Beaverdam Swamp at Wheeler NWR — Dormant Season Beauty

One arm of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge extends north from the Tennessee River to I-565, just three miles from our daughter Katy’s home. January 31, Judy and I retrieved  local grandsons Jack and Sam from their respective schools to hike the two-mile round trip at Beaverdam Swamp, returning them to Katy’s as dusk settled. […]

Huntsville’s LearningQuest: Nature’s Wisdom

My six-month Fairmont State University adventure behind me, I am engaging Great Blue Heron here in the Huntsville area. In a public service spirit, I will deliver a six-week lecture series on Nature’s Wisdom through LearningQUEST (http://lquest.org/). My course offers participants a taste of Nature’s Wisdom through the eyes, heart, soul, and spirit of this […]

FIVE Essential Verbs

Just when I think I know a little something, I find evidence that I have discerned nothing new. A half-a-millennium ago, Leonardo da Vinci saw the invisible and brought it to life in art and writing. He saw magic, wonder, and truth in Nature: “Simplistically is the ultimate sophistication” “In her (nature’s) inventions nothing is […]

The NATURE of Presidential Leadership and Crisis Management within Institutions at Risk

I am a member of the Edu Alliance Advisory Council. January 23, Edu Alliance posted this blog: Presidential Leadership and Crisis Management within Institutions at Risk I incorporate Nature’s wisdom and lessons into my university consulting and service. As it is with Great Blue Heron, I employ an ecosystems approach to assessing universities. Here is an […]

Frozen Wheeler Wildlife Refuge

We visited Wheeler again January 7. Real winter had reached into the deep south, holding grip long enough to freeze Big Blue Lake. I think had I been a bit more adventuresome, the ice may have supported my weight: I have written and reflected often of nearby (20-25 miles WSW of where I live) Joe […]

Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge

Consider this essay in measures of Nature-derived inspiration. View this GBH Blog Post as one of exquisite timing. This year marks the centennial of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which protects more than 1,025 species. The January 2018 National Geographic features Why Birds Matter. Lead article author Jonathan Franzen begins, “It’s not just what […]

How Did We Stand the Continuous Darkness?

We spent four years (2004-2008) in Fairbanks, Alaska, at nearly 65 degrees north latitude. This time of year, people often ask, “How did you stand the continuous darkness?” I patiently try to explain that because Fairbanks is south of the Arctic Circle, even on the winter solstice, the sun still rises, albeit just 1.5 degrees […]

But Baby It’s Cold Outside!

Here at 34.7 degrees north latitude (contrast that to Fairbanks, AK at 64.8), we expect some relative warmth this time of year. Average daily high for early January is 48. We enjoyed one day since the last few days of December that made it all the way to 35! Average daily low is 30; most […]

Returning from a Six-Month Absence

Happy New Year! I left Big Blue Lake end of June, 2017 for my six-month Interim Presidency at Fairmont State University. We returned mid-day December 23. I squeezed a lot out of that half-year. Yet I must admit, I cannot ignore the trade-offs… the costs of a six-month full immersion out of state. Judy (my […]

Preservation and Change

Return Visit to Cathedral State Park My first two undergraduate forestry summers I performed continuous forest inventory on Savage River State Forest (then 52,000 acres) in Western Maryland’s Garrett County. I stayed weeknights in a cabin at New Germany State Park. The entire experience served in retrospect as a gift from God — Divine Professional […]

Fairmont State University – An Aerial Perspective

I’m a spatial (not at all special) guy. Over my field forester days and subsequent positions, I’ve enjoyed many hours airborne, face pressed to the windows. Whether on commercial airline ascent or descent (not much to see from 30,000-foot cruising altitudes), or evaluating land exchanges via chopper, I interpret the landscape much more clearly than […]

The Cycle Completes a Turn

I’m just a week out from my departure from north-central West Virginia and Fairmont State University, returning to north Alabama. I’ve experienced a seasonal cycle from early summer to now near the winter solstice:                 I’ve also progressed from anticipating the start of the fall semester to soon […]