Working with Nature and with Landscapes

Modifications of Nature:

The physical environment offers many challenges and opportunities. We ask how to make the least modification in the environment to accommodate for human needs. Rarely does walking in the forest and coming upon a man-made artifact or camping spot feel like increased beauty or vitality. It generally feels like a violation of the continuity of nature and even a blemish on its fabric. Rustling Roots asks why it is that a raccoon den, a birds nest, or a termite mound look like “more” nature and human activities look like less. We are pursuing returning to an intuitive and indigenous way of working with nature so to not create aberrations but “elaborations” of the existing landscape.

Ponds and lakes have an enormously important role in ecology, but by their fundamental nature they are self-extinguishing as they silt up or stagnate over time. Though this is a natural process, as maintaining a pond is human activity, we ask how we could creating such ecological opportunities for all wildlife to drink or reside in a pond without having to use caustic chemicals to maintain it. We seek to be creators and stewards of bodies of water as much as beavers are without creating toxic environment for other species.

It is easy to create a dogma around these processes such as using only natural materials, never using any power tools, or not spending any money on construction to somehow “decontaminate” elements of humanity. What we are seeking is to integrate our various human faculties to create beautiful and lush environments that would be a celebration rather than a denial of our humanity.