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All Quotes by author - John Burnside
" All my life, I have been a celebrant of Halloween. For me, it is the most important day of the year, the turning point in the old pagan calendar. "
" Anyone who has ever stopped to watch a hawk in flight will know that this is one of the natural world's most elegant phenomena. "
" As a child, I was consumed with a near-obsessive curiosity about what the world felt like for other creatures. "
" For 10 years, I gave away my possessions every year and moved on to a new place. "
" For a boy of ten, used to the coal bings and rust-coloured burns of Cowdenbeath, the fields and woodland of Kingswood, with its overgrown but stately avenue of copper-barked sequoias, felt like a local version of paradise. "
" High Alpine meadows, like their near relatives prairie, desert and certain varieties of wetland, teach us to consider the world from a fresh perspective, to open our eyes and take account of what we have missed, reminding us that, in spite of our emphasis on the visual in everyday speech, we see so very little of the world. "
" Hunted for sport by the rich, then driven from large tracts of its natural habitat by agricultural and housing development, the giant panda deserves better than to be scrubbed from conservation's ledger books through false accounting. "
" I don't like the term 'mental illness.' I'd rather just say 'mad.' Just like I always say 'loony bin,' not 'mental hospital.' "
" If nature offers no home, then we must make a home one way or another. The only question is how. "
" I have never understood why so many gardeners favour straight lines and narrow, regulated borders; perhaps they think wildness could work only in a larger space. "
" I know that the only reason American landscapes sometimes disappoint me is that, just a century before I was born, the great rivers and prairies and wild forests still existed. And they were sublime. "
" It may be a cliche, but cliche or not, I fear the day when the only marsh harriers or peregrines I can look at are in paintings by Joseph Wolf or Bruno Liljefors - and no matter how beautiful those works may be, life is the great thing: life, life, life. "
" It's important to have quiet time and isolation. "
" It takes a true encounter to realise that real animals, wild animals, have all but passed from our lives. "
" My father was this big, tough guy, almost heroic in proportion to me as a child. It was only later that I saw how fearful he was. "
" Once upon a time, forests were repositories of magic for the human race. "
" Sometimes, when the wind hits hard and icicles form on the sea cliffs, we can all come together - and at those times, we are at our best. "
" There is a red sandy beach in the Minas Basin in Nova Scotia that is unlike any other shore landscape I have ever seen. The world's highest tides wash its shores, and the soft cliffs of Blomidon Provincial Park are constantly crumbling away; whole trees will occasionally slide down to the sea to decay slowly in the wind and brine. "
" The son of a Fife mining town sledder of coal-bings, bottle-forager, and picture-house troglodyte, I was decidedly urban and knew little about native fauna, other than the handful of birds I saw on trips to the beach or Sunday walks. "
" The woods were a boon; all too often, the forest offered danger and mystery. Yet it could be liberating. If you entered that wild place on its own terms, you might be accorded wisdom. "
" This is a truth that should be repeated like a mantra: to have any chance of a ful - filling life, we require not only clean air and a steady climate, but also an abundance of meadows and woodlands, rivers and oceans, teeming with life and the mass existence of other living creatures. "
" We do not need to be heroes to save the world; all we need is humility, a critical view of the commercial and political interests of those who would mislead us into wrongdoing, and a sense of wonder. "
" What is essential - the one thing that could stop us being coarsened to other lives - is that we feel a great, living wave of animal life all around us, covering the earth. "
" What the flamingo teaches a child, at that subliminal level where animal encounters work, is that gravity is not just a limitation, but also a possible partner in an intriguing, potentially joyful game. "
" With each passing decade, history becomes less real for us, less immediate and essential to our way of life, and so, like 'green' nature, more of a commodity or an advertising gimmick. "
" Worldwide, enormous areas of peatland are still being lost to agricultural development, drainage schemes, overgrazing, and exploitation-based infrastructure development projects such as roads, electricity pylons, telephone masts and gas pipelines. "
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