Natural History

Week 2: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 3: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 4: The Song of Nature, theme 1: ORGANISMS
Week 6: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 7: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 8: The Song of Nature, theme 2: STORIES
Week 9: Interlude - To Experience Nature
Week 10: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENT
Week 11: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENTS
Week 12: The Song of Nature, theme 3: ENVIRONMENTS
Appendix #1 - Natural History Books
Appendix #2 - Index of Nature Poems
Appendix #3 - Selected Outlines of Living Things

Day 2: Expression

You have learned a great deal during this course—but how are our natural history observations and awareness best expressed? The obvious way, and the way that was assigned to you most abundantly recently, is through writing. And you have read enough nature writing from others to appreciate that form of expression. How else might our natural history expressions take shape?

 

We start with scientific illustration, courtesy of the Natural History Museum in London: 

Video: “Pictures Worth A Thousand Words – Art Nature and Imaging (UK NHM)” (4:13) 

Video: “Images of Nature and the Museum’s Treasured Artworks (UK NHM)” (2:00)

The visual arts might not merely record observations, though, but might express our own experience and the meaning we ascribe to those observations. Here a sculptor tells—and shows—his artistic response to observation of wolves and other animals in Yellowstone National Park:

Video: “When Words Fail – Nature Art and Meaning (George Bumann)” (9:40)

And, even more indirectly, but no less an expression of a view of natural history, is when our view of nature suffuses our representations, whatever the medium:

Video: “Lord of the Rings – Quiet Environmentalism” (4:49)