Until we started working on Vermont Woodlands last Spring, I thought the flow of communication in a magazine was in one direction, out from the publisher to the readers. I certainly did not expect that so many readers would reverse that flow and take the time to call us or write us a note on their subscription cards.
Our daily trip to the post office finds letters of support, comments, requests, ideas, stories and poems. We have been poor correspondents, I fear, but it's not that we aren't paying attention. In fact, two new features are a direct result of your letters and calls.
In our new Letters section that appears on page 6, we've included a sampling of our mail. We are also responding to repeated requests for a Classified ad section, and we will initiate it with the Spring issue. Information about placing a classified appears on page 33.
Something else we hear from readers is that they love our Calendar. People of all stripes have commented on it, from veteran foresters to outdoor writers to early readers, and it's nice to hear that in many homes it finds its way to the refrigerator door next to children's artwork and snapshots of pets. We thank naturalist Ted Levin who has been and will continue to be a primary source of information for this weekly chronicle of events in the natural world.
But we always welcome observations from other sets of eyes and ears. We're looking for notes on the comings and goings of migrators, on the life cycles of the barely visible and the rarely seen, and on the seemingly commonplace occurrences that will provoke nods of recognition when they happen as predicted.
When I first started fly fishing ten years ago, I kept a notebook in my fishing vest and recorded when particular mayflies and caddisflies were hatching. Many birders keep notes on arrival dates of songbirds; backyard botanists track the flowering of wild and cultivated flowers.
Maybe there is no great scientific value to our notebooks. And it is really no tragedy that after one too many thunderstorms, the ink in my fishing notebook became a watercolor instead of words. Still, there is considerable pleasure in re-reading them; they provide great comfort by keeping us aware of the cyclical nature of life. Their presence in our pockets begs us to be observant.
I am getting back in the habit of keeping a notebook, and I have found that now that I'm on the lookout for them, Calendar entries show up everywhere. For instance, when I was researching the story on the Nulhegan Deer Wintering Area, two love struck moose showed me when the moose rut takes place up north. Returning home, the suddenly omnipresent ladybugs that appeared during the sun-drenched days of the following week were also worthy of note.
If you would like to see your field notes in print, drop us a line. One word of advice: keep your eyes open and your notebook in a zip-loc bag.
Here is our third issue. Time flies.