Rambles with John Burroughs, by Robert John Henderson


I have read John Burroughs’ My Boyhood and I really want to read more about my beloved naturalist.

From this book, I have known more about old John from different perspectives.

He have written countless essays. But his early writing were  greatly influenced by Emerson. He tried to write something that he was more familiar with, those he saw and love in everyday life, the birds, bees and flowers. He wrote much better later on and the freshness and primal sweetness of his writing captures the heart of readers. He earned his own place in literature and natural history.

I think he is one of the best that can combine literature and natural history into one, without scarify either poetic beauty or science accuracy.

I don’t seem to be in a mood to write poetry. One cannot write when he thinks to do so. He must have a deep consciousness of his message, if he would say something that will hold water

Doubtless, he was a busy man but he never lose a moment to observe nature. He loves walking and farming and claimed what he needed was a few books and plenty of things. Many people would say, I have no time on outdooring, I don’t have time to see the bird fly and flower blooming. Life is short, time is tight which is all true. But we can use every bit of our spare time to purse what we love. Never lose patience and curiosity, and our tie with nature won’t broke.

To any man, who would rise in the world, one thing must become evident; he must know that the idle moments must be the busiest of all.

The busy man is the happy man; the idle man is the unhappy. When you feel blue and empty and disconsolate, and life seems hardly worth living, go to work, with your hands-delve, hoe, shop, saw,churn, thrash, anything to quicken the pulse and dispel the fumes. The blue devils can be hoed under in less than a half hour.

John Burroughs, like Thoreau, is a great example of those have “plain living and high thinking“. He is a happy man and a big kid. I admire him. I can see where the happiness comes from.



Riverby stone house, up the Hudson river at West Park
John Burroughs in his Slabside cottage (Woodchuck lodge) which was built by himself. all the furnitures were hand made by John Burroughs
Woodchuck Lodge, Home of John Burroughs Roxbury, NY
John Burroughs Roxbury summer house
the Woodchuck lodge







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