Nature writing conjures up images of remote mountains, exotic birds, and the solitary hiker in pristine wilderness. But maybe it’s time to rethink our notions of what it means to write about nature, so that we also look at the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, and the curious fact that mostly poor people live near hazardous waste sites. A new generation of nature writers calls for a messier and more human take on the natural world. Also, a conversation with renowned poet Gary Snyder on nature, Buddhism and "the practice of the wild."
And a walk on Cape Cod, photos of which you can see here.
If you'd like to read some excerpts from "The Colors of Nature", visit the segment page.
David Gessner wants to change the way people write about nature. Instead of the traditional stories about wild animals in pristine landscapes, he calls for a style of nature writing that's messy, even raucous.
Nature writer Robert Finch gives Steve Paulson an insider's view of the ecosystem of the Cape Cod town of Wellfleet. They walk along the outskirts of Wellfleet, and visit shellfish growers Pat and Barbara Woodbury, who are raking for clams.
Lauret Savoy believes too many nature writers focus on pristine wilderness and neglect the gritty reality of the places where people actually live - in cities, for instance, maybe even near toxic waste sites - which forces us to grapple with questions about race and poverty.
Pulitzer prize-winning poet Gary Snyder reflects on what it means to be a Buddhist animist, his Zen training in Japan, the meaning of gratitude, and the importance of exploring "the wild areas of the mind."