Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Peace of Wild Things...and Ultrarunning (part 2)

I originally ran this post 2 years ago on 4 Sep 2010. I'll repeat it here and expand upon the original thought:

The Peace of Wild Things...and Ultrarunning

Over at Hecate--who, seriously, is a witch--ran across a marvelous post that struck an ultra chord.

...as more and more kids grow up in urban areas, in families who don't belong to the class of people who can afford a trip to see the redwoods or wade along a deserted shore, or canoe down a river, it becomes increasingly important to help them find nature inside urban areas. Although large empty spaces are really wonderful, for many kids [and adults!] a rather small space will suffice. A community garden. A gated alley full of trees, and tomato plants, and pets. A park. A local Nature Center. A tree that becomes a special friend.


Or, we could take our kids and grandkids ultarunning. Fitness aside, our doses of trail running are sweet therapy for our souls or psyches or whatever it is that makes us "us."
 
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Update as of 4 Sep 2012:  I hate to play the "when I was a kid" card, but in the 1950s and 60s, there were TV and telephones, but by and large, you played outside unless it was raining.  Video games and the Internet were but a gleam in somebody's eye.
 
Now I fear that outdoor play is a vanishing trend, so whenever Mister Tristan (the 4-year old human being, not the blog) says he wants to play outside, we do it, regardless of the weather.
 
 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Flower...and Ultrarunning

This looks like an ordinary flower.  Pretty enough, but not particularly stunning or spectacular.


[image credit National Geographic, which I got to via Pharyngula]

What makes this plant both stunning and spectacular is that it was grown from 32,000 year old seeds!

Nat Geo tells us:

A Russian team discovered a seed cache of Silene stenophylla, a flowering plant native to Siberia, that had been buried by an Ice Age squirrel near the banks of the Kolyma River. Radiocarbon dating confirmed that the seeds were 32,000 years old.
The mature and immature seeds, which had been entirely encased in ice, were unearthed from 124 feet (38 meters) below the permafrost, surrounded by layers that included mammoth, bison, and woolly rhinoceros bones.
The mature seeds had been damaged—perhaps by the squirrel itself, to prevent them from germinating in the burrow. But some of the immature seeds retained viable plant material.
The team extracted that tissue from the frozen seeds, placed it in vials, and successfully germinated the plants, according to a new study. The plants—identical to each other but with different flower shapes from modern S. stenophylla—grew, flowered, and, after a year, created seeds of their own.

I am in awe of the remarkable powers of survival at work here.  Plus the added bonus of another proof of evolution--that the flower shapes have morphed in only 30 millenia.

Again the link to Ultrarunning is that while many of us just like the running part, the main draw for many more is the sheer amount of time we spend on our feet in the backcountry.  In our own way we are both botanist and zooloogist, observing and learning every time we hit a trail.  We are so much better connected to Nature than virtually any of our peers.  And for that I am grateful.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Ultrarunning…and Nature (part 2 of 2)


(image credit National Wildlife Federation)

See yesterday’s post for part 1. I contribute to the National Wildlife Federation, so they send me a calendar each year full of wonderful wildlife photos and short nature-related quotes each month.

The quotes are great, so I’ll blog them across 2 posts, yesterday and today. Some quotes or authors may be familiar; others brand new. In any case, enjoy, and I hope that these thoughts will cause all of us to be thankful at the marvelous gift of nature that is ours through the endeavor of backcountry running:

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts. -- William Hazlitt

The who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. -- Rachel Carson

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. -- Albert Einstein

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come. -- Chinese proverb

Let nature be your teacher. -- William Wordsworth

An animal’s eyes have the power to speak a great language. -- Martin Buber

Keep your send of proportion by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the natural world. -- Catlin Matthews

Friday, December 31, 2010

Ultrarunning…and Nature (part 1 of 2)



I contribute to the National Wildlife Federation, so they send me a calendar each year full of wonderful wildlife photos and short nature-related quotes each month.

The quotes are great, so I’ll blog them across 2 posts today and tomorrow. Some quotes or authors may be familiar; others brand new. In any case, enjoy, and I hope that these thoughts will cause all of us to be thankful at the marvelous gift of nature that is ours through the endeavor of backcountry running:

The landscape belongs to the person who looks at it. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. -- Native American proverb

We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. -- Native American proverb

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin. -- William Shakespeare

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you. -- Frank Lloyd Wright

In the wilderness is the preservation of the world. -- Henry David Thoreau

The goal of life is loving in agreement with nature. -- Zeno