I'm sure that many of us are wondering just who is a so-called naturalist. I recently ran across an article by J. Otis Swift that attempted to make clear the nature of a true naturalist:
So they have learned to garner into their hearts the gold of the sunrises on opalescent mornings; the diamonds of the sparkling dew on the grasses; the emeralds, jade, pearls of the spray of mountain brooks; the crystal, amethyst, sapphire, and ruby of ice storms in winter; the golden heavenly music of bird songs spilled down on earth over the ramparts of Heaven; the infinite blue of vast spaces on quiet sleepy afternoons of perfect June days; the organ notes of great storms among mountains; of wild winds in crags of the Palisades; the laughter of clear streams among little hills; the innocent smiles of babies playing with their toes in cradles in lonely farm houses; the quiet murmur of old folks' voices waiting in the dusk of cottage piazzas in the gloaming; the lovely colors of buttercups and ox-eye daisies bending over low mounds in wayside God's Acres under gnarled old apple trees. This is the golden treasure they know they can take with them out of the world when they go, for it makes up the wealth of the heart and soul, and it cannot be left to heirs for it must be gained, if gained at all, each for himself. It is not transferable by will, or gift, or by the keys to strongboxes.
Copyright © 2003 William T. Hathaway.