Nature is in peril. Biodiversity is plummeting. Species are going extinct 100 to 1000 times faster than normal. How many times have you read an introduction beginning that way? It’s depressing because it’s true. The ensuing article or book usually offers plenty of advice on what actions we must take to stem the tide of extinction and climate change and how to convince the uninformed public to care about it. But what about us — conservationists who already care about the deterioration of the natural world as we know it and who struggle with it emotionally? How can we find solace?
The current issue of Field Notes, the annual publication of UVM’s Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning programs, reflects on how we can continue to delight in nature even as we stare these sobering environmental issues in the face.
Read or download the issue »
By Kat Deely
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.
Jack Frost nipping at your nose….”
These words invoke every shiver of childhood anticipation for Christmas morning. Family time, feasting time, vacation time, and of course, presents time. I’ve been hearing these words sung every holiday season since before I can remember, and they have magically dropped me into a snow-globe world. So, it is with a bit of humility that I must admit something. I’ve never roasted chestnuts on an open fire. I’ve never roasted chestnuts on anything. I’ve never eaten a chestnut! And I bet I’m not alone. So how is it, this iconic Christmas classic’s first line is complete balderdash to the holiday seasons we know today? Continue reading
By Gus Goodwin
I suspect there is a positive correlation between one’s appreciation for fir waves and one’s distance from them. From a distance, fir waves etch a pleasing pattern on the landscape, pose interesting ecological questions, and remind us that turmoil can be a form of stability. Up close, they inflict scrapes and puncture wounds, incite expletives, and remind us to plan the next vacation to California, where the mountains have no trees (and it hardly ever rains).