The outdoors

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During the course of my pandemic walks, I started looking for anything green in the map of Toronto and undertaking walks to explore those areas. Eventually, I realized that several green areas can be strung together into an urban walking trail that is mostly separated from cars. I think of it as a bit equivalent […]

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The 2021 Audubon Photography Awards feature some remarkable work. The video of a red tailed hawk soaring in the wind with its head uncannily unmoving is impressive, as doubtless is the dedication of all the people who took these shots.

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In Brockworth, Gloucestershire people roll a cheese down a steep hill and chase it. 1982: 2019:

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Promoted by a recent Economist article on biodiversity and Alie Ward’s podcast on foresting ecology, I am trying out the iNaturalist app. My outdoor pursuits mostly consist of walking at a steady pace for exercise, so plant and wildlife observations aren’t my priority. Nonetheless, it’s neat to be able to take a break anywhere in […]

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On an exercise walk tonight in the Bridle Path area I listened to Alie Ward’s recent podcast on happiness research: Awesomeology (GRATITUDE FOR LITTLE THINGS) with Neil Pasricha. It reinforced how the smartphone and the media in general is “the slot machine in your pocket“, with intermittent variable rewards that habituate you into scrolling through […]

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Doubtless for those of us who have been following the public health advice to avoid contact with others for nine months or so there have been many disappointments and frustrations. At the same time, perhaps we have each discovered a thing or two from pandemic living which we will stick with beyond. Some of mine: […]

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I find it’s good practice to approach literally anybody, from a municipal worker who I am passing on the sidewalk while they’re performing official duties to clerks in shops with an immediate attempt at a substantive conversation, not just a rote exchange of greetings or well-wishes. By that means the other morning I got the […]

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Besides, the historian William Cronon argues that there is nothing “natural” about wilderness, that it is a deeply human construct, “the creation of very particular human cultures at very particular moments in human history.” Though I might be appalled by Marco Polo’s failure to swoon at mountains and deserts along the Silk Road, wilderness in […]

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