This past weekend, Northern Woodlands held its 4th annual conference, a gathering of over 140 writers, editors, readers, foresters, educators, artists, scientists, naturalists, and others who share a passion for the woods. This sold-out weekend was a lot of fun, with so many new connections and opportunities to learn. Thanks to everyone who participated, and especially to our generous sponsors, The Bailey Charitable Foundation and The Trust for Public Land (click here for an interview with TPL project manager J.T. Horn).
Plenary talks included a presentation by poet Verandah Porche and artist Kathleen Kolb describing their collaborative traveling exhibit, Shedding Light on the Working Forest; a compelling Saturday morning address by author David George Haskell, drawing from work on two of his books, The Forest Unseen and The Song of Trees; a fascinating talk by Julie Zickefoose on how she came to be a writer and illustrator of birds, including her adventures raising over 27 species and her adventures with a naughty blue jay named Jemima; and finally, on Sunday morning, a presentation by nationally known bee researcher Tom Seeley on the complicated politics of honeybee hive selection.
There was more! Woods walks, a variety of different talks, workshops, an editors' panel, and readings. Artists Adelaide Tyrol and Nona Estrin took people out to the barn for a two hour drawing class, and Declan McCabe ushered his group into a stream to collect and examine aquatic insects. Jerry Jenkins dazzled with his ambitious work on the Northern Forest Atlas and teacher Nancy Wollum shared the clever way she combines science and writing instruction in her classroom.
And then there was the open mic session; author Gary Lee Miller, free of facts or inhibitions, amazed the room with his humorous introductions of participants. Participants then amazed with their original poetry and music. As in past years, Paul Smith's forest ecologist (and new Northern Woodlands board member) Celia Evans provided musical entertainment with musical partner John Foster.
Here are some photos from the event.