I've been delinquent in posting for a very good reason: I've been out in Oregon exploring the North West Coast with my girlfriend; and you can say one thing about me: I've got my priorities straight. For the past couple weeks I've been "unplugged" in a very good way - it was a vacation, and rather than writing about the natural world, I was enjoying it.
This also explains the staling nature of my previous post: trying to sell copies of my Colony Farm Orchard DVD as Christmas presents, which is especially old news since Governor Granholm has since signed legislation (House Bill 5207) officially lifting restrictions on the Orchard and allowing WMU to expand the BTR Park onto the property. The time sensitive nature of my Orchard video is now passed, making a second installment all the more necessary.
I must say, exploring the Cascades Mountains, the high desert, the extraordinary forests, and the epic Oregon coast was truly experiencing a BIG piece of the wild. Aside from a particularly heightened consciousness of crows in the city of Portland--mainly because of the great book Crow Planet by Lyanda Lynn Haupt--I wasn't tuning in to the urban animals of Oregon. Rather, I was indulging in what I now consider the more enriching expanses of wilderness that the urban wilderness merely echoes or approximates. I was in 1,000 acre preserves and million acre forests; I was gazing out on pounding surfs, vertical rock faces, and an ocean horizon that extends way, way beyond the curvature of Lake Michigan. It was vast and extremely compelling.
That's not to take away from the urban wild and the gifts it offers, even in it's "littleness". On the contrary, it reinforces the need for our near-by connections to the greater natural world; our need for urban parks and woods and wildlife. Our little pieces of the wild are the daily doses of nature that tide us over until we can satiate ourselves in a more profound and lasting way in the humbling and inspiring expanses of our state and national parks and forests.