Robert L. Peters

17 November 2017

Over two million biodiversity illustrations… online.

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The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL), an “open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives,” has for many years been making it easy for people to connect to nature through nature writing and illustration. Its “first stream,” currently at 122,281 images, has been carefully curated, and includes searchable galleries and albums divided by book title or subject, such as “Exotic botany illustrated,” “The Birds of Australia v.1,” and “Bats!” Its “second stream,” consisting of over 2 million images, is a massive grab-bag of photos, illlustrations from nature, advertisements, and imaginative renderings.

This digital library offers potential for chance discovery through “the aimless wandering that often leads to serendipitously sublime experiences.” The image archives “offer expansive views of humanity’s encounter with the natural world, not only through statistics and academic jargon, but through the artistic recording of wonder, scientific curiosity, and deep appreciation.” Many of the images allow “zooming in” to carefully observe details of the artists’ illustrative processes.

Enjoy! (source)

 


13 November 2017

A “warning to humanity”…

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More than 15,000 scientists around the world have just issued a global warning: there needs to be change in order to save Earth. It comes 25 years after the first notice in 1992 when a mere 1,500 scientists issued a similar warning.

“To prevent widespread misery and catastrophic biodiversity loss, humanity must practice a more environmentally sustainable alternative to business as usual. This prescription was well articulated by the world’s leading scientists 25 years ago, but in most respects, we have not heeded their warning. Soon it will be too late to shift course away from our failing trajectory, and time is running out. We must recognize, in our day-to-day lives and in our governing institutions, that Earth with all its life is our only home.”

Read the full CBC article here

 


12 November 2017

You will find more lessons in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux


15 August 2017

Natural Reflections… our new book.

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Mike Grandmaison and I are currently proofing our new book, Natural Reflections, now in pre-production at Rocky Mountain Books. It’s a project we started on together back in the late 1980s… finally coming to fruition. More info here

An inspiring and highly original book of photography takes the reader on an unforgettable walk through the vast and wide beauty of “Natural Canada.”

Natural Reflections captures natural beauty from the exceptional viewpoint and unique perspective of Mike Grandmaison’s lens. A singular gallery of images is curated, amplified and informed by the observations of Robert L. Peters.

Filled with insightful musings, truisms and parallel quotations from some of the world’s greatest thinkers, this book is bound to inspire and truly engage both halves of the brain. Divided into five contemplative chapters – On Inspiration, On Seeing, On Intimacy, On Order, On Change – this lavishly produced volume comprises a rich and seamless interweaving of image and word.

This is a book not to be missed by anyone interested in the natural world (and its preservation), the art of outdoor photography, the creative process or this vast land called Canada.

The photographer and author, long-time friends and avid nature-lovers, share the humble view that, like a Mother, the Earth both bore us and sustains us, asking little in return but love and respect. This book is their reciprocal tribute and holistic offering.


15 March 2017

Solace House… has been sold.

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Solace House, along with a beautiful 40-acre parcel of woodland in Eastern Manitoba, is now home to a new young family. It’s been hard to “let go” of this low-energy passive solar “retreat” that we designed and built 37 years ago… but there’s also much to say about achieving closure, and as they say, “the time had come.” I feel blessed to have been able to spend those three-and-a-half decades living in the forest, accutely aware of the sun’s power, and being intrinsically engaged in a “real-time experiment” in conservation and sustainability.

Congratulations and best wishes to the home’s new owners!


13 August 2016

Solace House… a place under the sun, naturally.

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Solace House, the low-energy passive solar house that I designed and built in in the woods of Eastern Manitoba in 1980, (together with my wife and numerous family members, friends, and volunteers) has undergone a year of extensive renovations and has now been “put on the market.” Huge thanks to Evelin and my steadfast brother Jim for their tireless help in the past year.

You can learn all about Solace House at an informational/marketing website I’ve created here.

Watch a TEDxManitoba talk about Solace House (now viewed over 5000 times on YouTube) here.


11 September 2011

Never boring… Aurora Borealis.

Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba

On Saturday night, Ev and I enjoyed a long evening of fire-pit fellowship with her daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Derek… and in spite of a shockingly bright (almost full-moon) sky, watching shooting stars and dancing Aurora Borealis. Ev’s grandsons Sam and Jayden meanwhile spent hours playing moonlight soccer, and gleefully staged stealth-attacks on the fireside grown-ups (the hundreds of too-bitter-to-eat pears falling from her tree offered an unlimited supply of ammo).

Unbeknownst to me, my outstanding photographer friend Mike Grandmaison was at the same time capturing images of the Northern Lights at Matlock, just a few clicks south along the lake… shown above is one of the images he’s just shared with me.

Our First Nation peoples thought of Aurora Borealis as a manifestation of deceased ancestors; ancient Norsemen envisioned warlike virgins on horses armed with helmets, swords, and spears; and though I know the phenomena is caused by the collision of energetic charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere, I like to think of the Northern Lights as waves of experiential unction sent to us as a gift of metaphysical affirmation.


27 August 2011

Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river.

Malagasy proverb


30 April 2011

Da Morto A Orto (from redundant to abundant)

Milan, Italy

Recycled furniture meets greenery in Peter Bottazzi and Denish Bonpace’s recycled planters—presented at the recent Milan Furniture Fair. The pair breathes new life into abandoned wooden furniture… each unique planter is repurposed from everyday objects—chairs, shelving, carts, tables, and stands fused together and given new life as a home for lush greenery. (source)


28 March 2011

Crossing crevassed terrain…

(even as they recede…)

When traveling across glaciers, it’s obviously best to avoid crevassed areas if at all possible. While skis lessen the possibility of punching through the snow layer in winter (a ski distributes your body weight more broadly than a boot), negotiating snow-bridges and moving safely above the snow- or firn-line* where underlying crevasses can lurk can be harrowing as well.

Photos (from the top): crossing The President Glacier, BC (photo by friend David Cormie); the sphincter-tightening process of negotiating melting snow bridges; belaying my partner Peter Aitchison as he jumps icy streams atop the firn (the water disappeared into bottomless sink-holes here and there with a terrifyingly-deep flushing sound); happily roped-up with colleagues on a Bugaboos ascent; crossing a tricky bit of steep glare-ice using French technique (pied à plat) for good crampon purchase, trying not to think about the long run-out below.

* the firn-line is the highest level to which the fresh snow on a glacier’s surface retreats during the melting season, or the line separating the accumulation area from the ablation area


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