Beacon Press

Beacon Press is an independent publisher of serious non-fiction and fiction. Our books often change the way readers think about fundamental issues; they promote such values as freedom of speech and thought; diversity, religious pluralism, and anti-racism; and respect for diversity in all areas of life. Visit our website at
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Posts tagged "Nature"

Check out Michael Lanza’s breathtaking hike through the Sawtooth Mountains

Love the great outdoors? Check out Michael’s book, Before They’re Gone to read about the year his family spent exploring our National Parks.  

Have you visited Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas and thought you spotted a cardinal? It’s more likely you saw a Pyrrhuloxia, a bird found in the desert southwest. How did the Pyrrhuloxia get it’s name? And what does it mean? It’s all Greek to us. Really, it’s Greek. The Pyrrhuloxia’s name comes from the combination of two Greek words: “flame,” which has to do with the male’s red breast, and “crooked,“ referring to its large beak.

To learn more about our fine-feathered friends, check out Mike O’Connor’s Why Do Bluebirds Hate Me?

In a recent post on his blog The Big Outdoors, Michael Lanza offers a thrilling view of the Summit of Mt. Flume, Franconia Ridge, White Mountains, NH. With three decades of hiking under his belt, Michael recalls some of his past White Mountain hikes, including his ambitious day trip of the 32-mile, 10,000-vertical-foot Pemi Loop.  

Read more about his journey from Crawford Notch to Franconia Notch and see more breathtaking photos.

Read about his year-long journey to introduce his children to the National Parks most affected by climate change in Before They’re Gone: A Family’s Year-Long Quest to Explore America’s Most Endangered National Parks.

Happy birthday, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was born 210 years ago today! Emerson, who began his career as a Unitarian minister, went on to become the preeminent lecturer, essayist, and philosopher of 19th century America. The founder of the Transcendentalist movement, he is the author of classic essays including “Self-Reliance,” “Nature,” and “The American Scholar.”

Click to find out more about his spiritual and political writing.

Happy National Poetry Month! Here’s Mary Oliver reading “The Summer Day” to get things started!

Happy 195th birthday to Henry David Thoreau! Thoreau was an American philosopher, naturalist, and a leading transcedentalist. His essays on the relationship between people and nature are credited with inspiring the conservation movement. His masterpiece, Walden chronicles his two years living in the woods and is considered a nature classic. Learn more about Thoreau’s legacy at The Walden Woods Project.

On April 27, 1882, the influential essayist, lecturer, and social reformer Ralph Waldo Emerson passed away. Nicknamed “the Concord Sage,” Emerson was a founding member of the Transcendentalism Movement and championed the free individual in a turbulent society. His masterful essay Nature and other essential writings are collected in The Spiritual Emerson.As a public intellectual in the mid-19th century, Emerson wrote numerous political essays and his best were collected in The Political Emerson.

Six more weeks of winter or an early spring, what’s your prediction for tomorrow?

Photo: The London Free Press (website, scribd)

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do / with your one wild and precious life?"

Mary Oliver reads “The Summer Day” from New and Selected Poems, Vol. 1. (Beacon Press, 1992). Audio from the CD At Blackwater Pond.