There is nothing more helpful to a writer than to walk in nature.
The Road of a Naturalist, by Donald Culross Peattie, published in 1948.
It was then that I discovered that the desert dandelions and Mojave asters and many other flowers close up at night. And other flora, nocturnal, steals into bloom. All day long one lax and weedy plant had looked dead, its flowers withered. But by twilight this wild four-o-clock secretly opened its rose-pink calyces and emitted a faint odour.
The West is a kingdom of evening primroses; though I knew many species, still I was unprepared for the dune primrose I found in the desert dusks. Its crepuscular flowers are like as those of a wild rose when they open, but insubstantial as spider floss, great moth like petals languidly expanding as if still oppressed with the long siesta of the day.
Naturalist is a favourite book of mine. How can one not love the words written by Donald Peattie, I read a page or two when I feel the need to be absorbed by this quiet American voice that speaks so eloquently of nature’s beauty.
Enjoy a week of reading, walking and writing.
4 responses to “The Road of a Naturalist”
Thank you, Elise for sharing this beautiful passage.
Yes, it is a truly lovely book. Some authors are magic!
He writes so evocatively. Beautiful!
I so agree, Ellen.
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