All posts tagged: Nature

Ekostories with a focus on nature or the idea of nature.

Canadian Landscapes, by The Group of Seven

A lovely recent post on Orion Magazine’s Facebook page: “2015 marks 95 years since the Algonquin School painters mounted their first exhibition. Also called The Group of Seven, its members’ works were inspired by the Canadian landscape. They believed that a distinct Canadian art could be developed through direct contact with nature, a wonderful mission statement for this, their country’s first major national art movement.” Visit their Facebook page here

Illusion of Light: Journey Into the Unseen

Inspired after writing about Antoine De Saint-Exupéry’s Wind, Sand and Stars, I was fortunate to come across Illusion of Light: A Journey into the Unseen, a beautifully shot time-lapse film trailer showcasing the night skies of the Sierra Nevada mountains and southwest deserts of the US. Watching this teaser for the full film expected to debut in 2017, I began to see why we as a species etch shapes and attach meanings to the wheeling heavens, why we constantly appeal to it for guidance and direction, and why we can be so awed as to dedicate our whole lives to teasing apart its mysteries. “Brad Goldpaint spent 3 years of creative exploration crafting visual metaphors which reflect aspects of existence that are often hidden from everyday sight. We interact with these miracles on a daily basis yet we are amazed at the infinite magnitude of our planet. We encourage you to raise your eyes towards the night sky. Explore. Realize you are a part of the illusion and the universe is a part of you.” – Vimeo video …

The Dispossessed: Urras and Hope Betrayed

“Shevek, a brilliant physicist, decides to take action. He will seek answers, question the unquestionable, and attempt to tear down the walls of hatred that have isolated his planets of anarchists from the rest of the civilized universe… Shevek must make the unprecedented journey to the utopian mother planet, Urras, to challenge the complex structures of life and living, and ignite the fires of change.” – Eos edition paperback cover Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Dispossessed alternates between two narratives across time and space. One revolves around the protagonist Shevek in the present as he travels to and learns about the world of Urras; the following piece looks at this story. The second narrative tells the story of Shevek’s past and his life growing up on the world of Anarres, an anarchic and egalitarian society – I’ll explore that in the next post. Finally, I’ll be examining the whole story in a third and final piece through one of the novel’s central theme: Reconciliation.

Indian Rhino Bardia National Park

Nepal Revisited: Adventures in Royal Bardia Park

Recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to Beatler.com, a local blog that covers food, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and technology. Drawn to one writer’s reflections on his trip to Belize, a place that I explored almost a decade ago, I felt inspired to revisit old journeys by working on a travel piece, this time around my adventures at Royal National Bardia Park in Nepal. Returning to Nepal in mind and spirit was interesting. When I wrote the Reflection of Nepal series right after my trip, I had felt compelled to get everything down, cramming together flavours, ideas, and lessons learned lest the vivid intensity of experience fade forever from memory. But now a year and a half removed, I found myself revisiting past events with no great hurry, having the time to mull over my notes and the patience to let scenes breathe and develop naturally. The entire four-part series, complete with the customary themes of nature and culture befitting an Ekostory, has recently been posted online. You can read them here: Part 1: Bardia …

Mishchenko’s Macrotastic Wonders

I’m a sucker for macro photography; maybe because I appreciate how it can reveal the extraordinary in the miniscule and  mundane. Recently, I came across the work of Ukranian photographer Vyacheslav Mischenko; his macros manage to capture the whimsical wonder that is the subject of the past two Ekostories. From kissing snails on cherry stems to toadstool sentinels standing guard over patches of dewy green, Mischenko’s work illustrates that a multitude of unnoticed realities exist in parallel to our own, and can be as enchanting as our minds’ most fantastical creations. For more absurdly astonishing photos, please check out his portfolio or visit his Facebook page. Related Ekostories: The Beauty of Water Droplets, by Andrew Osokin Pikmin 3 Photography All images © Vyacheslav Mischenko.

Ants on Bullhorn Acacia

Antspeak and Rocktalk: The Author of Acacia Seeds

Last week I explored Amy Leach’s creative non-fiction and its appeal to wonder and imagination. This week, I would like to turn to fiction and highlight a fantastical tale that does the same. Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Author of Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of Therolinguistics takes place in the future, but does not dwell on new technologies or societies. Exploring the secret languages of things large and small, Acacia Seeds instead tasks my imagination to envision a wholly different way of relating to the world, to see familiar beings in a new light, and to expand my moral horizons to consider the greater community of which humanity is a part of. Deliciously satirical and ethically provocative, Acacia Seeds is one of my favourite works to read and reread, and a wonderful little Ekostory to celebrate Earth Day 2014.

Things that Are - Caterpillar

On Whimwhams and Wild Whats: Amy Leach’s Things That Are

One of the reasons I took a break from blogging was to push myself to start reading again. But while I had a mountain backlog from great recommendations, I found myself not being in the headspace to explore new stories. For a while, I was worried that I might not find anything to spark my interest again.Then I stumbled onto this skinny, silly, crazy, exquisite little tome: Amy Leach’s Things That Are. As longtime readers of Ekostories know, I harbour a great fondness for several storytellers: Hayao Miyazaki, for his meticulous world-building and life philosophy; Michael Pollan, with his blend of Thoreau-tinged romanticism and candid introspection; John Steinbeck, for his warmth and compassion toward fellow beings; and of course, Ursula Le Guin, in her treatment of her craft as an ethical endeavour. Their writings and worldviews have in turn shaped my worldview and writing, and for that I hold them in high esteem. Leach has made her way into that select group. At once frivolous and profound, cosmic and intimate, silly and thought-provoking, each piece of …