Recently, I have been hiking with my infant son. It’s hard to know what, if anything, he takes from these forays. At two months, it’s a safe bet he’s not counting the chickadees, but he seems to enjoy being outdoors.
As for me, I find this time together deeply satisfying. As a typical self-referential human, I cherish the landscape around my home not just for its own sake, but as a place made special by personal associations. Walking old trails with my still astonishingly new child, I have the sense of re-reading a favorite story and finding fresh meaning tucked in the pages.
There is a bald patch in the old sheep pasture above our house where each summer the turkey hens de-bug their feathers by rinsing in plumes of dust. On this same spot, our daughter embarked on her very first sled ride and, four years ago, a bobcat thrilled us all by posing for a moment before slipping back into the tree line. Now the site has taken on yet another distinction, as the place where I first saw my son smile.
Northern Woodlands is also a home territory of sorts. Since this spring, I’ve made a project of reading our full magazine archive, starting all the way back with the first issue in 1994. Then, as now, there were articles focused on tracking tips, habitat enhancements, timber harvests. Also consistently across the years, each issue offered new learning and unexpected perspectives.
In all of our educational efforts, the Center for Northern Woodlands Education encourages people to find “new ways of looking at the forest,” and in doing so, to deepen their own intimacy with the land. Through this sense of belonging comes an understanding of our shared responsibility for the future of the Northeast’s wooded landscapes.
We could not do this work without your help. Subscriptions do not cover the cost of this magazine, nor do they pay for materials we provide to schools and other educational groups. As you read this, our nonprofit is just rounding the corner into the last quarter of our fiscal year. If you haven’t supported us yet, would you please consider a donation?
Now is a great time to contribute. Thanks to a generous supporter, between now and June 30th, donors will have a chance to win a Helios2 Orvis Fly Rod Outfit. You can also buy extra tickets on our website, a great way to start the summer while helping a good cause.