American author Jack London wrote stories framing man vs. nature, his most cited being the famous short story "To Build a Fire," in which the protagonist's efforts to survive a nasty Nordic winter are constantly barred by natural occurrences. For instance, when the protagonist musters up the strength to build a fire, a snow pile drifts off a tree, quelling the flame and ending his chance of survival.
This view of man vs. nature has pervaded human thought throughout our existence. Boisean Ray Vizgirdas wants to change that. Through his field research and naturalist tendencies, Vizgirdas has come to believe that nature's hostility is often overplayed.
"It should be an unplanned vacation out here. It should be an enjoyable time outdoors. Don't look at it as being full of monsters," said Vizgirdas in a Boise Weekly interview last summer.
Ray Vizgirdas is a biologist by training and naturalist by heart. He teaches wilderness survival courses at Boise State and has a knack for identifying useful and edible plants in the wild.
On Wednesday, June 9, he'll teach a free workshop at the Foothills Learning Center, sharing his knowledge and passion for edible and useful plants of the Foothills.
Wednesday, June 9, 7-8:30 p.m., FREE, Foothills Learning Center, 3188 Sunset Peak Road, 208-493-2530.