One dispatch from the Alaskan Tundra

One dispatch from the Alaskan Tundra

I’m in Alaska right now with my awesome friend Catie. She grew up here and has been the most spectacular tour guide, leading me to a million amazing adventures. I’ll do a more thorough writeup when I get back, but one photo I took yesterday has me thinking, and I wanted to share it with you.

One of my favorite pieces of art is Albrecht Dürer’s “A Great Piece of Turf.” I love that he looked at this little clump of weeds and realized how great the diversity was in it, how beautiful the wildness of nature’s random arrangements can be. He painted it in 1503, so he was probably freaking a lot of people out by painting weeds, as that wasn’t really a thing to do back then. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Piece_of_Turf)

I’m thinking about it right now because I got to go blueberry picking on the tundra yesterday, and once I got over the novelty of picking handfuls of blueberries by the side of the road, and the squishy, bouncy, springiness of a whole field of foot-deep lichen (it really was like wading across a wet bouncy house), I was really floored to notice how many types of plants were growing underfoot in every square inch.

I don’t usually take photos of weeds, but I took more than you guys probably want to see. It was incredible.

Anyway, do me a favor and spend twenty minutes just trying to notice everything around you. It’s exhausting. You will absolutely be floored by how much you look at every day, but don’t see. Your heart and your mind will thank you for it.

cw1590861Piece of tundra, wild blueberries, mushroom, lichen

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