To me, nothing else about a tree is so remarkable as the extreme delicacy of the mechanism by which it grows and lives: the fine, hair-like rootlets at the bottom and the microscopical cells of the leaves at the top.

I always feel that I have missed some good fortune if I am away from home when my bees swarm. What a delightful summer sound it is! How they come pouring out of the hive, twenty or thirty thousand bees, each striving to get out first!

Some men are like nails, very easily drawn; others however are more like rivets never drawn at all.

Leap, and the net will appear.

Nearly every season, I make the acquaintance of one or more new flowers. It takes years to exhaust the botanical treasures of any one considerable neighborhood, unless one makes a dead set at it, like an herbalist.

To me - old age is always ten years older than I am.

If one gains an interest in the history of the earth, he is quite sure to gain an interest in the history of the life on the earth. If the former illustrates the theory of development, so must the latter. The geologist is pretty sure to be an evolutionist.

The red squirrel is more common and less dignified than the gray, and oftener guilty of petty larceny about the barns and grain-fields.

If you think you can do it, you can.

If America wishes to preserve her native birds, we must help supply what civilization has taken from them. The building of cities and towns, the cutting down of forests, and the draining of pools and swamps have deprived American birds of their original homes and food supply.

Fear, love, and hunger were the agents that developed the wits of the lower animals, as they were, of course, the prime factors in developing the intelligence of man.

The Nature Lover is not looking for mere facts but for meanings, for something he can translate into terms of his own life.

All birds are incipient or would-be songsters in the spring. I find corroborative evidence of this even in the crowing of the cock.

I am for 100 per cent Americanism, 100 per cent efficiency, and 100 per cent life. I expect to live to be 100 years old.

Blessed is the man who has some congenial work, some occupation in which he can put his heart, and which affords a complete outlet to all the forces there are in him.

Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is the center of the world.

To treat your facts with imagination is one thing, to imagine your facts is another.

My life has been a fortunate one; I was born under a lucky star. It seems as if both wind and tide had favoured me. I have suffered no great losses, or defeats, or illness, or accidents, and have undergone no great struggles or privations; I have had no grouch. I have not wanted the earth.

To strong, susceptible characters, the music of nature is not confined to sweet sounds.

As life nears its end with me, I find myself meditating more and more upon the mystery of its nature and origin, yet without the least hope that I can find out the ways of the Eternal in this or in any other world.

Without the emotion of the beautiful, the sublime, the mysterious, there is no art, no religion, no literature.

We are really here to be happy and to make others happy.

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see.

There is something very human in this apparent mirth and mockery of the squirrels. It seems to be a sort of ironical laughter, and implies self-conscious pride and exultation in the laughter.

I have loved the feel of the grass under my feet, and the sound of the running streams by my side. The hum of the wind in the tree-tops has always been good music to me, and the face of the fields has often comforted me more than the faces of men.

One of the most graceful of warriors is the robin. I know few prettier sights than two males challenging and curveting about each other upon the grass in early spring. Their attentions to each other are so courteous and restrained.

One reason, doubtless, why squirrels are so bold and reckless in leaping through the trees is that, if they miss their hold and fall, they sustain no injury. Every species of tree-squirrel seems to be capable of a sort of rudimentary flying, at least of making itself into a parachute, so as to ease or break a fall or a leap from a great height.

My motto is never to try to imitate anybody: I have always looked inward and followed the inward voice.

No one else looks out upon the world so kindly and charitably as the pedestrian; no one else gives and takes so much from the country he passes through.

England is not a country of granite and marble, but of chalk, marl, and clay.

I crave and seek a natural explanation of all phenomena upon this earth, but the word 'natural' to me implies more than mere chemistry and physics. The birth of a baby and the blooming of a flower are natural events, but the laboratory methods forever fail to give us the key to the secret of either.

Wisdom cannot come by railroad or automobile or aeroplane, or be hurried up by telegraph or telephone.

Even in rugged Scotland, nature is scarcely wilder than a mountain sheep, certainly a good way short of the ferity of the moose and caribou.

The dog is often quick to resent a kick, be it from man or beast, but I have never known him to show anger at the door that slammed to and hit him. Probably, if the door held him by his tail or his limb, it would quickly receive the imprint of his teeth.

Travel and society polish one, but a rolling stone gathers no moss, and a little moss is a good thing on a man.

When a herd of cattle see a strange object, they are not satisfied till each one has sniffed it; and the horse is cured of his fright at the robe, or the meal-bag, or other object, as soon as he can be induced to smell it. There is a great deal of speculation in the eye of an animal, but very little science.

A somebody was once a nobody who wanted to and did.

England is like the margin of a spring-run: near its source, always green, always cool, always moist, comparatively free from frost in winter and from drought in summer.

I have discovered the secret of happiness - it is work, either with the hands or the head. The moment I have something to do, the draughts are open and my chimney draws, and I am happy.

The queen, I say, is the mother bee; it is undoubtedly complimenting her to call her a queen and invest her with regal authority, yet she is a superb creature and looks every inch a queen.

We now use the word 'nature' very much as our fathers used the word 'God.'

The Infinite cannot be measured. The plan of Nature is so immense, but she has no plan, no scheme, but to go on and on forever. What is size, what is time, distance, to the Infinite? Nothing. The Infinite knows no time, no space, no great, no small, no beginning, no end.

Like tens of thousands of others, I have been a spectator of, rather than a participator in, the activities - political, commercial, sociological, scientific - of the times in which I have lived.

Why, we have invented the whole machinery of the supernatural, with its unseen spirits and powers, good and bad, to account for things, because we found the universal everyday nature too cheap, too common, too vulgar.

Women are about the best lovers of nature, after all; at least of nature in her milder and more familiar forms. The feminine character, the feminine perceptions, intuitions, delicacy, sympathy, quickness, are more responsive to natural forms and influences than is the masculine mind.

The naturist must see all things in the light of his experiences in this world.

Birds and animals probably think without knowing that they think; that is, they have not self-consciousness. Only man seems to be endowed with this faculty; he alone develops disinterested intelligence, intelligence that is not primarily concerned with his own safety and well-being but that looks abroad upon things.

A plump, well-fed stream is as satisfying to behold as a well-fed animal or a thrifty tree. One source of charm in the English landscape is the full, placid stream the season through; no desiccated watercourses will you see there, nor any feeble, decrepit brooks, hardly able to get over the ground.

Whitman will always be a strange and unwonted figure among his country's poets, and among English poets generally: a cropping out again, after so many centuries, of the old bardic prophetic strain.