Inspiration

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Debbie Clay shares her experience of managing her newly acquired woodlands.

Thirty miles down Highway 40, in southern Virginia, the land rolls gently with endless rows of emerald green crops. Billboards proclaim:
“Peanuts – whole sale and retail! Tourists welcome!”
“We’re not nuts, but we sell ‘em”
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My favorite way of enjoying nature is with my son and his Boy Scout troop. Scouting is an active program that helps boys grow into men and teaches them outdoor skills.
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Early morning wrapped in woven wool
white breath dissolving into fog,
one fawn lay supine near my feet
sweet docile sister grazing in the weeds.
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Aesthetics and recreation are two of the leading reasons woodland owners designate for why they own forested property. After talking with some local Oregon Women Owning Woodlands Network members it is obvious that recreation is an important element of forest ownership for them. They are out in the woods doing everything from horseback riding to plant identification.
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The premise of The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature is simple enough, but only a naturalist like David George Haskell could write this beautiful book. Poetic and scientific, The Forest Unseen is extraordinary.
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--by Jois Child
"The early leaves surprise me... "
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If I can see a tree outside my bedroom window, blood flow to my brain will be different than if I were looking at a view without vegetation.   Right now, I have a rectangular perspective of deciduous trees and evergreens making their home next to sidewalks and steep neighborhood staircases.  The Italian restaurant across the street is shaded by bare-branched trees adorned in twinkle lights.  
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If I can see a tree outside my bedroom window, blood flow to my brain will be different than if I were looking at a view without vegetation. Right now, I have a rectangular perspective of deciduous trees and evergreens making their home next to sidewalks and steep neighborhood staircases. The Italian restaurant across the street is shaded by bare-branched trees adorned in twinkle lights.
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Mammal Tracks and Scat: Life-Size Pocket Guide by Lynn Levine
A waterproof, 44 page pocket-size book, with life-size illustrations (Yes, even the bear!) It’s a guide that’s great for tracking through all seasons.
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In 1824, London’s Royal Horticultural Society sent the young botanist David Douglas on an expedition to the Pacific Northwest to study and to collect native flora and fauna. The sensitive details of Douglas's journey are marvelously captured by the contemporary author and naturalist Jack Nisbet in The Collector: David Douglas and the Natural History of the Northwest.
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David Douglas: A Naturalist at Work connects Douglas’s historical explorations with Nisbet’s contemporary ones. Nisbet opens the lens of history, as the text becomes a parallel experience where the reader visits places both in historical and contemporary time, effortlessly traveling between the two. Nisbet’s evocative vignettes follow David Douglas’s journals out into the field.
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Part memoir, narrative nonfiction, and natural history, "Eating Dirt" manages to capture both what it feels like to engage in hard seasonal physical labor and what it might feel like if you were the forest itself.
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One of the first retreats was attended by a woman named Norma Dale Smith. Norma had had close ties to family land since she was a little girl, and now her grandchildren were getting involved. Inspired from the retreat, Norma gathered all her stories from the land, put them into book form, and published the book to give to her children and grandchildren. Even while she was learning more about managing the land, Norma was also continuing to forge a connection to the land for herself and her family. Norma’s books have been printed and shared with participants at the WOW workshops.
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Success looks like...
She had lost her husband two years before. He was always the one to do the forest management stuff while she managed horses! Now she was left without a clue of how she should manage the forest. Her plan was to just - let it be. Accompanying her friend who invited her on an informal Oregon WOWNet hike changed everything and left her in tears of relief. After talking with women on the hike who are managing forests on their own, she said she felt like she could do it too. She instantly felt she had a support network and a huge barrier was lifted. It’s amazing what a walk in the woods, with peers, can do!
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My mom called our forestland in northern Idaho a “spot of paradise.” Mom was the first to point out a grand fir that might fall, to see a moose on the pasture, and to notice Western larch needles changing color. She passed away eight years ago, and we try to honor her by caring for our forestland. Since my brother and I live far away, all of the work falls on Dad.
Event
Thu, Sep 6, 2018 - 4:00 pm
until 3:00 pm
The Women and Their Woods Educational Retreat is an in-depth, fun, engaging, and thought-provoking workshop on caring for your woodlands now and into the future. No matter the size of your woodlands or if you’re not yet an owner, join us for four days and three nights of learning, networking, and applying new knowledge about good forest stewardship. Learn more about Women and Their Woods.
Event
Sat, May 19, 2018 - 8:15 am
until 3:00 pm
This session is being offered as part of the 7th annual Loving the Land through Working Forests conference on Saturday, May 19 near Girard Township, Pennsylvania.

For more information and to register for the event, please visit: https://www.foundationforsustainableforests.org/loving-the-land.
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The Songs of Trees: Stories from Nature’s Great Connectors (Viking) by David George Haskell

The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature (Penguin) by David George Haskell