I grew up on a farm north of Dover, Minnesota, where my childhood was shaped by excursions into the woods and pastures. When I was sixteen, my family moved to the farm my mom grew up on, south of Elgin, Minnesota. It was grandpa’s farm so it was familiar to me and has inspired some of my writing. Now I work on the family farm where we produce organically grown vegetables, fruits and cheese, along with raising grass fed beef and pork. I am also a beekeeper, though fairly new at it yet.
I graduated from the University of Minnesota at Morris with a degree in environmental studies. It was there I discovered nature writing and how much I enjoyed it through a course called reading and writing about nature. Before that course, I hadn’t thought about nature writing and was ignorant of the amazing nature writers in print. I was inspired by Aldo Leopold, Sigurd Olson, Rick Bass, Rachel Carson and several others. Through their writing and from keeping a nature journal myself, my passion for nature writing came into being. Writing has helped further my appreciation for nature, and has taught me a new way of seeing things.
It is because of my passion that I write. I want to share the wonders and delights of nature with others – how to marvel at the beauty around us and to find renewal in the splendor of that beauty, and how to be still and know that there is something greater than us, and allow ourselves to become humbled. To draw out that childlike sense of wonder we all possess but often repress. And to demonstrate, through my own childhood experiences, the importance of connecting children to nature.
All photos and sketches on this blog are my own. My photos are now available for sell through Fine Art America at http://bethany-benike.fineartamerica.com! Check out photographs for sale, autumn leaves photographs for sale, sandhill cranes photographs for sale, and lake photographs for sale.