Handbook of Nature

Anna Botsford Comstock wrote this book a century ago, and it has so much fresh and insightful wisdom, a pleasure to read to prepare for nature studies and nature walks.

Some excerpts from the book:

After all, what is the chief sigh of growing old? Is it not the feeling that we know all there is to be known? It is not years what make people old; it is ruts, and limitation of interests.When we no longer care about anything but our own interests, we are then old, it matters not whether our years be twenty or eighty. (page 4)

Much of the naughtiness in school is a result of the child's lack of interest in his work, augmented by the physical inaction that results from an attempt to sit quietly. (page 4).

If the teacher says, "I have a pink hepatica. Can anyone find me a blue one?" the children, who naturally like grownup words, will soon be calling these flowers hepaticas. But if the teacher says, "These flowers are called hepaticas. Now please everyone remember the name. Write it in your books as I write it on the blackboard, and in half and hour I shall ask you again what it is, " the pupils naturally look upon the excercise as a word lesson and its real significance is lost. (page 11)

EXCELLENT BLOG on how to keep Nature Journals and how to do nature studies.

4 opinion(s):

Pam... said...

Oh, Silvia dear, I missed this darling post and it is so delicious! lol! (You know how in reading from these older authors, one begins to speak more eloquently with due politeness!)
I confess to only using the book sparingly, just to look up stuff. (That was me, being mad that the spine cracked down the middle when I purchased it 'new'. Eh hem.)
But now I will forgive the binder and discover the author anew! Thanks! (ps. I don't really talk like that at home; but I should!!!)

Pam... said...

I think your feedjit below has me living in Rochester, New York, instead of plain old Michigan! Oops.

Silvia said...

How funny! Ha ha ha... good thing I KNOW you live in Michigan, or something that is been sent to you today that way would have ended up stranded in New York.
This has two possible explanations, one the feedjit is plain crazy, or two, what did you write in your info in google reader or google? I do not know where feedjit picks that from, but is there a place where you may have signed up with an alter ego from Rochester? That is a mystery.

Silvia said...

I bought mine at amazon, and it is a library one in good shape. I also admit the shape of it relies in the fact it has not been opened much either! And when I got it I would have insisted I could not live without it, ha ha ha.

I do love these authors, you are right about how they elevate us. And you should not be ashamed of that great command of the English language you have and incorporate some words at home.

Karen Andreola did use clever words at home, she also told her children when they picked a not so good word from a song they heard at the dentist as she tells us in her book, or somewhere (children have their sources to do this, ha ha ha), she told them this word is very outlandish! She said she made the point of trying to use some of these words we read and know but we shy off from sometimes.

And "stop looking at old posts" ha ha ha, it is scary! I sometimes look at this blog and say "did I write that?" So if you find something OUTLANDISH, or dissonant, please tell!


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