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Post 7 - Long Term Ecological Reflections

How do you feel while hiking? Relaxed, energized, in awe? Every year, as part of the Long Term Ecological Reflections project, two professional writers come live at the Andrews for a week to write about their experiences in the forest. The goal of the project is to combine creative writing with scientific research to help us find new ways to understand our relationship with the forest. Scott Slovic wrote the following piece, "Out of Time", after hiking this trail.

"When you're in a place, you bring the place into you by drinking its water, eating what lives there, and breathing in its air. I concentrated on breathing this forest into myself as I hiked. As I walked through the old growth forest-ancient living trees, giant snags still standing, deadfall everywhere in the process of fertilizing decay-I found myself more fascinated with my own meager breaths. Nothing momentous about a single tiny person walking and breathing in the woods. But the rhythm of my breathing had, for the moment, joined the other rhythms of this forest-the rhythms of water and air, of movement and stillness, of living and dying. This felt good to me."

Click on the pictures below to enlarge them.

Long-Term Reflections-1 Long-Term Reflections-2

This is a twelve minute interview between Richard Burton and Charles Goodrich, the Long Term Ecological Reflections (LTER) coordinator for the H.J. Andrews. Mr. Goodrich discusses how the LTER program got started, who has participated, and why it is important. He also reads an elegant poem that portrays the theme of the program. If you would like, you can download the mp3 version by right clicking here and pressing "save as."

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