The long fight to save wild beauty represents democracy at its best. It requires citizens to practice the hardest of virtues – self-restraint. Why cannot I take as many trout as I want from a stream? Why cannot I bring home from the woods a rare wildflower? Because if I do, everybody in this democracy should be able to do the same. My act will be multiplied endlessly. To provide protection for wildlife and wild beauty, everyone has to deny himself proportionately. Special privilege and conservation are ever at odds.
Edwin Way Teale, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and naturalist, spent his life observing and recording his vivid experiences in, and encounters with, the natural world. We honor Teale and his legacy this Earth Day 2015 with a selection of photographs from his rich archive being preserved here at UConn. The excerpt is from Teale’s 1953 book Circle of the Seasons. The pictures were selected by Kristin Eshelman, Archivist for Multimedia Collections in Archives and Special Collections.