Finding God, self, and community in wild spaces. The better we know our wild neighbors the more we'll discover ourselves.
A vision informed by Henry David Thoreau’s interpretation of sauntering, Jesus’ understanding of neighbor, Aldo Leopold’s concept of thinking like a mountain, Rachel Carson’s prophetic voice and John Muir’s way of capturing the beauty and uniqueness of wild neighbors with words.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Wildlife Tour Reflections (10/4/2019)

This morning I had the joy of sauntering along Barbour Rock Trail at the West Rim of the Pine Creek Gorge with new out of town friends Dorothy, Virginia, and Betty. They were in the area for a couple of days and wanted to experience the Pine Creek Gorge in a special way.

While the weather was on the cooler side (can be expected this time of year), the views of the Gorge were spectacular as always and I think we all enjoyed getting better acquainted with our wild neighbors along the trail.

Here are some reflections from the trail:

"I enjoyed spending time on the trail with my friends and meeting a new friend as well." -Dorothy

"To me one of the best parts was getting to the Barbour Rock Vista and being able to look out and see the other side of the canyon and Pine Creek and the Pine Creek Rail Trail all the way at the bottom." -Virginia

"I loved getting to know some new species of plants like the dwarf juniper as well as the beech drops and the different species of goldenrod growing at the edge of the canyon. I was expecting things to be pointed out and identified along the trail. It was that and more. What I wasn't expecting was to hear excerpts from books written by American Nature Writers like John Muir and Rachel Carson. That was much appreciated. Also, there were moments when it felt like a Shirin-Yoku experience." -Betty

Working off of my scribbled notes, I hope I have done justice to the words that these three kind and adventurous friends actually said.

And as for me, the best part was experiencing community with Virginia, Betty, and Dorothy as well as with the plants, trees, birds, and insects along the trail. The insects included one tree cricket on the bark of a red oak tree and one assassin bug prowling stealthily along the top of a beech leaf that was still attached to the tree.

I appreciated this group's keen observations. There were a couple of small aster-like flowers and one plant with large soft velvety grayish-green leaves whom I was not formerly acquainted with. I'm hoping that between Betty and I we'll make a positive ID and perhaps learn something about the ecology of this species.

This was another fantastic experience and I'm eagerly anticipating the next Creek and Canyon Wildlife Tour 9:30am tomorrow (10/5/2019) at the big overlook of Leonard Harrison State Park.

Betty, Virginia, and Dorothy, thanks for joining me today.




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