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Quotations about Nature




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How strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!  ~Emily Dickinson, letter to Mrs. J.S. Cooper, 1880


I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.  ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains:  The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938


What humbugs we are, who pretend to live for Beauty, and never see the Dawn!  ~Logan Pearsall Smith


Man's heart away from nature becomes hard.  ~Standing Bear


How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!  ~John Muir


Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.  ~George Washington Carver


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  ~John Muir


God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.  ~Martin Luther


I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright.  ~Henry David Thoreau


Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers - for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  ~Osho


Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  ~Kahlil Gibran


I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about.  But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back.  ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple, 1982


I am not bound for any public place, but for ground of my own where I have planted vines and orchard trees, and in the heat of the day climbed up into the healing shadow of the woods.  Better than any argument is to rise at dawn and pick dew-wet red berries in a cup.  ~Wendell Berry


And how should a beautiful, ignorant stream of water know it heads for an early release - out across the desert, running toward the Gulf, below sea level, to murmur its lullaby, and see the Imperial Valley rise out of burning sand with cotton blossoms, wheat, watermelons, roses, how should it know?  ~Carl Sandburg, Good Morning America, 1928


I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.  ~e.e. cummings


The poetry of the earth is never dead.  ~John Keats


I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees.  The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.  It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day.  It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful.  Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy.  ~Hamlin Garland, McClure's, February 1899


In wilderness I sense the miracle of life, and behind it our scientific accomplishments fade to trivia.  ~Charles A. Lindbergh, Life, 22 December 1967


After all, I don't see why I am always asking for private, individual, selfish miracles when every year there are miracles like white dogwood.  ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh


The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.  ~Author Unknown


Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another.  ~Juvenal, Satires


There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage


You can't be suspicious of a tree, or accuse a bird or a squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet.  ~Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons, 1964


The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.  ~Galileo


I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.  ~Walt Whitman


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


Some keep the Sabbath going to Church,
I keep it staying at Home -
With a bobolink for a Chorister,
And an Orchard, for a Dome.
~Emily Dickinson


To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure is the most perfect refreshment.  ~Jane Austen


The sun is the epitome of benevolence - it is lifegiving and warmthgiving and happinessgiving, and to it we owe our thanksgiving.  ~Jessi Lane Adams


Good heavens, of what uncostly material is our earthly happiness composed... if we only knew it.  What incomes have we not had from a flower, and how unfailing are the dividends of the seasons.  ~James Russell Lowell


Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.  ~Lao Tzu


The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.  ~Stephen Graham, The Gentle Art of Tramping


Great things are done when men and mountains meet.  This is not done by jostling in the street.  ~William Blake


To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug.  ~Helen Keller


Shall I not have intelligence with the earth?  Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself.  ~Henry David Thoreau


Joy all creatures drink
At nature's bosoms...
~Friedrich von Schiller, "Ode to Joy," 1785, translated from German


They may as well have called the sun a ball of flaming joy.  ~Star Richés


Innovative capitalists have tried to rewrite nature, but to no avail.  ~Astrid Alauda


What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery


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


I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.  ~Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted, 14 August 1966


I can enjoy society in a room; but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.  ~William Hazlitt


To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven, - to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
~John Keats, Sonnet XIV


Fieldes have eies and woods have eares.  ~John Heywood, 1565


You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness - perhaps ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things...  ~Walt Whitman, Specimen Days, "Birds - And a Caution"  (Thanks, Corinne)


In June as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.  No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.  ~Aldo Leopold


Nature hates calculators.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant," 1820


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


I've always regarded nature as the clothing of God.  ~Alan Hovhaness


Nature reserves the right to inflict upon her children the most terrifying jests.  ~Thornton Wilder


And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.  ~William Shakespeare


The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
~Sam Walter Foss


My heart that was rapt away by the wild cherry blossoms - will it return to my body when they scatter?  ~Kotomichi


The tulip and the butterfly
Appear in gayer coats than I:
Let me be dressed fine as I will,
Flies, worms, and flowers exceed me still.
~Isaac Watts


Human nature is just about the only nature some people experience.  ~Abigail Charleson


Nature is my medicine.  ~Sara Moss-Wolfe


Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.  ~Rachel Carson


Fire is the best of servants; but what a master!  ~Thomas Carlyle, Past and Present, Book II, chapter 9


I never had any other desire so strong, and so like covetousness, as that.... I might be master at last of a small house and a large garden, with very moderate conveniences joined to them, and there dedicate the remainder of my life to the culture of them and the study of nature.  ~Abraham Cowley


How many stanzas in the springtime breeze?
How plenty the raindrops? As He doth please.
There is no meter and there is no rhyme,
Yet God's poems always read in perfect time.
~Astrid Alauda, "Poems on Nature"


You know why there are so many whitefish in the Yellowstone River?  Because the Fish and Game people have never done anything to help them.  ~Russell Chatham, Silent Seasons, 1978


Climb up on some hill at sunrise.  Everybody needs perspective once in a while, and you'll find it there.  ~Robb Sagendorph


What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness?  Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet,
Long live the weeds and the wildness yet.
~Gerard Manley Hopkins, Inversnaid


Sunshine has no budget, the sea no red tape.  ~Jareb Teague


That we find a crystal or a poppy beautiful means that we are less alone, that we are more deeply inserted into existence than the course of a single life would lead us to believe.  ~John Berger, The Sense of Sight, 1980


All I want is to stand in a field
and to smell green,
to taste air,
to feel the earth want me,
Without all this concrete
hating me.
~Phillip Pulfrey, from Love, Abstraction and other Speculations, www.originals.net


Nature is man's teacher.  She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence.  ~Alfred Billings Street


There is nothing in the world more peaceful than apple-leaves with an early moon.  ~Alice Meynell


Watching clouds roll by
on a sunny day
Who needs church?
Nature is divine.
~Carrie Latet


Art gallery?  Who needs it?  Look up at the swirling silver-lined clouds in the magnificent blue sky or at the silently blazing stars at midnight.  How could indoor art be any more masterfully created than God's museum of nature?  ~Grey Livingston


Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower.  ~Alan C. Kay


Let us permit nature to have her way.  She understands her business better than we do.  ~Michel de Montaigne


A lawn is nature under totalitarian rule.  ~Michael Pollan, Second Nature, 1991


Nature will not be admired by proxy.  ~Winston Churchill


I am not a lover of lawns.  Rather would I see daisies in their thousands, ground ivy, hawkweed, and even the hated plantain with tall stems, and dandelions with splendid flowers and fairy down, than the too-well-tended lawn.  ~W.H. Hudson, The Book of a Naturalist, 1919


I'll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time.  ~Emily Dickinson


I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.  ~John Burroughs


Any man that walks the mead
In bud, or blade, or bloom, may find
A meaning suited to his mind.
~Alfred Tennyson


What a type of happy family is the family of the sun! with what order, with what harmony, with what blessed peace, do his children the planets move around him, shining with light which they drink in from their parent's in at once upon him and on one another!  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827


Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain.  ~Henry David Thoreau


Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.  ~George Washington Carver


Breathless, we flung us on a windy hill,
Laughed in the sun, and kissed the lovely grass.
~Rupert Brooke


How cunningly nature hides every wrinkle of her inconceivable antiquity under roses and violets and morning dew!  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.  ~e.e. cummings


I walked barefoot - the only way to walk on a muddy road.  ~Laurie Gough, "Light on a Moonless Night"


A wise man can do no better than to turn from the churches and look up through the airy majesty of the wayside trees with exultation, with resignation, at the unconquerable unimplicated sun.  ~Llewelyn Powys, The Pathetic Fallacy


If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.  ~Eleonora Duse


Nature chose for a tool, not the earthquake or lightning to rend and split asunder, not the stormy torrent or eroding rain, but the tender snow-flowers noiselessly falling through unnumbered centuries.  ~John Muir


In the sky
an infinitude of hope,
a canvas of glory
all possibilities mine.
~Neroli Lambent


Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed.  ~Francis Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620


Nature cannot be tricked or cheated.  She will give up to you the object of your struggles only after you have paid her price.  ~Napoleon Hill


In some mysterious way woods have never seemed to me to be static things.  In physical terms, I move through them; yet in metaphysical ones, they seem to move through me.  ~John Fowles


I've made an odd discovery.  Every time I talk to a savant I feel quite sure that happiness is no longer a possibility.  Yet when I talk with my gardener, I'm convinced of the opposite.  ~Bertrand Russell


Truly it may be said that the outside of a mountain is good for the inside of a man.  ~George Wherry, Alpine Notes and the Climbing Foot, 1896


Some people say a man's best friend is the dog.  Mine is Nature.  ~Ward Elliot Hour


Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.  ~Henry David Thoreau, journal, 5 January 1856


The mind, in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven.  ~William Channing


Drinking nature is an unquenchable thirst.  ~Berri Clove


Once you have heard the lark, known the swish of feet through hill-top grass and smelt the earth made ready for the seed, you are never again going to be fully happy about the cities and towns that man carries like a crippling weight upon his back.  ~Gwyn Thomas


If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is Nature's way.  ~Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics


A wee child toddling in a wonder world.... I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers.  If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan.  ~Zitkala-Sa


One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
~William Wordsworth, "The Tables Turned," 1798


The moon is like a mystery novel, the sun like a motivational self-help book, and the stars a coffee table book of photography.  The sky is the whole library, and God the librarian.  ~Pepper Giardino


You will find something more in woods than in books.  Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.  ~St. Bernard


And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
~William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 1599


Nature teaches more than she preaches.  There are no sermons in stones.  It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.  ~John Burroughs


Nature is the art of God.  ~Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, 1635


The color of the mountains is Buddha's body; the sound of running water is his great speech.  ~Dogen


Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Nature never goes out of style.  ~Author Unknown


Nature is a writer's best friend.  ~Agavé Powers


There is not a sprig of grass that shoots uninteresting to me.  ~Thomas Jefferson


Maybe nature is fundamentally ugly, chaotic and complicated.  But if it's like that, then I want out.  ~Steven Weinberg


To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life.  ~John Burroughs



Acknowledgment:
Thanks to Michael Garofalo of The Spirit of Gardening
for sharing some of these great quotes!


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Last modified 2008 Nov 29 Sat 16:43 PST


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