A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There Quotes

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A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold
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A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There Quotes (showing 1-30 of 79)
“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, A Sand County Almanac
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others, the most valuable part.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Our ability to perceive quality in nature begins, as in art, with the pretty. It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Cease being intimidated by the argument that a right action is impossible because it does not yield maximum profits, or that a wrong action is to be condoned because it pays.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“Nonconformity is the highest evolutionary attainment of social animals.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“All conservation of wildness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Civilization has so cluttered this elemental man-earth relationship with gadgets and middlemen that awareness of it is growing dim. We fancy that industry supports us, forgetting what supports industry.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Thinking like a Mountain
We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes - something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.…I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. And perhaps with better cause, for while a buck pulled down by wolves can be replaced in two or three years, a range pulled down by too many deer may fail of replacement in as many decades. So also with cows. The cowman who cleans his range of wolves does not realize that he is taking over the wolf's job of trimming the herd to fit the range. He has not learned to think like a mountain. Hence we have dustbowls, and rivers washing the future into the sea.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Is education possibly a process of trading awareness for things of lesser worth?”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“The modern dogma is comfort at any cost.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“A conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the axe] he is writing his signature on the face of the land.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“We all strive for safety, prosperity, comfort, long life, and dullness.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“What is a hobby anyway? Where is the line of demarcation between hobbies and ordinary normal pursuits? I have been unable to answer this question to my own satisfaction. At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant. Certainly many of our most satisfying avocations today consist of making something by hand which machines can usually make more quickly and cheaply, and sometimes better. Nevertheless I must in fairness admit that in a different age the mere fashioning of a machine might have been an excellent hobby... Today the invention of a new machine, however noteworthy to industry, would, as a hobby, be trite stuff. Perhaps we have here the real inwardness of our own question: A hobby is a defiance of the contemporary. It is an assertion of those permanent values which the momentary eddies of social evolution have contravened or overlooked. If this is true, then we may also say that every hobbyist is inherently a radical, and that his tribe is inherently a minority.

This, however, is serious: Becoming serious is a grievous fault in hobbyists. It is an axiom that no hobby should either seek or need rational justification. To wish to do it is reason enough. To find reasons why it is useful or beneficial converts it at once from an avocation into an industry–lowers it at once to the ignominious category of an 'exercise' undertaken for health, power, or profit. Lifting dumbbells is not a hobby. It is a confession of subservience, not an assertion of liberty.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Education, I fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Man always kills the thing he loves, and so we the pioneers have killed our wilderness. Some say we had to. Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets, but humbler folk may circumvent this restriction if they know how. To plant a pine, for example, one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel. By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules, any clodhopper may say: Let there be a tree - and there will be one.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“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, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“On motionless wing they emerge from the lifting mists, sweep a final arc of sky, and settle in clangorous descending spirals to their feeding grounds. A new day has begun on the crane marsh.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“The problem, then, is how to bring about a striving for harmony with land among a people many of whom have forgotten there is any such thing as land, among whom education and culture have become almost synonymous with landlessness. This is the problem of conservation education.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
“To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac: With Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
“We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations the important thing is not to achieve, but to strive.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“When I call to mind my earliest impressions, I wonder whether the process ordinarily referred to as growing up is not actually a process of growing down; whether experience, so much touted among adults as the thing children lack, is not actually a progressive dilution of the essentials by the trivialities of living.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Some paintings become famous because, being durable, they are viewed by successive generations, in each of which are likely to be found a few appreciative eyes.
I know a painting so evanescent that it is seldom viewed at all, except by some wandering deer. It is a river who wields the brush, and it is the same river who, before I can bring my friends to view his work, erases it forever from human view. After that it exists only in my mind's eye.
Like other artists, my river is temperamental; there is no predicting when the mood to paint will come upon him, or how long it will last. But in midsummer, when the great white fleets cruise the sky for day after flawless day, it is worth strolling down to the sandbars just to see whether he has been at work.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Tell me of what plant-birthday a man takes notice, and I shall tell you a good deal about his vocation, his hobbies, his hay fever, and the general level of his ecological education.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Wilderness areas are first of all a series of sanctuaries for the primitive arts of wilderness travel, especially canoeing and packing. I suppose some will wish to debate whether it is important to keep these primitive arts alive. I shall not debate it. Either you know it in your bones, or you are very, very old.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“Individual thinkers since the days of Ezekiel and Isaiah have asserted that the despoliation of land is not only inexpedient but wrong. Society, however, has not yet affirmed their belief.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“It is part of wisdom never to revisit a wilderness, for the more golden the lily, the more certain that someone has gilded it.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
“In our attempt to make conservation easy, we have made it trivial.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There

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