The Overlook: Observing Transition Season

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Home Forums Campfire Editor’s Roundtable The Overlook: Observing Transition Season

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    Ben Kilbourne
    BPL Member


    Locale: Utah

    Companion forum thread to: The Overlook: Observing Transition Season

    Ben Kilbourne uses the writing of Aldo Leopold to examine his interaction with nature.

    BPL Member


    Locale: Colorado

    Well done. Leopold’s writing and work have been a part of how I view the world and how I live in it for the 40+ years since I first read him in graduate school. It was interesting to note that my brother and I had accidentally fallen into some of the elements of husbandry years before while working in the ADK. Now as a retired person hiking, often on long trails, my eye often turns to those issues as I travel across that landscape. Thanks for sharing your perspective. Now to reread the man’s work. That should keep me busy for awhile!

    Mark Wetherington
    BPL Member


    Locale: Western Montana

    Great read. I really enjoy transition season hiking and the opportunities for solitude in usually crowded places it can sometimes provide. Not to mention the beauty and magic of seeing a landscape change from one season to another. It’s always amazing how different a few hundred feet of elevation can make, or the aspect an area faces, and other factors that can create microclimates and have wildflowers blooming next to a drift of snow.

    I really appreciated your summary of Leopold’s grades of recreation. I definitely find myself seeking solitude and scenery/fresh air, so I feel somewhat stuck in the middle. I feel like I got over the “trophy hunting” phase fairly quickly for some reason (although seeking alpine lakes with big trout probably puts me back in this category from time to time), but I’ve been wallowing in the middle grades for the better part of a decade.

    I’m interested somewhat in nature study, but I don’t often put a lot of effort into it. Often I’d rather just observe it in a state of awe-struck ignorance than learn too much about the mechanics of how what I’m seeing exists.

    The last grade (husbandry) is an interesting one. I sometimes do volunteer trail work (often just myself and a Silky saw, clearing downfall from official USFS trails so that their trail crews can focus on the bigger trees) and this year I started helping the USFS with wilderness campsite monitoring. Although it’s a bit less “hands-on” gathering information and documenting the impacts from campsites in wilderness over time does help make management decisions that might ultimately preserve the wild character of the landscape and its flora and fauna.

    Thanks for writing this up and for the inspiration to reflect on those compelling themes.

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