Hal Borlan was an American naturalist, author and journalist who wrote a number of books about the outdoors, both fiction and non-fiction. Borland had studied engineering but before long he realised that he wanted to be an author and after pursuing a degree in literature from Columbia University, he started working as a journalist. He worked at the ‘Denver Post’, before going on to work at ‘Flagler News’, ‘United Press’, ‘Brooklyn Times’, ‘Philadelphia Morning Sun’ and finally at the ‘New York Times’. In 1987, he became the editorial director of ‘The New York Sunday Times’ and during this span he started writing books on the outdoors. Some of the noted books written by Borland include ‘Country Editor’s Boy’, ‘Seasons’, ‘Twelve Moons of the Year’, ‘Homeland: A Report from the Country’, ‘Hill Country Harvest’ and ‘The King of Squaw Mountain’. As an author, he wrote and expressed his thoughts on a subject that was rather niche but he left behind an excellent body of work that is still read by those interested in the subject. In his capacity as a journalist, he spoke openly on a range of subjects. Here is a collection of some notable quotes and thoughts by Hal Borland which have been raked from his articles, books, writings, journals and life.
Of all the everyday plants of the earth, grass is the least pretentious and the most important to mankind. It clothes the earth is an unmistakable way. Directly or indirectly it provides the bulk of man's food, his meat, his bread, every scrap of his cereal diet. Without grass we would all starve, we and all our animals. And what a dismal place this world would be!
If you ever wondered why fishing is probably the most popular sport in this country, watch that boy beside on the water and you will learn. If you are really perceptive you will. For he already knows that fishing is only one part fish.
There it is, fog, atmospheric moisture still uncertain in destination, not quite weather and not altogether mood, yet partaking of both.
All our yesterdays are summarized in our now, and all the tomorrows are ours to shape.
The longer I live and the more I read, the more certain I become that the real poems about spring aren't written on paper. They are written in the back pasture and the near meadow, and they are issued in a new revised edition every April.
All man has to do is cooperate with the big forces, the sun, the rain, the growing urge. Seeds sprout, stems grow, leaves spread in the sunlight. Man plants, weeds, cultivates and harvests. It sounds simple, and it is simple, with the simplicity of great truths.
To see a hillside white with dogwood bloom is to know a particular ecstasy of beauty, but to walk the gray Winter woods and find the buds which will resurrect that beauty in another May is to partake of continuity.
The earth's distances invite the eye. And as the eye reaches, so must the mind stretch to meet these new horizons. I challenge anyone to stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see a new expanse not only around him, but in him, too.
A root, a stem, a leaf, some means of capturing sunlight and air and making food - in sum, a plant. The green substance of this earth, the chlorophyll, is all summed up in the plants. Without them we perish, all of us who are flesh and blood.
Catch a vista of maples in that long light and you see Autumn glowing through the leaves.... The promise of gold and crimson is there among the branches, though as yet it is achieved on only a stray branch, an impatient limb or an occasional small tree which has not yet learned to time its changes.