Perspectives; Hal Borland

Harold “Hal” Glen Borland (May 14, 1900 – February 22, 1978) was an American author, journalist and naturalist. In addition to writing many non-fiction and fiction books about the outdoors, he was a staff writer and editorialist for The New York Times. Borland was born on the plains in Sterling, Nebraska. Hal later detailed his experience on the homestead in his book " High, Wide, and Lonesome ." After attending local schools, he studied at the University of Colorado from 1918-1920, majoring in engineering. While there, he held jobs at the Denver Post and the Flagler News. It was during this time he realized his true calling was as an author, and he soon moved to New York where he studied journalism and graduated from Columbia University in 1923 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature.

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“You can’t be suspicious of a tree, accuse a bird or squirrel of subversion or challenge the ideology of a violet”

“I grew up in those years when the Old West was passing and the New West was emerging. It was a time when we still heard echoes and already saw shadows, on moonlit nights when the coyotes yapped on the hilltops, and on hot summer afternoons when mirages shimmered, dust devils spun across the flats, and towering cumulus clouds sailed like galleons across the vast blueness of the sky. Echoes of remembrance of what men once did there, and visions of what they would do together.”

“The Earth’s distances invite the eye. And as the eye reaches, so must the mind stretch to meet these new horizons. I challenge anyone to stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see a new expanse not only around him, but in him, too.”

“A woodland in full color is awesome as a forest fire, in magnitude at least, but a single tree is like a dancing tongue of flame to warm the heart.”

“Here and there one sees the blush of wild rose haws or the warmth of orange fruit on the bittersweet, and back in the woods is the occasional twinkle of partridgeberries. But they are the gem stones, the rare decorations which make the grays, the browns and the greens seem even more quiet, more completely at rest."

“In a painful time of my life I went often to a wooded hillside where May apples grew by the hundreds, and I thought the sourness of their fruit had a symbolism for me. Instead, I was to find both love and happiness soon thereafter. So to me [the May apple] is the mandrake, the love symbol, of the old dealers in plant restoratives.”

“Two sounds of autumn are unmistakable…the hurrying rustle of crisp leaves blown along the street…by a gusty wind, and the gabble of a flock of migrating geese.”

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