Does it Have to be Wilderness?

Modern Girl Walden

A red winged blackbird on my front porch this morning--didn't have to travel very far at all for that! A red winged blackbird on my front porch this morning–didn’t have to travel very far at all for that!

I often used to think I could never really write about nature, or write well about nature, because I never went to these amazing natural places. I live in Iowa, where less than one percent of our native prairie remains, and so it often felt like a lost cause. Growing up on a farm, I spent a lot of time in nature, and I probably observed more than I thought I did. Yet when I got to my first nature writing class in college I felt like I had absolutely nothing to offer. I didn’t even know where to find nature. As far as I was concerned, I was miles from anything anyone would consider nature.

After college I got a job working for a nonprofit conservation organization. Part of my…

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