Inspirational Thoughts From Nature

Photography © Ron Day

Bald Eagle Flying Over Kenai Peninsula, Alaska

What follows is a compilation of thought-provoking quotations, drawing inspiration from nature and wildlife, from authors who preceded our time, but who spoke with clarity about it. 

"In wildness is the preservation of the world."  

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1882)

"The goal of life is living in agreement with nature."

Zeno (335 BC - 264 BC)

"For if one link in nature's chain might be lost, another might be lost, until the whole of things will vanish by piecemeal."

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

"What is man without the beasts?  If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit.  For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man.  All things are connected."

  Seattle, Chief of the Duwamish, Suquamish and allied Indian Tribes  (1784-1866)

"No truth appears to me more evident than that beasts are endowed with thought and reason as well as men."

David Hume (1711-1776)

"If some are prosecuted for abusing children, others deserve to be prosecuted for maltreating the face of nature committed to their care."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"Nature knows no indecencies;  man invents them."

Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness."

John Muir (1838-1914)

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

Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

"Every flower is a soul blossoming in Nature."

Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855)


Red Fox

Great Egret

American Bison

"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough."

Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)

"In the end we will conserve only what we love;  we will love only what we understand;  and we will understand only what we have been taught."

Baba Dioum

"In order to see birds it is necessary to become part of the silence."

Robert Lynd (1879-1949)

"Flowers . . . are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

"In an eagle there is all the wisdom of the world."

Lame Deer, Minnicoujou

"We think caged birds sing, when indeed they cry."

John Webster (1580-1625)

"We need the tonic of wildness --  to wade sometimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe;  to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"It should not be believed that all beings exist for the sake of the existence of man.  On the contrary, all the other beings too have been intended for their own sakes and not for the sake of something else."

Maimonides (1135-1204)

"If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.  But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -- acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world."

Rachel Carson (1907-1964)


Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Butterfly Bush