El tema central de este Blog es LA FILOSOFÍA DE LA CABAÑA y/o EL REGRESO A LA NATURALEZA o sobre la construcción de un "paradiso perduto" y encontrar un lugar en él. La experiencia de la quietud silenciosa en la contemplación y la conexión entre el corazón y la tierra. La cabaña como objeto y método de pensamiento. Una cabaña para aprender a vivir de nuevo, y como ejemplo de que otras maneras de vivir son posibles sobre la tierra.

martes, 3 de enero de 2012

La cabaña de Bernd Heinrich y su pasión por el bosque

Bernd Heinrich es el autor de numerosos libros premiados, entre ellos el best seller Mundiales de Invierno, la mente del Cuervo, y ¿Por qué corremos, y ha recibido incontables honores por su trabajo científico. Él también escribe para la revista Scientific American, científico del exterior, de América, y Audubon , y ha escrito reseñas de libros y artículos de opinión de The New York Times y el Los Angeles Times.
Estudió en la Universidad de Maine y la UCLA, y es profesor emérito de biología en la Universidad de Vermont. Heinrich divide su tiempo entre Vermont y los bosques del oeste de Maine.

A Year in the Maine Woods by Bernd Heinrich (1994)

When Bernd Heinrich retreated to a cabin in the mountainous forest of western Maine—a place “where the subtle matters, and the spectacular distracts”—he intended to live as close to nature as he could. He took a leave from his post as a professor of zoology at the University of Vermont so that he could take a turn as the eager pupil. He would let nature do the teaching.

The Maine woods, of course, hold an romanticized charm for most people from “away,” which native Mainers immediately dismiss because they understand the curse of blackflies and the rugged bitterness of winter. Heinrich likewise refuses to perpetuate any of that romantic bosh. The world he observes is wondrous enough on its own without being sentimentalized.
The result, A Year in the Maine Woods, is a beautiful, thoughtful meditation on his time in the wilderness. He observes nature with a scientist’s eye and intention, he understands it with a naturalist’s hearts, and he writes about it with a poet’s grace.
“Traveling around this wilderness, you see the fresh tracks of moose and deer, as well as bear-claw scratches on the smooth gray trunks of the beechnut trees,” he says, noting that “[m]ost of the lives around us go unnoticed. They leave no records. We see only bits and pieces, and then only if we look very, very close, or for very, very long.”
His year in the Maine woods gives him the chance to do both and then take scrupulous notes about what he notices, then engage in deep reflection on those experiences and observations.
One of the great treats of the book is that Heinrich always leaves himself open to wonder. “The capacity to wonder allows us to anticipate, and that is a very big adaptive step,” the biologist in him explains—but it’s also apparent that, science aside, Heinrich finds great joy through his sense of wonder.
“On a steep part of the hill there is a tiny pool fed by a spring,” he recounts, by way of illustration. “It is not the place I would expect to see a snapping turtle, but there it was, just below the surface.” The turtle, only four-inches long, has happened upon the pool far from any habitat the turtle would normally be occupying. Heinrich mulls over the surprise of it, coming to no answers but giving the reader a rich set of questions to ponder for themselves.
In fact, his ponderings give the book tremendous personal resonance, preventing it from ever being a simple nature journal. He ponders questions scientific and humanistic, from the defense mechanisms employed by various caterpillars to the nature of consciousness and conscience.
When his kids come to visit, he takes his son fishing at a spot where he and his own father had fished years and years before. Heinrich wonders if the wilderness can make the same impression in his son as it did on him. “How much of an artificial, make-believe world will have any meaning for him after he grows up?” he wonders. “I still have the fish, then and now, and the anchor to reality forged on long-ago afternoons spent in a place still intact, still moving me.”
That Heinrich is deeply affected by his surroundings shows up in the way he writes about them. For example:
The stars last night were so brilliant you’d expect them to crackle. But this morning there is a gentle fog that makes the meadow and the woods dreamlike. The sky is lead gray, and so the oranges and yellows of the maples stand out in vibrant contrast. The fog makes everything slightly out of focus, taking the edge off things, so you see only the splashes of color. The moss is luminescent green from the dripping mist, and there is a nutty smell from the decaying vegetation.
He realizes, too, that words can sometimes fail even the most deft of writers, as illustrated when he tries to take in the rush of autumn color. “The imagination cannot retain such rich, vibrant colors, and descriptions necessarily fall short,” he admits.
A Year in the Maine Woods is time well spent. I cherished the long walks in the woods, the physical labor of maintaining the cabin and its environs, the wry sense of humor, the thoughtful musings about the natural world and humankind’s interactions with it. “We need to act logically, but we also need to act bio-logically,” he concludes, urging readers to support practices that “make intelligent use of our forest resources.” Never does he come across as preachy, though. This is just a guy who loves, loves, loves the Maine woods and is glad to be immersed in them.
“I came without a schedule and without plans, hoping time would stand still,” Heinrich writes. “In a way it has. But that’s because every minute of it has been precious. When the moment arrests, then the past and the future evaporate.”
For more on Bernd Heinrich, check out this video clip, ”Bernd Heinrich on Writing,” or the Jan Cannon Films project, An Uncommon Curiosity: At Home & In Nature with Bernd Heinrich.

Una mañana en la vieja cabaña de Bernd en los bosques de Maine. Muchos de sus 15 libros (hasta ahora) tienen su origen o se escribieron aquí.

A good time for writing. 

(...) A Year in the Maine Woods is based here. The Trees in My Forest was pretty much based here. Does this piece of land serve as a kind of muse for you? Or are you simply writing about what you know?
Both, I think. I know this more than any other place. Naturally you write about what you feel. What you have emotional content in. If you don't have emotional content, what's the sense of writing. So naturally I keep coming back here. I've done a lot of work with insects here, Bumblebee Economics, for instance. Certainly the ravens, the whole study area was here. Ravens in Winter was solely here. And out of that grew Mind of the Raven. That's another reason why I want to come back here. I feel connected not just because of the trees, but the ravens, the bees. Which goes way back to Floyd Adams. Right now I'm finishing a new manuscript called The Homing Instinct and I have another manuscript which is close to being finished. It's called Nature's Undertakers: Life Everlasting and the Balance of Nature. That again relates to ravens. I trap the mice out of the cabin and toss the carcasses out, and I get these burying beetles coming. I put a deer carcass out, roadkill and I watched what came to eat it and I got interested in recycling and undertakers. I was in Africa for a year or two (his time there recounted in The Snoring Bird (...)

(...)Here, it's new every time. Every winter it's something different. Like this year, there wasn't a single red-breasted nuthatch. I haven't seen once since last year. They used to be all over the place. I can notice these things. I also know which trees are producing seeds. This year there were no spruce cones, no pine seeds. Basically they depend on the conifer seeds, which is interesting in respect to the chickadees. The chickadee flocks would follow the nuthatches that spill seeds to the ground and they'd be foraging on that. This year the chickadee flocks were very, very small. You get ideas. And then you want to go back the next year to see how it's going to be then. How things change with time makes it interesting, it adds another dimension. Not just the physical layout. There's the past and the future.(...) (http://www.forestsformainesfuture.org/fresh-from-the-woods-journal/bernd-heinrich-writer-academic-maine-forestland-owner.html)

On the outside looking in.
Selecting a stone for the foundation of the new cabin.
Working on the roof of the new cabin. 

"Feelings of love and attachment, despite their imponderable qualities, are universal attributes of the vertebrate animals," Heinrich wrote in an early chapter of "The Nesting Season."

 ALGUNOS LIBROS de Bernd Heinrich:

Sitios Web imágenes: "AN UNCOMMON CURIOSITY: at home & in nature with BERND HEINRICH" follows ...

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