At the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest

From June 15 and July 14, 2016, I was the Writer/Scholar-in-Residence at the H. J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Blue River, Oregon.* I spent a month at the Andrews walking and napping in the old-growth forests and flower-infused meadows, writing creatively and scholarly, and photographing the landscape large and small.

Here are my (mostly) daily reflections,1,2 sparked by daily walks and meditations in one of my favorite parts of the world. These were subsequently edited and published as Vanishing Point (2017).

  1. Coming into Oregon, near the end of a two-week road-trip from Flagstaff to Blue River that preceded my arrival at the Andrews:
    At the Buena Vista Overlook (17 June 2016)
  2. Yesterday afternoon I hiked the Lookout Creek old-growth trail. Here’s the first offering from there:
    Vanishing Point, Lookout Creek (18 June 2016)
  3. Musings on seeing ourselves in the world around us:
    Ants Are People (20 June 2016)
  4. More thoughts on our place inside and outside of nature, as seen through pictographs and graffiti:
    Who Was Rob Devleming (21 June 2016)
  5. On improbability as seen in a drop of resin:
    Caught in Amber (22 June 2016)
  6. This morning at the gravel bar I encountered the stunning beauty of an invasive species:
    A Splash of Purple (23 June 2016)
  7. One of the things I like the most about the Andrews is the moss-covered front gate, which looks like it hasn’t been closed since it was installed:
    Wilcuma (26 June 2016)
  8. A short discourse on experiments and disturbance in an old-growth forest at the Andrews:
    Cognitive Dissonance (28 June 2016)
  9. From Watershed 2 to Watershed 3:
    Crossing the Divide (28 June 2016)
  10. The best interpretive sign board I’ve ever seen; approaching the Discovery Trail at the Andrews:
    Your Story Here (27 June 2016)
  11. Thinking about the Fourth of July while walking the Patjens Lake loop trail, Mount Washington Wilderness Area:
    Revolution (30 June/4 July 2016)
  12. The big things get all the attention, but the little things matter:
    In a Clearcut at the Andrews (1 July 2016)
  13. Looking back at Arizona and looking forward to:
    Forests of The Anthropocene (2 July 2016)
  14. The second from the old growth at Lookout Creek
    Tonsure (3 July 2016)
  15. The third from the old growth on Lookout Mountain and at Lookout Creek:
    Lasting Impressions (3 July 2016)
  16. Walking through a lava flow at sunrise:
    First Light (6 July 2016)
  17. Musings on the origins of Modern Art:
    Antecedents (6 July 2016)
  18. Every woodworker knows that wood is alive and immortal:
    Metamorphosis (8 July 2016)
  19. I’ve been fortunate to have spent the last 5 weeks far away from terrorist attacks, killings by police, and killings of police. Wilderness provides opportunity for solace and reflection, which I share here:
    In Memoriam (8 July 2016)
  20. On the good fortune to see a spider web glinting in the sunlight:
    Haphazard (20 June / 10 July 2016)
  21. Two different kinds of:
    Shadows (4 / 10 July 2016)
  22. Invasion is in the eye of the beholder and history is written by the victorious:
    Double Vision (12 July 2016)
  23. Imaging a different family:
    Sisters (4 / 14 July 2016)
  24. Hanging on for dear life at the:
    Angle of Repose (13 July 2016)
  25. An alternative to the mundane life:
    Opportunity (6 / 14 July 2016)
  26. In parting:
    Time (13 / 14 July 2016)


1ConTextual Notes on these reflections.
2Notes on the photography, design, and layout of these reflections.


*Supported by the Scholar-in-Residence Program and the H. J. Andrews Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Site, the latter of which has been supported since 1980 by a series of grants from the U. S. National Science Foundation to Oregon State University.

I note with no small measure of pleasure that this is actually my third stint as a Writer/Scholar-in-Residence at the Andrews. My prior residencies were in November 2010 and May 2013.

My 2010 essay “Decomposition and Memory” appears in the anthology Forest Under Story: Creative Inquiry in an Old-growth Forest, edited by N. Brodie, C. Goodrich, and F. J. Swanson, and published by the University of Washington Press (2016).

In 2010, I also completed the first draft of a manuscript of my first article on the perception of landscape and its influence on academic ecology. This paper was published three years later as “The suffocating embrace of landscape and the picturesque conditioning of ecology” in Landscape Journal.

While I was at the Andrews in 2013, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide passed 400 parts per million for the first time in 4 million years. I wrote an essay about that, which subsequently was published in two parts [ part 1 | part 2 ] by The Revelator.


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