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On the trail at Zachary Taylor Park

Today’s hike was perfect: perfect weather, shady, and sufficiently challenging. If you start at the entrance on Military Road and follow the trail “up” to the entrance of Marymount University and return, that’s a nice hike. People of all sorts were doing that today. Some were running, some walking briskly, and others walking their dogs. Everyone was respectful and on this trail, there are no bikes to worry about.

Having a good workout on Zachary Taylor Park trail
Having a good workout on Zachary Taylor Park trail
James George
Crossing Donaldson Run
James George

What is interesting is to see the many places where water feeds Donaldson Run. You can imagine how it must have been when underground pipes were absent. Many neighborhoods would have been fairly soggy, and beavers were probably making ponds in a number of locations.

If you want to imagine the nostalgic old times, just drive along an Arlington roadway and everytime that you see a metal storm drain think “stream.” Yes, that was where there was once a stream. You can see telltale signs by observing the landscape to witness sloping and indented surfaces where water once ran freely.

The good news is that some very wealthy people with nice homes have given some resources to the purpose of maintaining some of these streams. That needs to happen more places.

While in Tokyo, Japan, I observed how citizens there convert open and natural water sources into splendid gardens and park features. There is a name for the philosophy behind that. The Chinese idea is Taoism, living in harmony. When Martin Ogle was Chief Naturalist of Arlington County, he promoted Gaia theory that is a more robust application of ecology and systems theory.

The slideshow from this morning shows how I tracked the landscape, observing plants, waterflow, and architectural relics from legacy drainage engineering. There are many natural features too such as rock surfaces that cross the stream. Imagine pioneers crossing a swollen stream at those places.

I have advocated sustainable economics as a foundation for consideration. See the related links at

“Conservation Ethics and the Japanese Intellectual Tradition

R. Shannon Duval

Environmental Ethics

A systematic philosophy that presupposes an ecocentric world view, rather than a homocentric or egocentric world view, can be a viable resource for investigating issues in environmental philosophy and conservation ethics. Generally speaking, the Japanese philosophical and religious tradition represents a commitment to ecocentrism. This philosophical orientation is in concert with the world view of many naturalists. We explore one example of ecocentrism by unveiling the crosscultural connection between the naturalistic philosophy of Louis Agassiz, a nineteenth-century French-American biologist, and the early writings of Nishida Kitarō, a twentieth-century Japanese philosopher. We suggest that the central player in understanding the ecocentric connection between Agassiz and Nishida is American philosopher-psychologist William James. James was once a student of Agassiz and his writings influenced Nishida's early work.”

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