Nature’s Depths

Walking through nature with John Palka, a neuroscientist who loves plants and ponders big questions

Mississippi Sunset

Valuing Nature


Nature’s Depths is dedicated to exploring the natural world, seeking to understand it to an ever greater degree, and cultivating a sense of being an integral part of it. In this post, however, I will explore not so much ways of understanding but rather ways of valuing. As we’ll see, understanding and valuing are closely intertwined.

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Magnolia buds in Seattle

The Buds of Spring


While the colors of the winter months are mostly muted, spring brings fresh greens, pinks, yellows, and soon the full, vibrant palette of freshly emerged flowers. Where do all those fresh leaves and brilliant flowers come from? The buds.

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Drops of sap forming, Eastman Nature Center

The Sap Is Rising


Among the annual changes that occur in the deciduous forests of the Upper Midwest, the Northeast, and many parts of Canada is the extravagant production of the sweet sap of sugar maples (Acer saccharum, Family Sapindaceae) and a handful of other tree species.

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