This past week, Patrick Barkham, a renowned nature and travel writer from the UK, visited one of my distance learning classes to discuss the process, challenges, and future of nature and travel writing.
So, I wanted to share some of his great writing with you.
Here’s a snippet from his latest book, Islander. As he explores the Island of Man, he describes the island’s rather disturbing looking emblem, a triskelion, which is three bent legs extending from a central point:
A joke from the 1930s reckons one leg is fleeing from Ireland, the second is kicking Scotland, and the third is bending to England. These days, this ancient symbol is deployed more assertively. Whichever way these symmetrical legs of Man are thrown, … they always land on their feet.
Another beautifully written book by Barkham is Badgerlands.
… the badger is an unmistakeable beast, the very opposite of a camouflaged creature. The size of a spaniel that has been completely reshaped, it has supremely powerful claws, the hulking neck of a bodybuilder, and of course, that fright mask: the long white face burnished by two black stripes … (which) shows up like a beacon in the gloom of the wood at night …
Perhaps someday, forest schools will become common in the US.
Wait, the movement has already begun. Check it out!
Let me know what you think about the idea of forest schools — where kids spend their formative years mostly outside. What would that do to our reading and math scores?