It Takes Numerous Experts to Explore a One-Mile Path
Chet Raymo lists all the individuals he needed to consult to fully understand the path he walks each day.
Of course, no one person has the time, knowledge, or skill to learn everything about a landscape, so in my walks 1 have relied upon the labors of generations of botanists, ornithologists, zoologists, geologists, ecologists, meteorologists, astronomers. cultural historians, and a host of other specialists who have studied with particular care some feature of the natural world. Whenever possible, I queried people I met along the way: the old people who grew up in the landscape, who knew it in its former incarnations, who watched it change; and the children, who still have the capacity to see everything afresh and to see things the rest of us might miss. I have attended, too, to language. How did the wood anemone and Sheep Pasture get their names? What does the queset of Queset Brook signify in the language of Native Americans? Scratch a name in a landscape, and history bubbles up like a spring.