I enjoy pretty much everything there is that has to do with the outdoors. Some of my most peaceful moments have been while walking through the forest, sitting on a beach, or boating (minus the loud engine). Accordingly I have a great respect for nature and enjoy learning about the plants and wildlife therein. My plan is to continue that learning process and hopefully enhance it by sharing what I learn. I intend for this blog to serve many purposes, but in the immediate future it will be a place for me, and hopefully others, to share ideas about reducing our individual impact on this planet, protecting wild spaces, and in general just to comment on the things we enjoy most in the great outdoors. I welcome all opinions as otherwise you cannot consider every aspect of a subject. However, I would ask that every opinion be expressed in a respectful way and considered with an open mind. Often there is no single right answer. Thanks.







Friday, July 1, 2011

A couple of recent reads...

As I mentioned in my first post one of my main goals in writing this blog is to learn more about ecology, sustainability and any number of environmental topics.  To that end I have read a number of articles while writing posts, come across many interesting websites ("my favourites" is getting harder to navigate), and have been borrowing books related to nature and sustainability.  At this point I have more possible topics to write about than the time to write them.  I suppose that is a better position to be in than the alternative - that being gobs of time and no ideas. 

The following two books are a couple of my recent reads.  The picture of the book below each paragraph is a link to Amazon if you are interested in checking them out further.

Nature's Secret Messages by Elaine Wilkes was an interesting read.  There was much more to the book than I initially thought there would be.  The comparisons between how a food looks and what impact it has on the health of your body were fascinating.  I loved all of the quotes that were incorporated throughout the book such as "Don't ask yourself what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive." - Howard Thurman, or "Nature does nothing uselessly." - Aristotle.  She touches on many topics including relaxation, connection with nature, the importance of non processed foods for our health and that of the planet, and finishes off with an appendix full of ways that you can help the planet.  My only complaint would be the frequent use of puns throughout the book, but that certainly does not diminish the value of the information contained within.


The book I am reading right now is called A Year on the Wild Side by Briony Penn.  It is a collection of essays sorted into months of the year depending on the time of year the topic pertains to.  I am currently reading the essays related to October and so far I have enjoyed the book very much.  Her writing makes me smile because it is not stuffy or boring in the least.  I get the impression that the author is someone who is still in touch with her inner child, who sees and appreciates everything that nature has to offer, and, the best part, does not give a damn if anyone thinks that is weird.  My son and my dad spent some time together on the couch looking at all of the illustrations, which are drawn by the author.  It is a mini natural history lesson pertaining to the plants and animals found in the area around the Salish Sea.  It is a great read for anyone who either lives in, or is interested in, this part of Vancouver Island.  I have become even more aware of how each living thing, no matter small, is an important part of a balanced ecosystem.



My interests are still very broad and I do not foresee them becoming simplified anytime soon.  If anything I keep finding more topics that pique my interest.  I have a book called Farm Sanctuary by Gene Baur which I plan to read as soon as I am finished A Year on the Wild Side.  I was hesitant to take it off the book shelf because I enjoy eating meat.  Once you educate yourself about a topic you cannot exactly remain blissfully ignorant and continue with your same habits.  I hope that more people pick up books about sustainability and the health of our planet and come away with the same feeling.  What are we waiting for?

PS: Happy Canada Day!

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