Mountains are earth's undecaying monuments.
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864), The Notch of the White Mountains, 1868.

We do not see nature with our eyes, but with our understandings and our hearts.
William Hazlitt - Thoughts on Taste," Edinburgh Magazine, (October 1818), reprinted in The Collected Works of William Hazlitt (1902-1904)

...there is no absolute scale of size in nature, and the small may be as important, or more so than the great.
Oliver Heaviside (1850-1925) - Electromagnetic Theory, (Vol 2), Scientific Limitations on Human Knowledge, The Electrican Publishing and Printo Col, London, 1894-1912, p519

Nature, like a true poet, abhors abrupt transitions.
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) - The German Classics of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (vol 6), Tr Leland, The German Publication Society, NY, 1913-1914, p. 73.

Like a great poet, Nature produces the greatest results with the simplest means. These are simply a sun, trees, flowers, water and love. Of course, if the spectator be without the last, the whole will present but a pitiful appearance, and in that case, the sun is merely so many miles in diameter, the trees are good for fuel, the flowers are classified by stamens, and the water is simply wet.
Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) - Scintillations from the Prose Works of Heinrich Heine, "Miscellaneous," Henry Holt & Co, Ny, 1873, p169.

It is good to remember that the laws of the universe recognize no favorites and cherish no hostility or small vindictiveness; that before sun and rain, stormy winds, or summer's kind beneficence, we all stand upon one common level.
Caroline Henderson (1877-1966) - Letters from the Dust Bowl, ed Alvin Turner, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, p. 161

How difficult it is for some of us to learn that the results we must leave to the great silent unseen forces of Nature, whether the crop be corn or character.
Caroline Henderson (1877-1966) - Letters from the Dust Bowl, ed Alvin Turner, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, p. 67.

...Nature builds up her refined and invisible architecture, with a delicacy eluding our conception, yet with a symmetry and beauty which we are never weary of admiring.
John F.W. Herschel (1792-1871) - A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy: The Cabinet of Natural Philosophy, London, 1851, p263

The Amen! of Nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) - The Autocrat of the Breakfast-table, Ch X, p255, J.M. Dent & Co, Boston, MA, 1907

Nature has but one judgment on wrong conduct—if you can call that a judgment which seemingly has no reference to conduct as such—the judgment of death.
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) - Address at the dedication of the Northwestern University Law School Building, Chicago, Illinois, October 20, 1902.—Holmes, Collected Legal Papers, p. 272 (1937).

Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit.
You can drive nature out with a pitchfork, she will nevertheless come back.
Horace (65-8 BC), Epistles I.X.24

The mountains, the forest, and the sea, render men savage; they develop the fierce, but yet do not destroy the human.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) - "Fantine," Les Miserables, 1862, 2:6, tr Charles E. Wilbour

God manifests himself to us in the first degree through the life of the universe, and in the second degree through the thought of man. The second manifestation is not less holy than the first. The first is named Nature, the second is named Art.
Dieu se manifeste à nous au premier degré à travers la vie de l’univers, et au deuxième degré à travers la pensée de l’homme. La deuxième manifestation n’est pas moins sacrée que la première. La première s’appelle la Nature, la deuxième s’appelle l’Art.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) - William Shakespeare (1864)Part I, Book II, Chapter I [5]

It is a great mortification to the vanity of man, that his utmost art and industry can never equal the meanest of nature's productions, either for beauty or value. Art is only the under-workman, and is employed to give a few strokes of embellishment to those pieces, which come from the hand of the master.
David Hume (1711-1776) - Essays, Moral, Political, and Literary, 1741-2; 1748, Essay 15, The Epicurean

Listen to nature’s voice—it contains treasures for you.
Huron Tribe proverb

Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever abysses nature leads, or you shall learn nothing. I have only begun to learn content and peace of mind since I have resolved at all risks to do this.
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) - Letter to Charles Kingsley (1860) after the death of Huxley's son.

The chess-board is the world, the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The player on the other side is hidden from us. We know that h is play is always fair, just and patient. But also we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance.
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) - From a sermon, printed in The Forum, Vol XX, September 1895-February, 1896, "Professor Huxley," p 28.

To a person uninstructed in natural history, his country or seaside stroll is a walk through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall.
Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895) - On the Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences" (1854)

Grass is the forgiveness of nature - her constant benediction. Forests decay, harvests perish, flowers vanish, but grass is immortal...Its tenacious fibers hold the earth in place and prevent its soluble components from washing to the wasting sea.
John J. Ingalls (1833-1900) - Cited in Forever the Land; A country chronicle and anthology by Russel and Kate Lord, Harper and Brothers, NY, 1950.

In nature, there are neither rewards or punishments; there are consequences.
Robert Greene Ingersoll - "The New Testament, Some Reasons Why, 1881, pt. 8 (ch.8, p. 185).

Nature seems to delight in disappointing the assiduities of art, with which it would rear legitimate dulness to maturity; and to glory in the vigour and luxuriance of her chance productions.
Washington Irving (1783-1859) - The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, "Roscoe," Vol I, London, 1822, p. 23.

He who would study nature in its wildness and variety, must plunge into the forest, must explore the glen, must stem the torrent, and dare the precipice.
Washington Irving (1783-1859) - The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, "Philip of Pokanoket," Vol II, London, 1822, p. 213.

All the pictures which science now draws of nature and which alone seem capable of according with observational fact are mathematical pictures...From the intrinsic evidence of his creation, the Great Architect of the Universe now begins to appear as a pure mathematician.
Sir James Hopwood Jeans (1877-1946) - The Mysterious Universe, Cambridge University Press, 1930, p122

How sublime to look down on the workhouse of nature, to see her clouds, hail, snow, rain, thunder, all fabricated at our feet!
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) - Letter to Maria Cosway, Oct. 12, 1786, in The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Boyd, et al eds, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950 - 33 vols, 10: 447.

The movements of nature are in a never ending circle. The animal species which has once been put into a train of motion, is still probably moving in that train. For if one link in nature's chain might be lost, another and another might be lost, till this whole system of things should evanish by piece-meal; a conclusion not warranted by the local disappearance of one or two species of animals, and opposed by the thousands and thousands of instances of the renovating power constantly exercised by nature for the reproduction of all her subjects, animal, vegetable, and mineral.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) - "A Memoir on the Discovery of certain Bones of a Quadruped of the Claw2ed Kind in the Western Parts of Virginia," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, March 10, 1797, 4(1799): 255-6.

The general desire of men to live by their heads rather than their hands, and the strong allurements of great cities to those who have any turn for dissipation, threaten to make them here, as in Europe, the sinks of voluntary misery.
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) - The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Lipscomb and Bergh, eds, Washington DC, Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association of the United States, 1903-04, 20 vols, 10:431.

If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.
President Lyndon B. Johnson - Signing the Wilderness act in 1964.

Nature never gives everything at once.
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) - Works, IX, 29

Never does nature say one thing and Wisdom another. Variant: Wisdom and Nature! are they not the same? Variant: Nature and Wisdon always speak alike.
Nunquam aliud natura, aliud sapientia dicit
Juvenal (Late First - Early 2nd Cent. AD) - Satires XIV:303-331 - Avarice is not a Family Value

The poetry of earth is never dead.
John Keats - Sonnet. On the Grasshopper and the Cricket

At the same time that she [nature] solicits him [man] to follow her not only into her open walks, but likewise to explore her secret recesses, she — fails not to reward him with the purest gratifications of the mind, because at every step he takes, new instances of beauty, variety, and perfection are unfolded to his view.
Henry Kett (1761-1825) - Elements of General Knowledge, Vol 2, Chapter IV, Bronson, Philadelphia, 1805, p 89.

To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. To me the pageant of seasons is a thrilling and unending drama, the action of which streams through my finger tips.
Helen Keller (1880-1968) - "Three Days to See," January, 1933, The American Idea: The Best of the Atlantic Monthly

Nature uses as little as possible of anything.
Johannes Kepler - Viking Book of Aphorisms: A Personal Selection (1920) by W. H. Auden and Louis Kronenberger, p. 98

Nature is hieroglyphic. Each prominent fact in it is like a type; its final use is to set up one letter of the infinite alphabet, and help us by its connections to read some statement or statute applicable to the conscious world. Thomas Starr King (1824-1864) - The White Hills, their legends, landscape, and poetry, 1860, p394.

Nature's deepest laws, her own true laws, are her invisible ones.
Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) - Alton Locke, Chapter XVIII, Macmillan & Co., London, 1862, p. 143.

Madame Nature allows no dangerous classes, in the modern sense. She has, doubtless for some wise reason, no mercy for the weak. She rewards each organism according to its works; and if anything grows too weak or stupid to take care of itself, she gives it its due deserts by letting it die and disappear.
Charles Kingsley (1819-1875) - Scientific Essays and Lectures on Bio-Geology, p3

Nature is garrulous to the point of confusion, let the artist be truly taciturn.
Paul Klee (1879-1940) - The diaries of Paul Klee 1898-1918, no. 857 (1957: tr 1965). 1909 entry.

Only those within whose own consciousness the sun rise and set, the leaves burgeon and wither, can be said to be aware of what living is.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) - "March," The Twelve Seasons, 1949

The famous balance of nature is the most extraordinary of all cybernetic systems. Left to itself, it is always self-regulated.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) - Saturday Review, June 8, 1963.

Nature takes no account of even the most reasonable of human excuses.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) - "The Paradox of Humanism," The Modern Temper, 1929

Nature, in her blind thirst for life has filled every possible cranny of the rotting earth with some sort of fantastic creature.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) - "The Genius of Mood," The Modern Temper, 1929

To those who study her, Nature reveals herself as extraordinarily fertile and ingenious in devising means, but she has no ends which the human mind has been able to discover or comprehend.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) - The Modern Temper, Chapter Two, Section iii, Harcourt, Brace & Co., NY, NY, 1929, p. 27

When a man wantonly destroys one of the works of man, we call him Vandal. When he wantonly destroys one of the works of god, we call him Sportsman.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970) - "The Vandal and the Sportsman," The Great Chain of Life, 1956, University of Iowa Press Edition 2009, p 148.

Nature is a catchment of sorrows.
Maxine Kumin (1925 -) - Nurture: poems, Penguin Books, 1989.

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard.
Lakota Tribe Proverb

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
Laozi (Lao Tzu) (570 - 490 BCE) - Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul

Where there is much pretension, much has been borrowed; nature never pretends.
Johann Caspar Lavater (1741-1801) - Aphorisms on Man, 3rd Ed. London, 1794, no. 545.

Nature alone is the master of true genius.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - Quoted in The life of Sir Isaac Newton, David Brewster, Ch XVIII (p. 295), J. & J. Harper, NY, NY, 1833

Human subtlety...will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature, because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519)- The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci I

Necessity is the mistress and guide of Nature. Variant: Necessity is the theme and the inventress of Nature.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, Jean Paul Richter, Philosophical Maxims, 1135, p 237, University of California Press, Berkley, CA, 1977

Nature varies the seed according to the variety of the things she desires to produce in the world.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci XIX

Although human ingenuity may devise various inventions which, by the help of various instruments, answer to one and the same purpose, yet will it never discover any inventions more beautiful, more simple or more practical than those of nature, because in her inventions there is nothing lacking and nothing superfluous; and she makes use of no counterpoise when she constructs the limbs of animals in such a way as to correspond to the motion of their bodies, but she puts into them the soul of the body.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - Thoughts on Art and Life, Translated by Maurice Baring,Merrymount Press, Boston, MA, 1906

The eye, which is called the window of the soul, is the principal means by which the central sense can most completely and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature; and the ear is the second, which acquires dignity by hearing of the things the eye has seen.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, IX

Nature never breaks her laws.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - Thoughts on Art and Life, Translated by Maurice Baring, Merrymount Press, Boston, MA, 1906

Nature is constrained by the cause of her laws which dwell inborn in her. Variant: Nature is constrained by the order of her own law which lives and works within her.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - Thoughts on Art and Life, "Thoughts on Science," Translated by Maurice Baring, Merrymount Press, Boston, MA, 1906

Water is the driver of nature.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - Thoughts on Art and Life, Translated by Maurice Baring, 1906

In nature there is no effect without a cause; once the cause is understood there is no need to test it by experience. Variant: There is no result in nature without a cause; understand the cause and you will have no need of the experiment.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Literary Works of Leonardo da Vinci, Jean Paul Richter, Philosophical Maxims, 1148B, p 239, University of California Press, Berkley, CA, 1977

Nature is full of infinite causes which were never set forth in experience.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, I, ch 1, tr. Edward MacCurdy, 1955, p.72..

Every action done by nature is done in the shortest way.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, I, ch 1, tr. Edward MacCurdy, 1955, p.73.. See also the following quote.

Given the cause nature produces the effect in the briefest manner that it can employ.
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) - The Notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, I, ch 1, tr. Edward MacCurdy, 1955, p.77..

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 (1887-1948) - A Sand County Almanac

Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) - A Sand County Almanac

We end, I think, at what might be called the standard paradox of the twentieth century: our tools are better than we are, and grow faster than we do. They suffice to crack the atom, to command the tides. But they do not suffice for the oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it.
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) - "Engineering and Conservation," 1938.

Our grandfathers were less well-housed, well-fed, well-clothed than we are. The strivings by which they bettered their lot are also those which deprived us of [Passenger] pigeons. Perhaps we now grieve because we are not sure, in our hearts, that we have gained by the exchange. The gadgets of industry bring us more comforts than the pigeons did, but do they add as much to the glory of the spring?
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) - A Sand County Almanac 1949

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 (1887-1948) - Round River, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993.

 Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say, you cannot love game and hate predators; you cannot conserve the waters and waste the ranges; you cannot build the forest and mine the farm. The land is one organism.
Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) - Round River, Oxford University Press, New York, 1993, pp. 145-146.

Nature does not proceed by leaps.
Natura non facit saltus.
Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) - Philosophia Botanica, § 77 (p. 27 of 1st edition)

The visible marks of extraordinary wisdom and power appear so plainly in all the works of the creation, that a rational creature, who will but seriously reflect on them, cannot miss the discovery of a Deity.
John Locke (1632-1704) - An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, "No Innate Principles," Book 1, Ch 4, London, 1836, p40

Nature is a revelation of God; Art a revelation of man.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) - Hyperion (1936)

The Laws of Nature are just, but terrible. There is no weak mercy in them. Cause and consequence are inseparable and inevitable. The elements have no forbearance. The fire burns, the water drowns, the air consumes, the earth buries. And perhaps it would be well for our race if the punishment of crimes against the Laws of Man were as inevitable as the punishment of crimes against the Laws of nature,—were Man as unerring in his judgments as Nature.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) - "Table Talk," Poems and Other Writings, (Library of America), p797

...he who has seen the intimate beauty of nature cannot tear himself away from it again. He must become either a poet or a naturalist and, if his eyes are keen and his powers of observation sharp enough, he may well become both.
Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) - King Solomon's Bling: New Light on Animal Ways, Routledge, London, 2002, p 10.

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.
Sir John Lubbock - The Use of Life (1894), ch. IV: Recreation

The laws of nature are written deep in the folds and faults of the earth. By encouraging men to learn those laws one can lead them further to a knowledge of the Author of all laws.
Rev. John Jospeh Lynch S.J. (1933-1978) - "The Earth and Father Lynch," LIFE, April 15, 1946, p66.

I wondered over again for the hundredth time what could be the principle which, in the wildest, most lawless, fantastically chaotic, apparently capricious work of Nature, always kept it beautiful.
George MacDonald (1824-1905) - Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood, 1871, p211

In Nature everything has a meaning; that is, every object is exactly adapted to the place it occupies, and to the purpose for which it was made.
Solomon Caesar Malan (1812-1894) - Aphorisums on Drawing IV, Longman, Brown, Green, London, 1856, p. 5.

Forests, lakes, and rivers, clouds and winds, stars and flowers, stupendous glaciers and crystal snowflakes - every form of animate or inanimate existence, leaves its impress upon the soul of man.
Orison Swett Marden (1850-1924) Founder, Success Magazine

It is absolutely impossible to transcend the laws of nature. What can change in historically different circumstances is only the form in which these laws expose themselves.
Karl Mark (1818-1883) - Letter to Dr. Kugelmann, 1868

Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.
Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) - "Philosophy in the Bedroom," in The Marquis de Sade: Justine, Philosophy in the Bedroom, and Other Writings, Grove Press, NY, NY, 1965, p. 275

Keep your sense of proportion in balance by regularly, preferably daily, visiting the natural world.
Caitlin Matthews - Singing the Soul Back Home, Element Books, 1995, p. 18.

If not against us, nature is not for us.
Herman Melville (1819-1891) - Mardi (1849), ch. 69, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 3, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1970). Spoken by Babbalanga, the philosopher.

The most mighty of nature's laws is this, that out of Death she brings Life.
Herman Melville (1819-1891) - Pierre (1852), bk. I, The Writings of Herman Melville, vol. 7, eds. Harrison Hayford, Hershel Parker, and G. Thomas Tanselle (1971)

And if these mountains had eyes, they would wake to find two strangers in their fences, standing in admiration as a breathing red pours its tinge upon earth's shore. These mountains, which have seen untold sunrises, long to thunder praise but stand reverent, silent so that man's weak praise should be given God's attention.
Don Miller - Through Painted Deserts: Light, God, and Beauty on the Open Road

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Henry Miller (1891-1980)

Nature is a vast tablet, inscribed with ssigns, each of which has its own significancy, and becomes poetry in the mind when read; and geology is simply the key by which myriads of these signs, hitherto indecipherable, can be unlocked and perused, and thus a new province added to the poetical domain.
Hugh Miller (1802-1856) - Sketch Book of Popular Geology, 1860, p. 87.

In contemplation of created things, by steps we may ascend to God.
John Milton (1608-1674) - Paradise Lost, Book V, 511.

In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.
John Milton (1608-1674) - Tractate of Education (1644)

Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.
Michael de Montaigne, Essays III, "Of Experience"

When one tugs at a single thing in nature; he finds it attached to the rest of the world.
Variant - When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
Variant - Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe.
John Muir (1838-1914) - My First Summer in the Sierra (1911)

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.
John Muir (1838-1914) - Nature Writings, John Muir.

As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I'll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I'll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.
John Muir (1838-1914) - Autobiographical notebook, quoted in Song of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
John Muir (1838-1914) - Our National Parks (1901)

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
John Muir (1838-1914) - Travels in Alaska (1915)

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.
John Muir (1838-1914) - The Yosemite (1912)

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature's sources never fail.
John Muir (1838-1914) - Our National Parks (1901)

Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.
John Muir (1838-1914)- "The National Parks and Forest Reservations", Sierra Club Bulletin Vol. 1, No. 7 (January 1896)

When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
John Muir (1838-1914) - Travels in Alaska (1915)

How lavish is Nature building, pulling down, creating, destroying, chasing every material particle from form to form, ever changing, ever beautiful.
John Muir (1838-1914) - My First Summer in the Sierra (1911), p. 318-319.

Nature is not only what is visible to the eye -it also shows the inner images of the soul - the images on the back side of the eyes.
Edvard Munch (1863-1944) - Warnemunde, 1907-1908) See also the web site, www.edvardmunch.org

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.
Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) - A Fairly Honourable Defeat, (2001) p 170, 1970.

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Navajo Proverb

Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature.
Gérard de Nerval - "Golden Lines" (1854) in News of the Universe: Poems of Twofold Consciousness, Translated by Robert Bly

 

I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.
Isaac Newton - Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton (1855) by Sir David Brewster (Volume II. Ch. 27

The forest is the poor man's overcoat.
New England Proverb

The mastery of nature is vainly believed to be an adequate substitute for self-mastery.
Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971) - Essay: "Our Secularized Civilization," 1926

We believe that we know something about the things themselves when we speak of trees, colors, snow, and flowers; and yet we possess nothing but metaphors for things — metaphors which correspond in no way to the original entities.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) - On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense (1873 ) Über Wahrheit und Lüge im außermoralischen Sinn

We mention nature and forget ourselves in it: we ourselves are nature, quand même—. As a result, nature is something entirely different from what comes to mind when we invoke its name.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) - Friedrich Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke: Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 2, p. 696, eds. Giorgio Colli and Mazzino Montinari, Berlin, de Gruyter (1980). The Wanderer and His Shadow, aphorism 327, "Forgotten Nature," (1880). quand même (French) means "nonetheless."

To touch the earth is to have harmony with nature.
Oglala Sioux Proverb

Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time - like to have a friend takes time.
Georgia O'Keffe (1887-1986)- Contribution (1939) to the exhibition catalogue An American place (1944)

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.
Georgia O'Keffe (1887-1986) - Quoted in the New York Post, May 16, 1946

Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting -- over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Mary Oliver

Beauty is composed of many things and never stands alone. It is part of horizons, blue in the distance, great primeval silences, knowledge of all things of the earth... It is so fragile it can be destroyed by a sound or thought. It may be infinitesimally small or encompass the universe itself. It comes in a swift conception wherever nature has not been disturbed.
Sigurd F. Olson (Naturalist author of The Singing Wilderness)

—Nature, the great Moloch, which exacts a frightful tax of human blood, sparing neither young nor old; taking the child from the cradle, the mother from her babe, and the father from the family.
Sir William Osler (1849-1919) - "The Doctor and Nurse," in A͠equanimitas: with other addresses to medical students, nurses and practitioners of Medicine, Blakiston's Son & Co., Philadelphia, 1905, p. 18.

Nature is God's Old Testament.
Theodore Parker (1810-1860) - Quoted in Edge-Tools of Speech, Ed. Maturin M. Ballou, Riverside Press, 1886

Let man then contemplate the whole of nature in her full and grand majesty... No idea approaches it. We may enlarge our conceptions beyond all imaginable space; we only produce atoms in comparison with the reality of things. It is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.
Blaze Pascal - Pensées (1669) Section II, 72. The quote in bold is attributed to Empedocles. Pascal is said to have read it in Mlle de Gournay's preface to her edition of Montaigne's Essais. See note here.

Nature imitates herself A seed grown in good ground brings forth fruit. A principle instilled into a good mind brings forth fruit. Numbers imitate space, which is of a different nature.
All is made and led by the same master, root, branches, and fruits; principles and consequences.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Pensées (1669) Ch II, 119 Translated by W.F. Trotter.

For nature is an image of Grace, and visible miracles are images of the invisible.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)- Pensées (1669) Section X - 674.

Nature has some perfections to show that she is the image of God, and some defects to show that she is only His image.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Pensées (1669) Section VIII, 580, Translated by W. F. Trotter.

Let man then contemplate the whole of nature in her full and grand majesty... No idea approaches it. We may enlarge our conceptions beyond all imaginable space; we only produce atoms in comparison with the reality of things. It is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Pensées (1669), Section II The Misery of Man without God (60-183), but per Wikiquote, M. Havet traces this saying to Empedocles.

The least motion affects all nature; the whole ocean is altered by a pebble.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy, "Thoughts on Miracles," XCVI, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Adams & Co, London, 1894, p. 196

When we see an effect happen always in the same manner, we infer that it takes place by a natural necessity; as, for instance, that the sun will rise to morrow; but nature often deceives us, and will not submit to its own rules.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy, "The Weakness of Man," XXII, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Adams & Co, London, 1894, p. 22.

I am in the utmost perplexity, yand have wished a hundred times, that if there is a A God, nature would manifest him without ambiguity, and that if there is not, every imaginary sign of his existence might vanish : in short, let nature speak distinctly, or be totally silent, and I shall know what course to take.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy, "Reflections of a Man who is weary of Searching after God by the Light of nature, and is beginning to study the Scriptures," I, Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Adams & Co, London, 1894, p.85.

The secrets of nature are concealed; her agency is perpetual, but we do not always discover its effects; time reveals them from age to age; and although she is always the same in herself, she is not always equally well known.
Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) - Thoughts on Religion and Philosophy, "On the Influence of Authority in Philosophy," Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Adams & Co, London, 1894, p.240.

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
Eden Philpotts (1862-1960) - A Shadow Passes, 1919.

I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, 'This is what it is to be happy.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963 ) - The Bell Jar, Ch. 8, 1963

The day, water, sun, moon, night-I do not have to purchase these things with money.
Plautus (2254 BC- 184 BC) - The Comedy of Asses (3rd Cent. BC)

Nature without learning is like a blind man; learning without Nature, like a maimed one; practice without both, incomplete. As in agriculture a good soil is first sought for, then a skilful husbandman, and then good seed; in the same way nature corresponds to the soil, the teacher to the husbandman, precepts and instruction to the seed.
Plutarch (46-127) - The Greaast Works of the Greatest Authors, 1894, 413.

The more we study nature the grander does she appear. Science, by penetrating her secrets, often shows us the hidden and imposing forces exist where we only see inertia.
F.A. Pouchet, MD (1800-1872) - The Universe, Or, The infinitely Great and the Infinitely Little, The vegetable Kingdom, Chapter II, Blackie & Son, London, 1870, p. 414

We might almost accuse nature of falsehood. One sees himself behind a mirror when nothing is there. A straight pole leaning in a pool is bent to appearance. The sun seems to rise and set, but moves not at all. We see it before it rises and after it sets. These and numberless other cases might be adduced to prove the deceitfulness of nature. Nay, they prove rather that education is the law of our being, and that here, as elsewhere, he who would not be self-deceived, must study nature's laws, must become educated.
D.J. Pratt reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) p 482.

Nature abhors a vacuum.
Francois Rabelias (1494-1553) - Gargantua and Pantagruel, bk 1, ch 5 (1534), trans. J.M Cohen, 1955.

Choose only one master — Nature.
Rembrandt (1606-1669) - Quoted in Rembrandt Drawings (1975) by Paul Némo, as translated by David Macrae

Painting is the grandchild of nature. It is related to God.
Rembrandt (1606-1669) - Quoted in Rembrandt Drawings (1975) by Paul Némo, as translated by David Macrae

Nature declares herself in her works. What exists beyond her domain, if anything, becomes necessarily a matter of faith or imagination.
Harvey Rice (1800-1891) - Nature and Culture, Ch 1, Lee & Shepard, Boston, 1875, p7.

Nature will kill you without a minute's thought, and in nastier ways than a crazy guy with agun. It doesn't make her any less beautiful.
Nora Roberts (1950 -) - Northern Lights, Penguin Group, NY, 2004, p. 534

On the path that leads to Nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul!
Corinne Roosevelt Robinson (1861-1933) - From the Poem, "The Path That Leads Nowhere," in The Poems of Corinne Roosevelt Robinson. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1921.

Deep in their roots,
All flowers keep the light.
Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) - In Today's Gift, Daily Meditations for Families, Hazelden, Hazelden Foundation, 1985

It is in man's heart that the life of nature's spectacle exists; to see it, one must feel it.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Emile, 1762

Everything made by man may be destroyed by man; there are no ineffaceable characters except those engraved by nature; and nature makes neither princes nor rich men nor great lords.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), Emile, l, iii, 1762.

Though nature is constantly beautiful, she does not exhibit her highest powers of beauty constantly, for then they would satiate us and pall upon our senses. It is necessary to their appreciation that they should be rarely shown. Her finest touches are things which must be watched for; her most perfect passages of beauty are the most evanescent.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) - Modern Painters (Vol 1), Part II, Section 1, Chapter IV (p.65), 1888

Nature is always mysterious and secret in her use of means; and art is always likest her when it is most inexplicable.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) - Modern Painters (Vol 1), Section II, Chapter II, p 36, Smith, Elder & Co, London, 1873

Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty, if only we have the eyes to see them.
John Ruskin (1819-1900) - attributed in numerous sources without citation.

My entire delight was in observing without being myself noticed,— if I could have been invisible, all the better. . . to be in the midst of it, and rejoice and wonder at it, and help it if I could, — happier if it needed no help of mine, — this was the essential love of Nature in me, this the root of all that I have usefully become, and the light of all that I have rightly learned.
John Ruskin (1819-1900)- Praeterita, volume I, chapter IX (1885-1889)

Destruction, hence, like creation, is one of Nature's mandates.
Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) - Dolmancé, in Philosophy in the Bedroom, "Dialogue the Fifth," (1795). Real name: Comte Donatien-Alphonse-François.

Apprendre à voir, voilà tout le secret des études naturelles.
Learn to see, that's the whole secret of natural studies. Variant: The whole secret of the study of nature lies in learning how to use one's eyes.
George Sand pseudonym for Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin, later Baroness Dudevant (1804-1876) - Nouvelles Lettres d'un Voyageur, 1869. III, THE COUNTRY OF ANEMONES

Beauty is a pledge of the possible conformity between the soul and nature, and consequently a ground of faith in the supremacy of the good.
George Santayana - The Sense of Beauty, 1896

Even now, nature is the only flame, on which the poetic spirit feeds; from it alone it draws all its power, to it alone it speaks even in the artificial, in the man engaged in culture.
Friedrich Schiller - On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry. 1795.

The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature. Man can no longer live for himself alone. We realize that all life is valuable, and that we are united to all this life.
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965 )- The Spiritual Life (1947)

In the hopes of reaching the moon, men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.
Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965 ) - The Words of Albert Schweitzer, Norman Cousins, 1984, p36

What nature requires is obtainable, and within easy reach. It is for the superfluous we sweat.
Seneca - The Younger (4 BC - AD 65) - Letters to Lucilius

 

 

Nature ever provides for her own exigencies.
Seneca The Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)(4 BC - AD 65) - Quoted in Treasury of Thought Forming An Encyclopedia of Quotations, Maturin M. Ballou ed, 1894, p359.

True wisdom consists in not departing from nature and in molding our conduct according to her laws and model.
Seneca The Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)(4 BC - AD 65) - "Of a Happy Life," Book III,  Bohn's Classical Library Edition of L. Annaeus Seneca, Minor Dialogs Together with the Dialog "On Clemency"; George Bell and Sons, London, 1900

Omnis ars naturae imitatio est.
All art is but imitation of nature.
Seneca The Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)(4 BC - AD 65) -Letter LXV: On the first cause, line 3.

Natura semina scientiæ nobis dedit, scientiam non dedit
Nature has given us the seeds of knowledge, not knowledge itself.
Seneca The Younger (Lucius Annaeus Seneca)(4 BC - AD 65) - Epistoloe Ad Lucilium (CXX)

Nature does not turn out her work according to a single pattern; she prides herself upon her power of variation...
Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (4BCE-65AD) - Physical Science in the Time of Nero, Being a Translation of the Quaestiones Naturales of Seneca, Book VII, Chapter XXVII, MacMillan & Company, London, 1910, p. 301.

Nature does not reveal all her secrets at once. We imagine we are initiated in her mysteries: we are, as yet, but hanging around her outer courts.
Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca) (4BCE-65AD) - Physical Science in the Time of Nero, Being a Translation of the Quaestiones Naturales of Seneca, Book VII, Chapter XXVII, MacMillan & Company, London, 1910, p. 306.

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
William Shakespeare - Troilus and Cressida, Act III, Scene iii

The notion that Nature does not proceed by jumps is only one of the budget of plausible lies that we call classical education. Nature always proceeds by jumps. She may spend twenty thousand years making up her mind to jump; but when she makes it up at last, the jump is big enough to take us into a new age.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) - "Back to Methuselah," Part II, Constable & Co., London, 1921, p 81.

An all-sufficing Nature can Chastise
Those who transgress her law,—she only knows
How to justly proportion to the fault
The punishment it deserves.
Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) - "Queen Mab," Canto 3.

The more civilized man becomes, the more he needs and craves a great background of forest wildness, to which he may return like a contrite prodigal from the husks of an artificial life.
Ellen Burns Sherman - On the Manuscripts of God, Abingdon Press, NY, 1918, p. 96.

When men have recognized that the forest is a great standing army, divinely appointed to protect the human race not only from drought, flood, and famine, but from their counterparts in the intellectual and spiritual world, perhaps some of the time and money now spent on battleships and destruc tive armies will be diverted to the mainte nance of our beautiful and peaceful de fenders, the trees.
Ellen Burns Sherman - On the Manuscripts of God, Abingdon Press, NY, 1918, pp, 96-97,

If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can't help but learn.
Bernie Siegel M.D (1932 -) "Love: The WORK of the SOUL," in Handbook for the Soul, Carson and Shield, Hatchett Book Group, 1995

Neither Miró nor Picasso. Signed by nature.
Sergio da Silva - From the book "Water, Mirror of the World"

Nature sometimes contrives to disconcert by reflecting the image of our creation.
Sergio da Silva - From the book "Water, Mirror of the World"

Imitate Nature? Yes, when we cannot improve upon her. Admire Nature? Possibly, but be not blinded to her defects. Learn from Nature? We should sit humbly at her feet until we can stand erect and go our own way. Love Nature? Never! She is our treacherous and unsleeping foe, ever to be feared and watched and circumvented, for at any moment and in spite of all our vigilance she may wipe out the human race by famine, pestilence or earthquake and within a few centuries obliterate every trace of its achievement.
Edwin Emery Slossin (1865-1919) - Creative Chemistry, Chapter 1, The Century Co., NY, 1919, p. 10.

Nature is not a place to visit, it is home.
Gary Snyder (1930 - ) - The Practice of the Wild, "The Etiquette of Freedom," Counterpoint, Berkeley, CA, 1990, p 7.

Nature is orderly. That which appears to be chaotic in nature is only a more complicated kind of order.
Gary Snyder (1930 - ) - The Practice of the Wild, "Good, Wild, Sacred," Counterpoint, Berkeley, CA, 1990, p 100.

In Nature all is common, and no use is base. She keeps no selected elements done up in gilt papers for sensitive people.
Joel Dorman Steele (1836-1886) - A Fourteen Weeks Course in Chemistry, Conclusion (p223), A.S.Barnes & Co., NY, NY, 1870

We travel together, passengers on a little space ship, dependent upon its vulnerable reserves of air and soil, all committed for our safety to its security and peace, preserved from annihilation only by the care, the work, and I will say the love we give our fragile craft. We cannot maintain it half fortunate and half miserable, half confident, half despairing, half slave to the ancient enemies of mankind and half free in a liberation of resources undreamed-of until this day. No craft, no crew can travel safely with such vast contradictions. On their resolution depends the survival of us all.
Adlai Stevenson II - Speech to the UN Economic and Social Council, Geneva, Switzerland (9 July 1965)

Nature is indifferent to the survival of the human species, including Americans.
Adlai Stevenson II - Radio address, September 29, 1952

But indeed, it is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) - Essays of Travel, (1905), Forest Notes

The seeming significance of nature's appearances, their unchanging strangeness to the senses, and the thrilling response which they awaken in the mind of man . . . If we could only write near enough to the facts, and yet with no pedestrian calm, but ardently, we might transfer the glamour of reality direct upon our pages.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) - The Novels and Tales of Robert Louis Stevenson, Character and Opinions (p. 134) Scribner's Sons, NY, NY, 1902

Nature is man's teacher.
She unfolds her treasures to his search,
unseals his eye, illumes his mind,
and purifies his heart;
an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds
of her existence.
Alfred Billings Street - Drawings and Tintings, 1844.

There is no boon in nature. All the blessings we enjoy are the fruits of labor, toil, self-denial, and study.
William Graham Sumner (1840-1910) - "There is no Boon in Nature," Earth Hunger and Other Essays, Yale Univ. Press,1912, p.238

April, like a child,
writes hieroglyphs on dust with flowers,
wipes them away and forgets.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1910) - “Fireflies” “Fireflies” 1927.

God, the Great Giver, can open the whole universe to our gaze in the narrow space of a single land.
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1910) - Jeevan-Smriti

In nature, there is less death and destruction than death and transmutation.
Edward Way Teale (1899-1980) - "July 5" Circle of the Seasons (1953)

For man, autumn is a time of harvest, of gathering together. For nature, it is a time of sowing, of scattering abroad.
Edward Way Teale (1899-1980) - Autumn Across America

The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider's web.
Edward Way Teale (1899-1980) - "September 18," Circle of the Seasons (1953)

Commonly we stride through the out-of-doors too swiftly to see more than the most obvious and prominent things. For observing nature, the best pace is a snail's pace.
Edward Way Teale (1899-1980) - "July14," Circle of the Seasons (1953)

Any man that walks the mead
In bud, or blade, or bloom, may find,
According as his humors lead,
A meaning suited to his mind.
Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) - "The Day Dream"

Nature is avariciously frugal; In matter it allows no atom to elude its grasp; in mind, no thought or feeling to perish. It gathers up the fragments that nothing be lost.
David Thomas - (1776-1859), American agricultural writer - Quoted in: Quoted in: A dictionary of thoughts: being a cyclopedia of laconic quotations from the best authors of the world, both ancient and modern, edited by Tryon Edwards, 1908.

My profession is to always find God in nature, to know His lurking places, to attend to all the oratorios, the operas in nature.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Journal, September 7, 1851

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Walden, Chapter 2, 1854

It is the marriage of the soul with Nature that makes the intellect fruitful, and gives birth to imagination.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Journal, Aug. 21, 1851

The finest workers in stone are not copper or steel tools, but the gentle touches of air and water working at their leisure with a liberal allowance of time.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers

The West of which I speak is but another name for the Wild, and what I have been preparing to say is, that in Wildness is the preservation of the World
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)- speech at Concord Lyceum, 23 April 1851 and subsequently, in Thoreau's essay "Walking", Atlantic Monthly, June 1862 (v.9 no. 56)

Nature is full of genius, full of the divinity; so that not a snowflake escapes its fashioning hand.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)- Journals (1838-1859) - January 5, 1856

I long for wildness, a nature which I cannot put my foot through, woods where the wood thrush forever sings, where the hours are early morning ones, and there is dew on the grass, and the day is forever unproved, where I might have a fertile unknown for a soil about me.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Journal, 22 June 1853

The indescribable innocence and beneficence of Nature--of sun and wind and rain, of summer and winter--such health, such cheer, they afford forever! and such sympathy have they ever with our race, that all Nature would be affected, and the sun's brightness fade, and the winds would sigh humanely, and the clouds rain tears, and the woods shed their leaves and put on mourning in midsummer, if any man should ever for a just cause grieve.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Walden - (Solitude)

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine-trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - The Maine Woods (1864)

Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain. She has no interstices; every part is full of life.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, (Vol 9), Natural History of Massachusetts (p123), Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA 1893

Nature is an admirable schoolmistress.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Letter, August 18, 1857, to Daniel Ricketson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 312, Houghton Mifflin (1906)

Nature is fair in proportion as the youth is pure. The heavens and the earth are one flower ; the earth is the calyx, the heavens the corolla.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - Journals, June 5, 1853, P.M. To Mason's pasture.

The very uprightness of the pines and maples asserts the ancient rectitude and vigor of nature. Our lives need the relief of such a background, where the pine flourishes and the jay still screams.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) -  A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 1, p. 179, Houghton Mifflin (1906)

Nature must be viewed humanly to be viewed at all; that is, her scenes must be associated with humane affections, such as are associated with one's native place. She is most significant to a lover. A lover of Nature is preeminently a lover of man. If I have no friend, what is Nature to me? She ceases to be morally significant. . .
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - The Journal of Henry David Thoreau (Vol 4), June 30, 1852 (p. 163) Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, MA, 1906

The laws of nature are the skeleton of the universe. They support it, give it shape, tie it together. Taken as a whole, they embody a vision of our world that is both breathtaking and awe-inspiring.
James Trefil (1938 - ) - The Nature of Science, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003, Introduction (p vii)

However much you knock at nature's door, she will never answer you in comprehensible words.
Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev (1818-1883) - Shubin, in On the Eve, ch. 1 (1860)

Nature knows no indecencies; man invents them.
Mark Twain - Mark Twain's Notebook, 1935

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
Unknown

The whole of nature is a conjugation of the verb to eat, in the active and passive.
Unknown - William Ralph Inge mentions the "saying" in his piece Outspoken Essays, "But the whole of nature, as has been said, is a conjugation of the verb to eat, in the active and passive.", 2003, p56

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination, but the combination is locked up in the safe.
Peter De Vries (1910-1993) - Let me Count the ways, Little Brown & Co, 1965

Men argue, nature acts.
Voltaire (1694-1778) - Voltaire's Philosophical Dictionary, Echo Library, 2010, p. 193

Happiness is a good that nature sells us.
Voltaire (1694-1778) - "Discourses on Man, Number 4," in Life of Voltaire, Volume 2, James Parton, 1889, 332

If God did not exist, he would have to be invented." But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.
Voltaire (1694-1778) - Letter to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (28 November, 1770), Voltaire in His Letters, translated by S.G. Tallentyre, 1919.

Nature consults no philosophers.
John Walker (1731-1803) - Lectures on Geology: including hydrography, mineralogy, and meteorology, with an introduction to biology, Biographical introduction (p. xxxi), University of Chicago Press, 1966.

Trees give peace to the souls of men.
Nora Waln (1895-1964) - Reaching for the Stars, 1939.

Adapt or perish, now as ever, is nature's inexorable imperative.
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) - A Short History of the World (1922)

It is only now and then, in a jungle, or amidst the towering white menace of a burnt or burning Australian forest, that Nature strips the moral veils from vegetation and we apprehend its stark ferocity.
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) - The Happy Turning (1946) 33-34.

It's amazing how quickly nature consumes human places after we turn our backs on them. Life is a hungry thing.
Scott Westerfeld - Quoted in Dictionary of Quotations, ed M. Kumar, Aph Publishing, 2008, p. 169

Nature does not capriciously scatter her secrets as golden gifts to lazy pets and luxurious darlings, but imposes tasks when she presents opportunities, and uplifts him whom she would inform. The apple that she drops at the feet of Newton is but a coy invitation to follow her to the stars.
Edwin Percy Whipple (1816-1886) - Character and Characteristic Men, Chapter III, p 78, 1877

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.
E.B. White - "Coon Tree" - Essays of E.B. White (1977)

I am pessimistic about the human race because it is too ingenious for its own good. Our approach to nature is to beat it into submission. We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of skeptically and dictatorially.
E.B. White - Quoted in the Epigraph to Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Nature, even in the act of satisfying anticipation, often provides a surprise.
Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) - Adventures of Ideas, Chapter VIII, p. 161, The MacMillan Co., NY, NY, 1956

I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars.
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) - Leaves of Grass, 31

You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness—perhaps ignorance, credulity—helps your enjoyment of these things...
Walt Whitman (1819-1892) - Prose Works, 1892, I. Specimen Days, May 14.

There is religion in everything around us, — a calm and holy religion in the unbreathing things of Nature, which man would do well to imitate.
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) - The Boston Literary Magazine, Clapp & Hull, 1833, p245. Attributed to John Ruskin who would have been 14 at the time this was published. Whittier was 26. Additionally the quote appears in "Extracts of Whittier's Prose," in Wreath for St. Crispin, J. Prince, Boston, 1848, p209. In 1950, Jean C.S.Wilson and David A.Randall published Thirteen Author Collections Of The Nineteenth Century And Five Centuries Of Familiar Quotations, in which they note that "Religion in Everything" was first published in a book in Wreath for St. Crispin. (p 765). Discussion here.

It seems to me that we all look at nature too much, and live with her too little.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) - The Complete Writings of Oscar Wilde, De Profundis, p 158, Nottingham Society, NY, NY, 1907

To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.
Terry Tempest Williams, testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Forest & Public Lands Management regarding the Utah Public Lands Management Act of 1995. Washington, D.C. July 13, 1995.

When coyotes howl outside your tent, that may be adventure. While you’re sweating like a horse in a climb over a 12,000 foot pass, that’s adventure. When howling headwinds press your lips against your teeth, you face a mighty adventure. While trudging through a raging rainstorm, adventure drenches you. But that’s not what makes adventure. It is your willingness to struggle through it, to present yourself at the doorstep of Nature. Can any greater joy come from life than living inside the ‘moment’ of an adventure? It may be a fleeting ‘high’, a stranger that changes your life, an animal that delights you or frightens you, a struggle where you triumphed, or even failed, yet you braved the challenge. Those moments present you uncommon experiences that give your life eternal expectation. That’s adventure.
Frosty Woodbridge (1947 - ) - How to Live a Life of Adventure: The Art of Exploring the World, Author House, 2011

It is the preservation of the species, not of individuals, which appears to be the design of Deity throughout the whole of nature.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759 – 1797) - Letters written during a short residence in Sweden, Norway and Denmark, Letter 22, 1796

Come forth into the light of things. Let nature be your teacher.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) - The Tables Turned, 1798

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)- The Tables Turned, 1798

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) - quoted in The Wright Style (1992) by Carla Lind, p. 3

Who lives to Nature, rarely can be poor ; who lives to fancy, never can be rich.
Edward Young (1681-1765) - The Complaint; or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality, Night VI, Nelson and Brown, 1831, p. 110

The course of nature is the art of God.
Edward Young (1681-1765) - The Complaint; or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality, "The Consolation,", Nelson and Brown, 1831, p. 229.

Take God from nature, nothing great is left.
Edward Young (1681-1765) - The Complaint; or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality, "The Consolation,", Nelson and Brown, 1831, p. 233.

Nature delights in progress; in advance.
Edward Young (1681-1765) - The Complaint; or Night Thoughts on Life, Death and Immortality, "The Consolation," Nelson and Brown, 1831, p. 247.

The laws of nature are . . . Thoughts of God.
Heinrich Zschokke (1771-1848) - Zschokke's Tales, "Harmonius," in Tales from the German of Heinrich Zschokke, Volumes 1-2, 1845.

The life of the wood, meadow, and lake go on without us. Flowers bloom, set seed and die back; squirrels hide nuts in the fall and scold all year long; bobcats track the snowy lake in winter; deer browse the willow shoots in spring. Humans are but intruders who have presumed the right to be observers, and who, out of observation, find understanding.
Ann Zwinger (1925 - ) - Beyond the Aspen Grove, 1970, 2002 Edition, Johnson Printing, Boulder Colorado, p9.

There will always be something new to discover: a minute moss never found before, a rabbit eating birdseed with the bores on a hungry November day, a bittern that stays only long enough to be remembered.
Ann Zwinger (1925 - ) - Beyond the Aspen Grove, 1970, 2002 Edition, Johnson Printing, Boulder Colorado, p9.

 

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