Category: Nature

Rewilding

On a planet increasingly dominated by people—even the deep oceans today are being altered by humans—it probably makes sense to think about wilderness, too, as a human creation. Elizabeth Kolbert, in “Recall of the Wild” When I read Bill McKibben’s book The End of Nature, back in 1989 (it first appeared in The New Yorker), …

Continue reading

Property One: The Mahican-Mohawk Trail

This post is a conglomeration of lecture notes, slides, and other information. I compiled all of this as part of my preparation for my OLLI course on Berkshire History, in which I talked about six different preserved properties that all have walking/hiking trails on them. An overview of the course can be found here. From …

Continue reading

An OLLI Walk Through Berkshire History: Overview

Overview of the Course First, a little bit about myself, and what I hope to accomplish in this course my introduction, as given in the first class my email: mfw {at} mfw(.)us my blog: http://www.mfw.us/blog/ Then, a tribute to my Grandmother Wilcox, who instilled in me a love of history and its lore Next, a …

Continue reading

Word of the Day: Usufruct

Caveat: I’m not an attorney. My interest in this legal term derives from research I’ve been conducting relating to my upcoming (April/May 2019) OLLI course on Berkshire history. Specifically, I’ve been reading a wonderful 1983 book, recommended to me by two different people; Changes in the Land, by William Cronon, who is now at the University …

Continue reading

A Walk Through Berkshire History

A Walk Through Berkshire History An OLLI Course, Spring 2019 Kimball Farms, Lenox April 18 and 25, May 2, 9, 16, and 23  3:00 to 4:30 PM Here is a preliminary description of a lecture course I will give this Spring in Lenox. You can find registration information on my OLLI page. I’ll also be …

Continue reading

Hiking To and Beyond Laura’s Tower

Part Two in a Series on Laura’s Tower and Ice Glen This post is my first follow-up to the preliminary announcement of my planned 90-minute lecture and discussion, to be given sometime in April or May of 2019. In subsequent posts I will share more background material on some of the illustrious characters in the …

Continue reading

Laura’s Tower in Stockbridge Massachusetts

In the Spring of 2019, I will be teaching an OLLI course on local (Berkshire County) history. There will be six lectures covering six different locations, surveying the history and present use of the land, tracing as far back as possible before European contact, and continuing to the present day. This post represents my initial …

Continue reading

Thoughts on the Mahican-Mohawk Trail

The Backstory Behind any account of the indigenous peoples in my part of the world lies a tragic tale of the end of a civilization that had flourished for thousands of years, and the near-extirpation of a population and its culture. My plan (at least hope) is to publish several future posts on specific topics, …

Continue reading

A Peak Experience in Three States

Early Draft: to be revised upon completion of our hike tomorrow (May 29). As of the night before, we have about 15 people signed up for a 6-to-7-mile hike tomorrow, featuring 3 peaks in 3 different states, and a bonus visit to the high-point in Connecticut (not its highest peak, although that is nearby). We …

Continue reading

Carbon Sequestration: Our Only Hope?

I am a big fan of Elizabeth Kolbert’s writing. I’ve read just about everything she’s written in the past few years, and I also attended a talk she gave at a local college (she lives not too far from me). The most recent (November 20, 2017) issue of The New Yorker published a piece by …

Continue reading