The Mountains and Forests...


Vashon Island, WA, 2005 (Photo:K.Anderberg)

"As each drop fell it entered the plush of the living carpet without a sound. It was absorbed without a trace. Moss is nature's great silencer. This was a forest soundproofed by moss." - Edwin Way Teale, 1956

"I asked the river where he was going, and how he would know when he got there. He only laughed at me…I asked the mountain when he was high enough, and how he would know when he reached the heavens. His echo only laughed…I asked the trees how long they would live and how they would know when they were a forest. Their leaves only shook with mirth…Finally, I was silent, as if there were no one to please, and I spent my time laughing, with the river, the mountain, and trees." - James Kavanaugh, 1979

"But I dislike to bring into play the aggressiveness of spirit which is necessary with an assertive companion, and I have found it easier and more adventurous to face situations alone. There is a splendid freedom in solitude, and after all, it is for solitude that I go to the mountains and deserts, not for companionship. In solitude, I can bare my soul to the mountains unabashed." - Everett Ruess, 1934

Mt Rainier

Mount Rainier, 2008 (Photo: K.Anderberg)

"It was then 5:00, so that we had been in the woods just 48 hours; but if time is only phenomenal, as the philosophers say, and life is only in feeling, as the poets aver, we were some months, if not years, older at that moment than we had been two days before. Yet younger, too - though this be a paradox, - for the birches had infused into us some of their own suppleness and strength." - John Burroughs, 1871

"Some part of the beholder, even some vital part, seems to escape through the loose grating of his ribs as he ascends. He is more lone than you can imagine…Nature has got him at disadvantage, caught him alone, and pilfers him of some of his divine faculty. She does not smile on him as in the plains. She seems to say sternly, Why came ye here before your time. This ground is not prepared for you. Is it not enough that I smile in the valleys? I have never made this soil for thy feet, this air for thy breathing, these rocks for thy neighbors. I cannot pity nor fondle thee here, but forever relentlessly drive thee hence to where I am kind. Why seek me where I have not called thee, and then complain because you find me but a stepmother? Shouldst thou freeze or starve, or shudder thy life away, here is no shrine, nor altar, nor any access to my ear." - Henry David Thoreau, 1864


The "pink moment" of sunrise on Topa Topa Mountains from Santa Paula, 2009 (Photo: K.Anderberg)

"The mountain seemed a vast aggregation of loose rocks, as if some time it had rained rocks, and they lay as they fell on the mountain sides, nowhere fairly at rest, but leaning on each other, all rocking-stones, with cavities between, but scarcely any soil or smoother shelf. They were the raw materials of a planet dropped from an unseen quarry, which the vast chemistry of nature would not anon work up, or work down, into the smiling and verdant plains and valleys of the earth. This was an undone extremity of the globe; as in lignite, we see coal in the process of formation." - Henry David Thoreau, 1864

"Nature was here something savage and awful, though beautiful. I looked with awe at the ground I trod on, to see what the Powers had made there, the form and fashion and material of their work. This was that Earth of which we have heard, made out of Chaos and Old Night. Here was no man's garden, but the unhandselled globe. It was not lawn, nor pasture, nor mead, nor woodland, nor lea, nor arable, nor waste land. It was the fresh and natural surface of the planet Earth…" - Henry David Thoreau, 1864

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