Saturday, July 20, 2013

She does not practice in this age of light

Birds, they seem to be everywhere if one looks carefully enough.

Posting title is from the poem The Sandstone Bird (1836). See here for background about the poem and its writer, geologist Edward Hitchcock. Here are some words written about him:

A man of religion, a man of science; in both, a docile student and an expert teacher; in both, enthusiastic and self-sacrificing; in both, gentle, persuasive, affectionate, sympathetic; in both, shackled by traditions which he both feared and hated to break, yet vigorously holding up his shackles and keeping abreast and in some respects ahead of the advancing age.

Such was Edward Hitchcock, one of the fathers of American Geology, and one who continued to the close of a long life to be an original investigator. A man of ardent fancy, impulsive, curious, and credulous; docile and teachable beyond any adult man of science I ever knew; modest to a marvel; yet, with all this, a man of sufficient self-reliance and determination for the most important practices of life, patient of difficulties, persevering and industrious for final success in any undertaking, sound in judgment, and disciplined in temper, a friend to all, and the friend of all, his whole career laid claims to eminence […]

Update: For a couple of days, we will be exploring the forests and hills at Salla in Lapland. In the cottage we are staying there are thick dark curtains in the windows, probably to help to get sleep. The length of day is today 20 h 58 min. Sunset is at 23:39 and sunrise at 02:41.

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