A recurrent theme in my blogs has been memorable moments in nature. In no way is this to suggest that remarkable occurrences don’t also happen in human-made environments. As I write about once-in-a-lifetime experiences in nature, my mind often drifts to equally wonderful occasions not linked to wild places. These recollections are about events that took place in auditoriums, museums, on busy city streets, and at home. Interestingly, some of the best non-nature memories were nature related, just nature once removed. By this, I mean that they were interpretations of nature by intermediaries such as writers, artists, film makers, even architects and landscape architects. For example, I remember my only visit to New York’s Museum of Modern Art. After an hour of wandering from gallery to gallery, I stepped into a new room and immediately saw Van Gogh’s Starry Night. My memory of the event, which I suspect has been embellished over time, is that the crowd momentarily parted and, for several seconds, there was no one standing between me and the painting half way across the room. I didn’t even know Starry Night was in the museum, which, of course, was what made the moment special.

Steven Simpson