Sense of Place

Leopold near Chihuahua, Mexico, 1938
Photo: Starker Leopold

An era ago, a student of Nature named Aldo Leopold, after many years of living alongside the great American wilderness, wrote a classic book illustrating how a sense of place can become embedded in a person’s being. Some time later, an Austrian biologist stood on the banks of the Danube river and waxed poetic about his homeland. This man was Konrad Lorenz, and among his many discoveries as one of the founders of the field of animal behavior, or ethology, was that of imprinting. Imprinting is the process by which a young animal learns who its parents are. Gazing on this river, he mused that perhaps we imprint on the landscapes we belong to. Continue reading