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I rose before dawn to look for elk moving across the meadow at Kendrick Park, in the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff. I didn’t see any elk, but I did hear a bull bugling in the distance, calling his harem up into the hills for the day.
In this photo you can see the crest of Walker Lake cinder cone in the background.
"Echo spoke her love in her love’s own words. Narcissus spoke to himself and heard from his lips his own words return. To bend down and kiss those lips mars the lips - mars the surface with breath. Voice travels through air by moving the air it travels through. Echo’s ear a pond as still as a mirror that breath moves upon to speak. That lake - inside the ear - speaks back. Echo’s love in love’s words. Repetition intones wonder - the world spoken of in other’s words. All spoken and we speak all back. There are no other words.
"I’ve seen a pond so still it reflects the sky back to itself. I’ll speak to you of it to you. The sky at the bottom of the hill.”
Text: Excerpt from This Nest, Swift Passerine by Dan Beachy-Quick, 2009. Photo: Water strider (Family Gerridae) at the Arboretum at Flagstaff, Flagstaff, Arizona.
Some of you may remember this charming fellow, who appeared here earlier this summer. Now he’s an entrant in the High Country News Photo Contest in the most attractive lizard wildlife category. I’m honored that my photo is in competition with some of the tumblr photographers I admiremost. This lizard keeps excellent company!
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste. And so that never again can we have the chance to see ourselves single, separate, vertical and individual in the world, part of the environment of trees and rocks and soil, brother to the other animals, part of the natural world and competent to belong in it. Without any remaining wilderness we are committed wholly, without chance for even momentary reflection and rest, to a headlong drive into our technological termite-life, the Brave New World of a completely man-controlled environment. We need wilderness preserved – as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds – because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity is can bring to us when we are old simply because it is there – important, that is, simply as idea.
Wallace Stegner, from a letter to David E. Pesonen of the UCBerkley Wildland Research Center in December, 1960. In it Stegner decries the imminent start of construction on the Glen Canyon Dam. The letter was later appended to Stegner’s essay “Glen Canyon Submersus,” in The Sound of Mountain Water, published in 1967, which more fully develops his ideas on wilderness. Stegner was a fierce and outspoken opponent of the Glen Canyon Dam project, writing eloquently of the loss of this incomparable wilderness. His disdain for the recreational elements of the project at the expense of wilderness was legendary.