Nature Writers I Follow #1: Zeebra

There are times when I enjoy an eye-to-eye inspection of those exotic plants, and by capturing their likeness with pencil or water media, I discover minute details that otherwise might be missed. I always walk away with deeper respect for the plant and its support cast of companions. – Lisa Brunetti, Zeebra Designs & Destinations

She says she does it with graphic media.  Others do it with cameras or words or other forms of contemplation or meditation.  It’s about attention and intention, and it yields a clearer sense, if only a glimpse at a time, of the true nature of things, their union with each other and ours with it all, and with each other.  Lisa Brunetti expresses that sense in “pencil or water” media, and in words, and in photography.

In this series of posts (Nature Writers I Follow), I will salute (and recommend) some of the blogs I follow that inspire, inform or entertain my biophilic sensibility with their nature writing and related art.  Truly, it is not the blogs I follow, but their writers.  I appreciate these people for their awakening and supporting rational regard for humanity’s role in the natural order; i.e., part of it, not separate from it; in it, not above it.

I am amazed at how these obviously busy people I admire make time to write for us, share their art with us, and do it so well, free.  Maybe it’s like the old saying goes: if you want to get something done, ask the busiest person.  My lifestyle is too slow to get much done.

Challenged to choose the order of blogs to present here (who goes first?),  I’m going with reverse alphabetical order.

That puts Zeebra Designs & Destinations at the top of the list, and today’s … um … “victim” of my attention: professional artist, author, naturalist and (in my view) philosopher Lisa Brunetti, resident adoptive sister to the soul of Ecuador.  I’m just one of about 2,400 followers of her blog, no doubt from every curve of the earth (whoever came up with the idea of “corners of the earth?”).

Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919)

This is one of those rare occasions when I just want to share some pictures, and few words.  For a terrific, creatively written account of Haeckel’s roles in history, see: The Heavenly Zoo of Ernst Haeckel, an enjoyable read whether you like Haeckel or not, and a far better piece than I would write.

Below are some marvelous illustrations by the amazing Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), “German biologist, naturalist, philosopher, physician, professor and artist who discovered, described and named thousands of new species, mapped a genealogical tree relating all life forms …” (quoted from Wikipedia biography of Haeckel).  If he were here today, he’d be a blogger, too.

I ran into Haeckel during research for my post on British Soldier Lichens (Cladonia cristatella).  He grabbed my attention with this illustration of Cladonia lichens, with an index, that he created at the age of 26 (click to enlarge):

Key to index:
1. Cladonia retipora
2. Cladonia perfoliata
3. Cladonia verticillata
4. Cladonia squamosa
5. Cladonia fimbriata
6. Cladonia cornucopiae
7. Sticta pulmonaria
8. Parmelia stellaris
9. Parmelia olivacea
10.Parmelia caperata
11.Hagenia crinalis

But THAT, as they say, is NOTHING.   Here is just a splash of other Haeckel work and some pictures of him (click to open pictures in carousel mode, then look at the bottom right corner of any picture for the full view link):

If you like that glimpse of reality according to Haeckel, there are hundreds more examples of his magic.

And he’s a handsome fella, too!