Environmental Ethics

What is the value of all living things? Tecpan, Guatemala Definition Of Ethics: The basic concepts and fundamental principles of decent human conduct. It includes study of universal values such as the essential equality of all men and women, human or natural rights, obedience to the law of land, concern for health and safety and, […]

Planetary Stewardship

For us to survive the planet must thrive To sustain is to maintain. With regard to ecosystems, sustainability isn’t enough. While protecting and invigorating certain ecosystems may be all that can be done to preserve what would otherwise be lost, the word “sustainability” allows us to continue to see the world as composed of “resources” […]

Nature’s Wisdom

We can learn it the easy way or the hard way Ecoliteracy involves an understanding of the basic principles of ecology. Understanding is the relatively easy part. The challenging part is living accordingly. Due to the specificity and complexity of this topic, I draw heavily upon The Systems View of Life: A Unifying Vision by […]

Water Lily: Symbol of Constancy

Water lilies are freshwater plants in the Nymphaeaceae family. The name derives from Greek legends where “nymphs” protected springs and streams. There are about 70 different species of water lilies, divided into eight different genre commonly found in garden ponds and landscape features. The roots dig deep into the ground underwater, while the leaves or […]

Mangrove: Symbol of Strength and Support

The genus name for mangrove is Rhizophorais, which comes from the Greek word rhiza meaning “root” and phoros meaning “bearing,” a reference to its stilt-like roots. The trees are highly adaptable, being the only ones that are salt-tolerant. They literally breathe through their roots, which take up the salt water and excreate it throught thick […]

Soil: Literally And Symbolically The “Ground”

Soils are “living” systems—a combination of ground minerals and organic matter that began to form in the Cambrian Explosion (550 mya) after a mass extinction of life-forms between the Permian and Triassic geologic periods. Today, soils are to the land what plankton are to the oceans—the bottom or ground of the food chain. On average, […]

XVIII. Simplicity / Complexity

The nature of this aesthetic dimension is expressed as a continuum, determined by the number of visual elements within the frame. A photograph of the moon against a black sky with no stars counts as one element. If the light of an airplane is visible, or if there are stars, each is another element. Changes […]


  In the 2010 movie, “Meek’s Cutoff,” a scout, claiming to know a shortcut through part of the treacherous Oregon Trail, led a wagon train of three families across a desert. Although the film doesn’t answer the burning question “Did they find water after many days without it?” the artful and realistic depiction of their […]

Energy Flow

  This leaf and the ones to follow have “reticulated” veins, meaning they repeatedly branch. I zoomed in on this one to better appreciate the extent of this phenomenon.     “Energy Flow” is an established scientific field that describes and analyzes food chains within ecosystems, involving producers, consumers and decomposers. As one who produces […]


  In this image I see perfection, a creature perfectly adapted to and living in harmony with its environment. Full disclosure, I tend to view all animals that way. By that I mean they are fully what and who they are, true to their nature with no desire to be other than that. Each species […]