I hold no preference among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)- Desert Solitaire “Cliffrose and Bayonets”, p. 25 (1968)
The domination of nature leads to the domination of human nature.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – Beyond The Wall: Essays from the Outside, 1971
There are no vacant lots in nature.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989)- Desert Solitude, “The First Morning,” p.6, Ballantine Books, NY, NY, 1968
Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – The Journey Home (1991) The Rape of the West p. 183
Nature is indifferent to our love, but never unfaithful.
Edward Abbey (1927-1989) – A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, Notes from a Secret Journal, 1986, Ch,9 p86
Nature neither gives nor expects mercy.
Diane Ackerman (1948 -) – The Moon by Whale Light: And Other Adventures Among Bats, Penguins, Crocodilians, and Whales, Random House, NY,NY, 1991, 239-240.
Nature is also great fun. To pretend that nature isn’t fun is to miss much of the joy of being alive.
Diane Ackerman (1948 -) – The rarest of the rare: Vanishing Animals, Timeless Worlds, Introduction, Vintage Books, NY, NY, p.xx, 1997
Nature is what wins in the end.
Abby Adams (1902-1984) – The Gardener’s Gripe Book, Workmans Publishing, NY, NY, 1995, p. 10.
No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied — it speaks in silence to the very core of your being.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) – Exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.
The only things in my life that compatibly exist with this grand universe are the creative works of the human spirit.
Ansel Adams (1902-1984) – Ansel Adams: An Autobiography
Chaos was the law of nature; Order was the dream of man.
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) – The Education of Henry B. Adams, p. 1132, The Library of America (1983)
If there’s a power above us,
(And that there is all nature cries aloud
Through all her works,) he must delight in virtue.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) – Cato, Act V, Scene I, J Dicks, London, 1883
Nature delights in the most plain and simple diet.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) – The Spectator, Vol I, 1826, No 162, p. 255
As long as men inquire, they will find opportunities to know more upon these topics than those who have gone before them, so inexhaustibly rich is nature in the innermost diversity of her treasures of beauty, order and intelligence.
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873) – The Spectator, Vol VII, No. 477, September 6, 1712, pp 19-20.
The eye of the trilobite tells us that the sun shone on the old beach where he lived; for there is nothing in nature without a purpose, and when so complicated an organ was made to receive the light, there must have been light to enter it.
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873) – Geological Sketches, ch. 2, 1866
Lay aside all conceit. Learn to read the book of nature for yourself. Those who have succeeded best have followed for years some slim thread which has once in a while broadened out and disclosed some treasure worth a life-long search.
Jean Louis Rodolphe Agassiz (1807-1873) – Popular Science Monthly, Quoted by David Stair Jordan, Vol 40, 1891
Nature is the armory of genius. Cities serve it poorly, books and colleges at second hand; the eye craves the spectacle of the horizon; of mountain, ocean, river and plain, the clouds and stars; actual contact with the elements, sympathy with the seasons as they rise and roll.
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888) – The Journals of Bronson Alcott, January, p. 187, Little Brown & Co., Boston MA, 1938.
Nature is thought immersed in matter. . .
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888) – “Pantheon,” The Journal of Speculative Philosophy, Vol II, No 1, 1868 (p. 47)
Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) – A Long Fatal Love Chase, 1866, Dell Publishing reprint, 1995, p 11.
Nature hath nothing made so base, but can read some instruction to the wisest man.
Charles Aleyn -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. Quote improperly attributed to Tryon Edwards.
Every landscape is, as it were, a state of the soul, and whoever penetrates into both is astonished to find how much likeness there is in each detail.
Henri Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881) –The Private Journal of Henri Frédéric Amiel, Tr. H. Ward, October 31, 1852,
Nature has been for me, for as long as I remember, a source of solace, inspiration, adventure, and delight; a home, a teacher, a companion.
Lorraine Anderson (1952 – ) – Quoted in The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women, Gail McMeekin, Conari Press, 2000, p27.
Nature has no mercy at all. Nature says, “I’m going to snow. If you have on a bikini and no snowshoes, that’s tough. I am going to snow anyway.
Maya Angelou (1928 – ) – Conversations with Maya Angelou, Ed. J. Elliot, University Press of Mississippi, (1989)
In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) – Parts of Animals I.645a16
Nature makes nothing incomplete, and nothing in vain.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) – Politics I. 1256 b
But Nature flies from the infinite, for the infinite is unending or imperfect, and Nature ever seeks an end.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) – Generation of Animals I.715b15
If one way be better than another, that you may be sure is Nature’s way.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) – Nicomanachean Ethics, 1099B, 23
There is more both of beauty and of raison d’etre in the works of nature- than in those of art.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) – De Partibus Animalium, I., 1, 5.
Those whose days are consumed in the low pursuits of avarice, or the gaudy frivolties of fashion, unobservant of nature’s loveliness of demarcation, nor on which side thereof an intermediate form should lie.
Aristotle (384 BC-322 BC) –The History of Animals, Book VIII, Part 1, tr. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson
Mountains inspire awe in any human person who has a soul. They remind us of our frailty, our unimportance, of the briefness of our span on this earth. They touch the heavens, and sail serenely at an altitude beyond even the imaginings of a mere mortal.
Elizabeth Aston in The Exploits & Adventures of Miss Alethea Darcy: A novel, A.E. Books, 2005, p 103.
. . .nature indifferently copied is far superior to the best idealities.
John James Audubon – The Life and Adventures of John James Audubon, the Naturalist, Robert Buchanan, p. 140, (1868).
Nature is the art of God – LA NATURA E L’ARTE DI DIO
Attributed to Dante Alighieri . However in De Monarchia, II Chapter 2, Dante says: Whatever good is in lesser things . . . must come first from the artist, God, And secondly from the instrument of divine art, heaven which men generally call Nature.” (. . . organum . . . artis divinae, quam Naturam communiter appelant.)(See also Sir Thomas Browne, below)
Men go forth to marvel at the height of mountains, and the huge waves of the sea, the broad flow of the rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the orbits of the stars, and yet they neglect to marvel at themselves. Variant: Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty billows of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, and pass themselves by.
Augustine of Hippo (354–430) – Confessions (c. 397), Book 10, Chapter VIII.
A portent happens not contrary to nature, but contrary to what we know as nature.
Augustine of Hippo (354–430) – City of God, Book XXI, Chapter 8, Tr. Rev. M. Dods,
Death, like generation, is a secret of Nature.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Meditations (c. 161–180 CE) IV, 5.
No form of nature is inferior to art; for the arts merely imitate natural forms. – Variant: There is no nature which is inferior to art, the arts imitate the nature of things.
Marcus Aurelius (121–180) – Meditations. xi. 10.
One cannot fix one’s eyes on the commonest natural production without finding food for a rambling fancy.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) – Mansfield Park, Chapter XXII, 1814
Nature is often hidden; sometimes overcome; seldom extinguished.
Sir Francis Bacon – Essays, “Of Nature, In Men,” (speaking of the nature of man) 1627
Art is man added to Nature.
Sir Francis Bacon – Descriptio Globi Intellectus (1612).
Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – Novum Organum (The New Organon) (1620) – bk. 1, aph. 129
The breath of flowers is far sweeter in the air than in the hand.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – Bacon’s Essays, “Of Gardens,” 1627
In nature, things move violently to their place, and then calmly in their place.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – Bacon’s Essays, “Of Great Places,” p. 27, 1627
Art is man added to Nature.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) -Descriptio Globi Intellectus, 1612
God Almighty first planted a garden. And indeed it is the purest of human pleasures. It is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man; without which, buildings and palaces are but gross handiworks.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – Essays, “Of Gardens,” 1627
Man, being servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he as observed in fact or thought of the course of nature; beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) – The New Organon (1620) in James Spedding, Robert Ellis and Douglas Heath (eds.), The works of Francis Bacon (1877-1901), Vol 4, p. 47.
Art is man’s nature; nature is God’s art.
Phillip James Bailey – Festus, Pr the Jubilee revision, (1839)
What is Art, monsieur, but Nature concentrated?
Qu’est-ce que l’Art, monsieur? C’est la Nature concentrée.
Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) – Illusions perdues, vol I, 1839, trans. Ellen Marriage, ch. I, section 5.
God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.
J.M. Barrie – Courage, pg 1, 1922
I was obliged, at last, to come to the conclusion that the contemplation of nature alone is not sufficient to fill the human heart and mind.
Henry Walter Bates (1825-1892) – The Naturalist on the River Amazons, Vol 2, ch 3, London, 1863, p. 186
For you teach very clearly by your behavior how slowly and how meagerly our senses proceed in the investigation of ever inexhaustible nature.
Biambatista Beccaria (1716-1781) – Elettricismo artificiale (1772), vii-viii, in Antonio Pace, Franklin and Italy, 1958, p. 58.
It is the end of art to inoculate men with the love of nature. But those who have a passion for nature in the natural way, need no pictures nor galleries. Spring is their designer, and the whole year their artist.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) – Star Papers, or Experiences of Art and Nature, “A Discourse of Flowers,” Beecher, Applewood Books, Bedford MA, 1855, p.94.
Believe me, you will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you what you cannot learn from masters.
Experto crede: aliquid amplius invenies in silvis, quam in libris. Ligna et lapides docebunt te, quod a magistris audire non possis.
Bernard of Clairvaux – St. Bernard – Epistola CVI, sect. 2; translation from Edward Churton The Early English Church ( 1841) p. 324.
People who want to see the beauty of nature from motorboats and automobiles would obviously be just as pleased, and as fully recreated, at a drive-in movie.
Wendell Berry (1934 – ) The Unforseen Wilderness: An Essay on Kentucky’s Red River George, University Press of Kentucky, 1971
Nature is always lavish of her gifts even to the most insignificant forms. The butterflies and moths are richly dowered in this respect.
Anne Besant (1847-1933) – “The Clothes’ Moth,” Our Corner, Vol 4, No. 1, July 1884, p40
Touch the earth, love the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth’s and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and the dawn seen over the ocean from the beach.
Henry Beston (1888-1968) – The Outermost House (1928)