Swamp Yankees, The Greatest Generation, and the Nagging Problem of Affluence

By Richard Telford Early in my first year of teaching in northeastern Connecticut, more than two decades ago, I heard a colleague refer to her husband as a “typical Swamp Yankee.” He had acquired numerous lawnmowers in various states of disrepair and was slowly pirating parts from one or another to produce a working machine. It … Continue reading Swamp Yankees, The Greatest Generation, and the Nagging Problem of Affluence

Balancing Shock and Optimism in a Time of Declining Attention Span

By Richard Telford “You can’t leave things like that around for me to see.” My seven-year-old daughter told me this when I left a copy of SE Journal on the bathroom counter. SE Journal is a publication of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and the issue in question featured an image of a dusty savanna … Continue reading Balancing Shock and Optimism in a Time of Declining Attention Span

To Preserve or to Conserve: Navigating the Conflicted Language of Environmental Advocacy

By Richard Telford Writing for The Ecotone Exchange during the last three years, I have advocated for certain actions I see as critical to mitigate the present environmental crisis. These actions have included engaging children with the natural world in a deliberate way, encouraging the exploration of one’s immediate environment, rethinking the disregard we sometimes … Continue reading To Preserve or to Conserve: Navigating the Conflicted Language of Environmental Advocacy

A Call for Writers and Visual Artists, Summer 2016

By: Richard Telford The Connecticut Audubon Society is now accepting applications for the 2016 Edwin Way Teale Artists-in-Residence at Trail Wood program.  Applicants can submit their materials electronically or in hard copy. Through the program, inaugurated in 2012, Connecticut Audubon invites writers and visual artists, chosen through a juried process, to spend one week in residence at … Continue reading A Call for Writers and Visual Artists, Summer 2016

Discovering the North American Pawpaw Tree, Asimina triloba, (Sort of)

By Richard Telford The powerful forces of forest succession threaten always to engulf the 18th-century stonewalls that surround our 1770 center-chimney farmhouse. During the restoration of the house, we largely gave up trying to stem the encroachment of the surrounding forest. However, several years ago, we began in earnest to work to control that encroachment, … Continue reading Discovering the North American Pawpaw Tree, Asimina triloba, (Sort of)

Summer Leavings: Finding Ourselves in the Turning of the Seasons

By Richard Telford Several years ago I removed the rotten eaves of several sections of our 1770 farmhouse and began to reproduce them with like materials. I extended the rafters, cut and installed soffits, even drilled holes for louvered vents to be installed at the project’s conclusion. During this time, we completed tests for lead … Continue reading Summer Leavings: Finding Ourselves in the Turning of the Seasons

The Extraordinary Gift of Common Species: Rethinking the Charismatic Species Paradigm

By Richard Telford Can we view the ubiquitous eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) with the same sense of wonder or spirit of inquiry with which we view more exotic animals—the African elephants (Loxodonta exoptata and adaurora), for example, or the gray wolf (Canis lupus)? This question (paraphrased, here) was posed by Dr. Laird Christensen to … Continue reading The Extraordinary Gift of Common Species: Rethinking the Charismatic Species Paradigm

Reviving John Burroughs’ “Silent Throngs”

By Richard Telford At a recent library sale held at my daughter’s school, I bought a discarded copy of Hal Borland’s Twelve Moons of the Year.  The 1979 book, a posthumously published selection of Borland’s natural history editorials printed in the Sunday New York Times from 1941 until his death in 1978, brims with keen … Continue reading Reviving John Burroughs’ “Silent Throngs”