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Thoreau’s Walden

My view of Thoreau’s View

I have walked the woods around walden pond many times. I have photographed the pond many times in all seasons.

There are days, especially between seasons when you might say it is just a pond, but you may meet a Thoreau lover from Japan taking the same walk.

The pond has a presence to it that I have rarely, if ever seen in other ponds of its size. Perhaps it is knowing that this is the pond where Thoreau lived and the he wrote about. Perhaps that it is 100 feet deep. And pehaps it is just that all I know and have seen of it (just prowl this site and you will know what I mean).

I spent ten years visiting and photographing the pond and its surrounding woods, what I refer to as “greater Walden“ and it has left its mark on me, a mark all the more profound as global warming began to have its effect. Perhaps it is the weekend afternoons I spent photographing Wyman’s Meadow a few feet from the pond itslelf and having a continuous stream of people taking their walks with their eyes straight ahead and seeing neither me nor the pond clearly suggesting that they did not have the habit of “sauntering” that Thoreau loved. Even more important they represented the habit of humanity of looking but not seeing. That, in my opinion, is what is allowing climate change to destroy the earth. Not enough people are paying attention.

There is one person who is probably paying the most attention. Please click on Don Henley for the story of one man’s contribution and dedication.

I have spent enough time studying global warming (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.


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