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The Hidden World of the Nearby

Thoreau’s Walden


In Another’s Shoes

Sunset Through Red Leaves, Walden Pond I

I have spent enough time studying global warming to know that we are wrecking the place, the consequences are already catastrophic and will get much worse.

The second place I photographed at Walden was Wyman’s Meadow with the wonderful water-shields. I came back often and remember a Sunday afternoon when there was a steady stream of hikers making the usual counter-clockwise trek and passing withint a few feet of my tripod and rarely turning their heads, nevermind asking me what I was doing. (You will see elsewhere on this site that my camera and tripod are hard to miss.) It drives me crazy that I cannot figure out why. So my conclusion is that a large part of humanity and especially the part that makes money from the land, looks but does not see and listens but does not hear. We used to say they are not paying attention, but this is worse. Mention science in some circles and you are a villian.

I finally have come to the conclusion that I was documenting a dying planet. Further, despite three seminars at the annual meetings of the Thoreau Society, there was no hope of getting their attention.

If I had to guess, it would be that over 11 years I paid 150 visits to Walden with my view camera, in all kinds of weather and in all seasons. And I wandered as far as I thought it made sense.

My second book, The Illuminated Walden, (Barnes & Noble) was published after my acquaintance with global warming and I find it ironic to the extreme, that the father of preserving the earth, (at least I think of him that way) had no affect on the organization that carries his name.

Of course this is really my Walden with a bit of opening of my eyes thanks to Henry. I had been trying to see better for fifteen years and so I feel a connection to H.D.T. but I am not he, by a very long distance. I have simply done my best to find what is intriguing, athoughh not necessarily beautiful in a conventional way. You can be the judge.

Nevertheless, if you have read other parts of this website you know that my instinct is to at least try to know how all this stuff got here and that leads to not prittyness, but admiration. From somewqhere in my distant past I hear the words “Who ordered this?”

Of course many would say that god did, but god is a reflection of the genus homo, and the most we can do is be grateful and if you follow the news, we definitely are not.

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