Chasing Nature … and Ideas

Moonrise over the Grand Canyon’s South Rim / © Bryan Pfeiffer

Let’s be honest: Nature writing is somewhat a fraud. No matter how lyrical, it’s never as good as actual nature. With that in mind, Chasing Nature’s intent is to get you outside to enjoy and maybe make some sense of the world.

Here you’ll discover owls and orchids, sexual selection and gender identity, warfare and warblers, the extinction and climate crises, joy and wonder (lots of joy and wonder). A field biologist and recovering journalist, I’ve been navigating this terrain for nearly a half century. Along the way my essays and articles about people and nature have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Orion, Aeon, Field & Stream and lots of other places.

Chasing Nature is for birders and botanists, for backyard and armchair naturalists, for thinkers and wanderers, for anyone who seeks refuge in wild nature, human nature, and the force of ideas expressed in short essays.

And yet I recognize that our brains can only absorb so much writing and knowledge. Chasing Nature’s mission isn’t necessarily to add to your information overload, but to bring shared meaning to things you probably already know or feel. That’s my pledge.

My Backstory

When not outside or writing, I have been — or still am — a bread baker, a pot washer, an air-pollution chemist, a firefighter, a mercenary writer, a print journalist, a professional photographer, and a consulting field biologist for governments, non-profits and private landowners. I’m adjunct faculty in natural resources at the University of Vermont, serve on the Vermont Endangered Species Committee, and trace my eco-roots in part to hard-core birdwatching and guiding (although I’ve since recovered from that affliction). I am also owned by an English shepherd named Odin.

Subscriber Benefits

Every subscriber gets most dispatches gratis.

Paid Subscribers (Monthly or Yearly)

You get the benefit of supporting independent writing that might do yourself (maybe even the world) some good. Chasing Nature can’t happen without you. Other perks include:

  • Every post, every essay, every image.

  • Access to GO WILD, which features occasional video seminars on nature, maps to wild things near you, and an insider email to paying subscribers a few times a year.

  • The knowledge that you’re making this adventure in writing and ideas possible for everyone. Thanks!

Founding Subscribers

The patrons among you get all of the above plus small-group video meets with me on a variety of topics, including AMAs (Ask Me Anythings).

By the way, if the fee is a barrier, send me an email. We’ll work it out.

Discussing essay ideas with Odin before “Stick Season” here in Vermont.

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Dispatches on wildlife, wild places and the human condition.


Field naturalist, recovering journalist, fledgling geezer, boy explorer. I chase flying things (mostly birds and insects) and ideas about human nature.