A Sand County Almanac


Aldo Leopold

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A game bird common across the Northern Hemisphere.

Grouse Quotes in A Sand County Almanac

The A Sand County Almanac quotes below are all either spoken by Grouse or refer to Grouse. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Time and History  Theme Icon
Part II: Chihuahua and Sonora Quotes

The physics of beauty is one department of natural science still in the Dark Ages. Not even the manipulators of bent space have tried to solve its equations. Everybody knows, for example, that the autumn landscape in the north woods is the land, plus a red maple, plus a ruffed grouse. In terms of conventional physics, the grouse represents only a millionth of either the mass or the energy of an acre. Yet subtract the grouse and the whole thing is dead. An enormous amount of some kind of motive power has been lost.

It is easy to say tat the loss is all in our mind’s eye, but is there any sober ecologist who will agree? He knows full well that there has been an ecological death, the significance of which is inexpressible in terms of contemporary science. A philosopher has called this imponderable essence the numenon of material things. It stands in contradistinction to phenomenon, which is ponderable and predictable, even to the tossings and turnings of the remotest star.

The grouse is the numenon of the north woods, the blue jay of the hickory groves, the whisky-jack of the muskegs, the piñonero of the juniper foothills. Ornithological texts do not record these facts. I suppose they are new to science, however obvious to the discerning scientist. Be that as it may, I here record the discovery of the numenon of the Sierra Madre: the Thick-billed Parrot.

Related Characters: Aldo Leopold (speaker)
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:
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Grouse Term Timeline in A Sand County Almanac

The timeline below shows where the term Grouse appears in A Sand County Almanac. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part I: October
The Value of the Land Theme Icon
Leopold breaks hunting down into two categories:  category one is hunting grouse in Adams county when the tamaracks are smoky gold; category two is hunting anything else... (full context)
Types of Knowledge Theme Icon
When hunting for grouse in the tamaracks, Leopold trusts that his dog knows best. He enjoys the moments of... (full context)
The Value of the Land Theme Icon
Ethics and Ecology Theme Icon
...in a private place close to home, that has for some reason remained undiscovered. Hunting grouse fits into this second category. Most people do not know there are grouse in Adams County,... (full context)
The Value of the Land Theme Icon
Leopold finds great beauty in the nearby tamarack groves. Even when he is pursuing a grouse, he will take a moment to stop and observe blue gentian flowers nestled among golden... (full context)
Time and History  Theme Icon
On the last day of grouse season, Leopold observes “every blackberry blows out his light.” He wonders how the bushes sync... (full context)
Part I: November
The Value of the Land Theme Icon
Ethics and Ecology Theme Icon
...he recognizes how oaks felled by disease provide habitats for other animals, like raccoons and grouse, which he enjoys having around. (full context)
Part II: Chihuahua and Sonora
The Value of the Land Theme Icon
...an example of a landscape that is made beautiful by the addition of a ruffled grouse. However, he notes that a grouse is a tiny percentage of the “mass or the... (full context)