My adventures in the woods, streams, rivers, fields, and lakes of Michigan

My favorite nature quotes

I have already done a post of my favorite fishing quotes, and it is one of the most viewed posts that I have done. That isn’t why I am doing this one, these are quotes about the great outdoors and nature that I love. These quotes tell why I love the great outdoors the way that I do in a way that says it much better than I can.

“Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” ~ John Lubbock

 “Who hears the rippling of rivers will not utterly despair of anything.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“Be like a rock in the middle of a river, let all of the water flow around and past you.”~ Zen Saying

“Time Flowed Past Like The Water Of The River” ~ Allen Norcross (New Hampshire Garden Solutions)

“I think if you’re interested in really studying nature you have to do it over time to understand how and why things change.” ~ Allen Norcross (New Hampshire Garden Solutions)

“I was all alone on a morning so quiet I could hear myself think at Red Jack Lake, miles into the Hiawatha National Forest.  It seemed like the epitome of irreverence to make a sound.” ~ Kerry Mark Leibowitz (Lightscapes Nature Photography Blog)

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

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.”~ John Muir

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”~ John Muir

“In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world.”~ John Muir

“Going to the woods is going home.” ~ John Muir

“A man’s interest in a single bluebird is worth more than a complete but dry list of the fauna and flora of a town.”~ Henry David Thoreau

“Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.”~ Henry David Thoreau

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away.”~ Henry David Thoreau

“Not till we are completely lost or turned around… do we begin to find ourselves.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“I am a happy camper so I guess I’m doing something right. Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“I have never found a companion that was so companionable as solitude.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“The universe is wider than our views of it.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and woods, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“I have a room all to myself; it is nature.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready, and it may be a long time before they get off.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest.” ~ Henry David Thoreau

“While civilization has been improving our houses, it has not equally improved the men who are to inhabit them”~ Henry David Thoreau

“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”~ Mahatma Ghandi

“What we are doing to the forests of the world is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and to one another.”~ Mahatma Ghandi

“In the thinking of the human being a hundred years is a long time. A hundred years ago we didn’t have cars, airplanes, computers or vaccines. It was a whole different world, but to the earth, a hundred years is nothing. A million years is nothing. This planet lives and breathes on a much vaster scale. We can’t imagine its slow and powerful rhythms, and we haven’t got the humility to try. We’ve been residents here for the blink of an eye. If we’re gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us.” ~ Michael Crichton

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.” ~Ansel Adams

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed… We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.” ~ Wallace Stegner

“To waste, to destroy our natural resources, to skin and exhaust the land instead of using it so as to increase its usefulness, will result in undermining in the days of our children the very prosperity which we ought by right to hand down to them amplified and developed.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others”~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us to restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wildlife and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

“I am glad I will not be young in a future without wilderness.” ~ Aldo Leopold

“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.” ~ Aldo Leopold

“No matter how intently one studies the hundred little dramas of the woods and meadows, one can never learn all the salient facts about any one of them.”~ Aldo Leopold

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the earth, man would only have four years left to live.” ~ Albert Einstein

“No settled family or community has ever called its home place an “environment.” None has ever called its feeling for its home place “biocentric” or “anthropocentric.” None has ever thought of its connection to its home place as “ecological,” deep or shallow. The concepts and insights of the ecologists are of great usefulness in our predicament, and we can hardly escape the need to speak of “ecology” and “ecosystems.” But the terms themselves are culturally sterile. They come from the juiceless, abstract intellectuality of the universities which was invented to disconnect, displace, and disembody the mind. The real names of the environment are the names of rivers and river valleys; creeks, ridges, and mountains; towns and cities; lakes, woodlands, lanes roads, creatures, and people.” ~ Wendell Berry

“A crowd whose discontent has risen no higher than the level of slogans is only a crowd. But a crowd that understands the reasons for its discontent and knows the remedies is a vital community, and it will have to be reckoned with. I would rather go before the government with two people who have a competent understanding of an issue, and who therefore deserve a hearing, than with two thousand who are vaguely dissatisfied.
But even the most articulate public protest is not enough. We don’t live in the government or in institutions or in our public utterances and acts, and the environmental crisis has its roots in our lives. By the same token, environmental health will also be rooted in our lives. That is, I take it, simply a fact, and in the light of it we can see how superficial and foolish we would be to think that we could correct what is wrong merely by tinkering with the institutional machinery. The changes that are required are fundamental changes in the way we are living.” ~ Wendell Berry

“[T]his readiness to assume the guilt for the threats to our environment is deceptively reassuring: We like to be guilty since, if we are guilty, it all depends on us. We pull the strings of the catastrophe, so we can also save ourselves simply by changing our lives. What is really hard for us (at least in the West) to accept is that we are reduced to the role of a passive observer who sits and watches what our fate will be. To avoid this impotence, we engage in frantic, obsessive activities. We recycle old paper, we buy organic food, we install long-lasting light bulbs—whatever—just so we can be sure that we are doing something. We make our individual contribution like the soccer fan who supports his team in front of a TV screen at home, shouting and jumping from his seat, in the belief that this will somehow influence the game’s outcome.”  ~ Slovoj Zizek

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” ~ Chief Seattle

“We line up and make a lot of noise about big environmental problems like incinerators, waste dumps, acid rain, global warming and pollution. But we don’t understand that when we add up all the tiny environmental problems each of us creates, we end up with those big environmental dilemmas. Humans are content to blame someone else, like government or corporations, for the messes we create, and yet we each continue doing the same things, day in and day out, that have created the problems. Sure, corporations create pollution. If they do, don’t buy their products. If you have to buy their products (gasoline for example), keep it to a minimum. Sure, municipal waste incinerators pollute the air. Stop throwing trash away. Minimize your production of waste. Recycle. Buy food in bulk and avoid packaging waste. Simplify. Turn off your TV. Grow your own food. Make compost. Plant a garden. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If you don’t, who will?”  ~ Joseph Jenkins

“A tree is alive, and thus it is always more than you can see. Roots to leaves, yes-those you can, in part, see. But it is more-it is the lichens and moss and ferns that grow on its bark, the life too small to see that lives among its roots, a community we know of, but do not think on. It is every fly and bee and beetle that uses it for shelter or food, every bird that nests in its branches. Every one an individual, and yet every one part of the tree, and the tree part of every one.” ~ Elizabeth Moon

“Environmentalists generally object to battery-powered devices and for good reason: batteries require mined minerals, employ manufacturing processes that leak toxins into local ecosystems and leave behind an even-worse trail of side effects upon disposal. Though when it comes to the largest mass-produced battery-powered gadget ever created—the electric car—environmentalists cannot jump from their seats fast enough to applaud it.” ~ Ozzie Zehner

“Man is a complex being: he makes deserts bloom – and lakes die.” ~ Gil Stern

“Trees are always a relief, after people.”~ David Mitchell

“The environment you save should be your own!” ~ Me

That’s it for now, thanks for stopping by!


11 responses

  1. Gosh Jerry, I never thought I’d see my name mentioned in the same breath as these great men. Thank you for thinking so, but that thought of mine was just something that popped into my head while I was walking along the river one day. Many of these are my favorites too, but you have some that I’ve never seen.

    February 2, 2013 at 8:41 am

    • Well, fame does not equate to wisdom, and wisdom seldom results in fame. I liked your line, and think of it often.

      February 2, 2013 at 8:53 am

      • I’ll pass on the fame, but I’ll take all the wisdom I can get my hands on. I’m glad that something I said could carry some weight with someone.

        February 2, 2013 at 9:15 am

  2. “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”~ John Muir: my favourtie

    February 2, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    • Thank you, surprisingly, it is often the smallest things on which we tug that turn out to be the most connected.

      February 2, 2013 at 1:56 pm

  3. So many wise words so carefully chosen by one that loves mother nature. Thank you for sharing these with us.

    February 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    • Thank you for taking the time to read them.

      February 2, 2013 at 9:07 pm

  4. Thank you Jerry for sharing all of these, most enjoyed! And many new ones for me!! 🙂

    February 2, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    • Thanks Donna!

      February 3, 2013 at 12:19 am

  5. Love these! Thank you!

    February 2, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    • Thanks Sheila!

      February 3, 2013 at 12:19 am