not into bugs and critters as you are, I must admit that butterflies are one of my greatest pleasures in nature - as well as the sea, the northern, rocky coasted sea.

At 06:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd be hard pressed to limit myself to only five things. The gossamer tapestry of a butterfly's wing would probably be included though.

At 13:05, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What could be richer than THIS kind of appreciation of our short little time on this lovely blue planet? IF MORE humans shared this view, we'd be living very differently.

At 23:15, Blogger Ur-spo said...

You are a very fortunate man to work with the things you love.

At 06:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Doug,
I dont like to impose tags on anyone, but I am glad you did it anyway, great choices.

At 15:09, Blogger Celeste said...

Doug, this is a great meme, I hope you don't mind, I gave it a go on my blog :)
Shocking - you put Butterflies number one!!!

At 17:07, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Ted- Tiger beetles were only last because they are the most recent of the five joys.

Joan- For the most part the order of the list doesn't mean anything, with the exception of the butterflies coming first. They have had the most profound influence on my life.

Lem- You have used a sailboat as your avatar for as long as I have been reading your blog, so I'm not surprised that you love the sea.

Pablo- It was a bit of a challenge narrowing down the list to 5.

Mark- As soon as I saw the meme over at Roy's place, I knew I had to do it.

Spo- I agree. Thanks for giving this one a try.

Roy- Thanks for posting it. I enjoyed taking this one on.

Celeste- I enjoyed your offering.

At 19:04, Blogger R.Powers said...

WHAT? No dolphins?
Great shots. Love that meadowy fen.

At 20:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your greatest joys are wonderful and how right you are to never stop learning no matter what the age!

At 08:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Might steal this, K?

At 08:54, Blogger Amila Suwa said...

Great highlight package, Doug.
The Metlemark and the Tiger Beetle is my favs.

At 10:21, Blogger Doug Taron said...

FC- Thanks. The location of the meadowy fen picture is the exact same hill as the one in the top photo in the post immediately above this one. A bit different, no?

Chris- I agree totally. As a Chicagoan, you should come out to visit joy #2 sometime this summer.

Heather- Steal away! I stole it.

Amila- Thanks. I enjoyed your masala post.

At 18:58, Blogger Steve Borichevsky said...

Interesting meme. You are always welcome to come back to the Cape for a visit. We are having lots of snow this year. I too love the American West having spent 16 years in Colorado.

At 14:37, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Steve- Hi and welcome to the Tapestry. Thanks for stopping by. I will definitely continue to return to both your blog and to Cape Ann. My biological family still lives there or nearby. Dad's in Manchester (where I grew up) and I have a brother in Essex and a sister in Marblehead. I've lived in the Chicago area for ocver half my life now, but New England will always be home.

At 20:27, Blogger Unknown said...

wow ! amazing blog thanks for sharing . i like Butterflies . it's looking awesome . i always like nature tapestry


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