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America's Nature Essayists pre-Conservation Movement
Nature essays are poetry in natural language. Evocative of beauty and observation, nature essays are nuggets of inspiration and wonder that connect us to our natural heritage of earth and sky.
When writing my own nature essays, I draw on the inspiration shared by these early observers of nearby nature -- the mysteries, the realities, the wonder and the beauty that is missing in the manmade world. The Creator's artistry in diversity and processes is awe-inspiring when we give the living palette a chance to wash over our senses.
The golden age of nature essays was 1850- 1920, a time when nature essay writing was a significant genre that flourished in the United States. This genre contributed much to th cultural climate from which the American conservation movement developed. Accoding to the Library of Congress, related themes that fed into the conservation movement are "Scenic and Wilderness Travel", "Popular Ornithology -- or Bird watching", and "Juvenile nature literature and nature pedagogy"
Some of the most accomplished nature essayists include:
The Freedom of the fields, 1898
Recent rambles; or, In touch with nature
Upland and meadow: A Poaetquissings chronicle The ramblings of an idler
A bunch of herbs and other papers, 1896
Field and study, 1919
Fresh fields, 1885
Locusts and wild honey, 1879
Nature near home and other papers, 1919
The summit of the years, 1913
Uner the apple-trees, 1916
Ways of nature, 1905
The wit of a duck and other papers, 1913
A year in the fields, 1896
In the open: intimate studies and appreciations of nature
Short cuts and by-paths
The prairie and the sea
Where rolls the Oregon
Wild life near home
A week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, 1868
The foot-path way
Nature's invitation: notes of a bird-gazer north and south
A rambler's lease
Spring notes from tennessee
A world of green hills: observations of nature and humannature in the Blue Ridge