Hickory Creek

Pennsylvania’s Hickory Creek Wilderness

September 7, 2021, I hiked the Hickory Creek Wilderness in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) in northwest Pennsylvania, about 40 miles west of where I conducted my 1985-86 doctoral research on soil-site relationships in second-growth Allegheny hardwood forests. The Wilderness forests are typical of the greater ANF across the Allegheny Plateau, second-growth and dominated by […]

Pennsylvania’s McConnell’s Mill State Park

September 8, 2021, I hiked along Slippery Rock Creek at McConnell’s Mill State Park some 40 miles north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This Post focuses on the Nature of this geologic, environmental, and historic gorge in west central Pennsylvania. Human and natural history intersect in nearly every wild place I’ve wandered in the eastern US. McConnell’s […]

Heart's Content

Heart’s Content in NW Pennsylvania (Part Two)

The Special Nature of an Old Growth Allegheny Hardwood Forest   September 7, 2021 I hiked and explored the Heart’s Content Scenic Area (a 400-year-old remnant of the original forest that covered the Allegheny Plateau when European settlers arrived in the 18th Century) in the Allegheny National Forest of northwest Pennsylvania. This preserved area is […]

HGH Road

Reading the Fragility of Forest Permanence!

Standing Tall is Never Permanent   September 25, 2021, I bushwhacked through a rich bottomland hardwood stand on the eastern end of the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge near Huntsville, Alabama. The photos of the magnificent cherrybark oak immediately below came from a visit to the same riparian forest last winter. I present this cherrybark oak […]

WNWR

Mushroom Rambling Early October in Two Distinct Alabama Forest Types

Bottomland Hardwood Forest along the Tennessee River in Madison County, Alabama October 9, 2021, a friend and I roamed a mature bottomland hardwood forest searching for mushrooms that we anticipated would be flourishing after nearly three inches of rain fell the week prior. We were not disappointed. We hit the jackpot with honey mushrooms (Armlillaria […]

Heart's Content

Heart’s Content in NW Pennsylvania (Part One)

Venturing into a Pennsylvania Old Growth Forest   September 7, 2021 I hiked and explored the Heart’s Content Scenic Area, a 400-year-old remnant of the original forest that covered the Allegheny Plateau when European settlers arrived in the 18th Century, within the Allegheny National Forest of northwest Pennsylvania. This Post focuses on the origin and […]

Heart's Content

Tribute to a Forestry Legend: Jim Finley

A Tribute to a Friend and Colleague Sunday morning, October 3, 2021, I learned that long time friend Dr. James (Jim) Finley lost his life Saturday morning while working in his woodlot in central Pennsylvania. Jim, a fellow forestry faculty member at Penn State University, and I collaborated on many projects during my nine years […]

Monte Sano

Contemplating a Video Tale of the William Arthur Wells Memorial Trail: Monte Sano State Park

Retired videographer Bill Heslip and I are at the early stage of developing a 13-20-minute video telling the Land Legacy Tale of the William Arthur Wells Memorial Trail at Monte Sano State Park. We interviewed Robert (Bob) Wells the morning of June 25, 2021 at his home in Meridianville, Alabama, just north of Huntsville. Bob […]

HGH Road

Late Summer Rambling in a Soggy Bottomland Forest

One and two-thirds inches of rain had fallen over the 36 hours ending late morning August 19, 1921, late summer conditions perfect for mushroom growth and development in the hardwood bottomlands along the Tennessee River in Limestone County Alabama, just fifteen miles from my home in Madison. I entered a forest still dripping as clouds […]

Monte Sano

Lessons from Nature: Nature is a Meritocracy

I publish weekly photo-essay Blog Posts on Nature-Inspired Life and Living. I have been doing so routinely since retiring January 1, 2018. Normally my Posts are photo-rich and report on one of my recent Nature wanderings. This one less so. Instead, my intent is to address a critical issue of the day from the multiple […]

Summer 2021: Ten Weeks of North Alabama Cloud Magic

I have enjoyed a lifelong fascination with weather that has only deepened with retirement, when now I can devote more time to wandering about with eyes to the sky. My weather and cloud addiction began at the dawn of my recollection. Five years ago, I wrote in Nature Based Leadership, my first book, of a […]

Dutton Farm Land Legacy Project Expansion: Warm Season Grass Trial with Ohio State University

May 27 and 28, 2021, I met on-site with a research team from Ohio State’s College of Food and Agricultural Sciences to plan a native warm season grass trial on reclaimed strip-mine soils on Dutton Farms, site of my Ohio Land Legacy Project. I’ve previously posted updates on the Project — here’s one from September […]