Category: Nature

The Order of Things: Home Design

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

I have not been outside in four days. Thursday I started renovating my entry hall, and the detail mania took over: no sooner did I take out the curtains, they needed to be washed; the curtain rods needed cleaning, the casement needed to be painted, the windows needed to be windexed, the screens scrubbed of …

Loggerhead Hatchlings on the Way to the Sargassum Fields

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

Hatchling loggerhead turtles dig themselves out of the sand on the beaches of Florida and hurl themselves into the Atlantic Ocean in search of the North Atlantic Gyre, a circular current, which takes them to the undersea meadows of the seaweed sargassum. There they hide and eat and grow until they are big enough to …

The Spirit of the Other Landscape

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

When I was a young woman, I traveled with friends across the Southwest from Texas to California. My boyfriend at the time had dumped me the day before we left, and I struggled with heart-break and grief for the two days and nights it took us to drive through West Texas and New Mexico. After …

Genius Loci

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

The bluff on which my neighborhood sits is surrounded and carved up by water: the great streams of Ohio and Monongahela Rivers, Saw Mill Run, and a multitude of creeks and runoffs. For eons they ate away at the rock. Water created passages through the wilderness, and when people settled here they used the watersheds …

Virgin territory

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

As soon as a path has been built, the natural landscape changes. The path creates the kind of forest that is accessible and friendly to humans. Someone prepared this landscape by choosing the easiest passage and by clearing and widening the walkable surfaces. No tangled roots or fallen trees impede our progress. The runnels and …

The Path — Animal and Human Bodies

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

The paths that we walk or ride or drive have a history. They were made because someone found the easiest way to move human bodies through the landscape, and other bodies have followed and widened the path or built it into a road. A paper street, on the other hand, was designed in a completely …

The Path – History and Landscape

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

Since my harrowing experience in the “forest savage, rough and stern” a few weeks ago I have been wondering about the difference between built and natural landscape. Most of us humans take the paths and trails, the roads and highways for granted, and we usually do not think about them. But the landscape we experience …

The Path

By | Eva-Maria Simms, Nature, Prose

The new trail behind Olympia Park snakes through the wooded landscape in switchbacks, over suddenly erupting water runs, and along blackberry brambles and elderberry bushes which are seeing full sunlight for the first time ever. We take trails for granted, but I have walked the same landscape before and after the trail has been built, …