During the drive up to Aleza lake my mind was set on observing the more-than human world that my class and I were going to observe, but what I realized while I was staring out of the window of the bus was that the more-than human world was right there in front of me. I could already see the vibrant transformations of the trees as the autumn season swept over the landscape. I found myself in a trance as I stared upon the valleys, hills, and slopes of the passing landscapes. It has always been a dream of mine to venture out into the wild some day with a group of friends to observe firsthand the wonders of the natural world. To live in the wild would be an experience like no other as I would be able to see with my own eyes the relationship between the wildlife and its environment. Just as Henry Whittaker in the novel “The Signature of All Things,” by Elizabeth Gilbert, I would like to live in his foot steps and go on expeditions to learn about the natural world.

What I Observed:

     When we arrived at Aleza lake what struck out to me the most was the serenity of the environment. It’s not often when I get to appreciate these serene places that make you feel like you’re home. The only other time I can think of when I’ve experienced this was when I was raised in a Russian orphanage. The caretakers would take us outside to play and explore. I vaguely remember the nature walks we took into the forests where we would go mushroom and berry picking. I remember that as far as my eye could see there were tall, birch trees with their magnificent white trunks. I always admired the white trunks of these trees and to this day they remind me of Russia and all the memories I have of it.

Not only do I remember the unique trees and plants, but I remember the wildlife I encountered living in Russia. I remembered collecting large, black, beetles of some sort and putting them in a match box, so I could take them back to the orphanage. I’d place a piece of leaf in the box too thinking that it ate leaves, but in reality I had no clue what it ate. When I arrived in my room that I shared with other children I released it out of its confinement and it flew away and landed on a curtain.

Taking a closer look at the vast natural work around me at Aleza lake I discovered all kinds of plants and trees. I could see how everything was integrated with each other and how the environment around me depended on each other to thrive. The animals such as squirrels relied on the tree cones for food, the insects need plants for their nectar and in turn the insects carry pollen to other plants. As I stood on the balcony of the wooden house I stared into the endless view of the evergreen trees and thought of how extraordinary the world was. I thought about how every species of plants and animals have a unique structure and how they’re all beautiful in their own way. Taking the time to observe the beauty in nature has always been in my mind, but every single time I see something new, it always amazes me.


      In conclusion, this trip to Aleza lake have opened my eyes to see that no matter where you go, there is beauty everywhere whether it’s in a simple weed on the side of the road or a garden in someone’s home. This experience gave me an opportunity to relive my past experiences in nature and create new ones. The natural world is a vast, ever-changing environment that influences our cultures, our ways of thinking, and brings about information that changes the world we live in now.    

  “The old cobbler had believed in something he called “the signature of all things”-namely, that God had hidden clues for humanity’s betterment inside the design of every flower, leaf, fruit, and tree on earth. All the natural world was a divine code, Boehme claimed, containing proof of our Creator’s love.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert. The Signature of All Things