Matt Muir Curator

Joined: Apr 15, 2011 Last Active: Jul 17, 2024 iNaturalist

I'm a humbled naturalist, living in Anchorage via DC via Davis California via Botswana via Bolivia via Kenai Alaska.

Random quotes that make me think of iNaturalist:

"The objective is to teach the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands. I say land rather than wildlife, because wildlife cannot be understood without understanding the landscape as a whole." Aldo Leopold in his essay, The Role of Wildlife in a Liberal Education (1942)

"...human knowledge of nature comes to us already socially constructed in powerful and productive ways...Ecology is a discourse, not the living world itself." David Demeritt (p. 177)

"The search for truth is in one way hard and in another way easy, for it is evident that no one can master it fully or miss it wholly. But each adds a little to our knowledge of nature, and from all the facts assembled there arises a certain grandeur." Aristotle (borrowed shamelessly from brewbrook's profile)

"...we are human in good part because of the particular way we affiliate with other organisms. They are the matrix in which the human mind originated and is permanently rooted, and they offer the challenge and freedom innately sought. To the extent that each person can feel like a naturalist, the old excitement of the untrammeled world will be regained. I offer this as a formula of reenchantment to invigorate poetry and myth: mysterious and little known organisms live within walking distance of where you sit. Splendor awaits in minute proportions." E.O. Wilson, Biophilia.

"The first step in wisdom is to know the things themselves" Carolus Linnaeus, Systema Naturae (1735).

"The contemplation of nature gives a foretaste of heavenly bliss" attributed to Carolus Linnaeus.

"There's also a fluidity to how we feel about nature--the way our baselines subjectively reset and will keep reset far into the future, while, in the background, the empirical damage piles up." Jon Mooallem, p. 292 in Wild Ones

“When an elder dies a whole library is buried with him.” BBC African Proverb of the Day, Sent by Rev Tut Nguoth, Malakal, South Sudan.

"In the end, wilderness is a state of mind. The natural world can only persist now as a deliberate act of human will." David Biello, Is There a Future for Wilderness?

"There are always some people in the mountains who are known as "hikers." They rush over the trail at high speed and take great delight in being the first to reach camp and in covering the greatest number of miles in the least possible time. They measure the trail in terms of speed and distance.
One day as I was resting in the shade Mr. Muir overtook me on the trail and began to chat in that friendly way in which he delights to talk to everyone he meets. I said to him: "Mr. Muir, someone told me you did not of the word 'hike,' is that so?" His blue eyes flashed, and with his Scotch accent he replied: "I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains--not 'hike!' Do you know the origin of that word saunter? It's a beautiful word. Away back in the middle ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going they would reply, 'A la sainte terre,' 'To the Holy Land.' And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them." And John Muir lived up to his doctrine. He was usually the last man to reach camp. He never hurried. He stopped to get acquainted with individual trees along the way, he would hail people passing by and make them get down on hands and knees if necessary to examine some tiny seedling or to see the beauty of some little bed of almost microscopic flowers." Albert Palmer in The Mountain Trail and its Message (1911).

"It is an incalculable added pleasure to any one's sum of happiness if he or she grows to know, even slightly and imperfectly, how to read and enjoy the wonder-book of nature." Teddy Roosevelt (1905) Outdoor Pastimes of an American Hunter

You're welcome to contact me at my gmail address: muirmatthewj

View All