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Reading That Forested Landscape

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And trying to find a sense of place. Our place. Our property. Our community. Our county. Next weekend, the 22nd through the 24th, at the Howard County Conservancy Tom Wessels is coming down to read the landscape at two different sites in Howard County. There will be a stand alone lecture Friday night, and two lecture/hikes, one on Saturday and one on Sunday. Each day’s event is $20 to attend. A bundle of two, Friday and either Saturday or Sunday is available for $35.

Master gardeners, master naturalists, historians, science teachers, environmentalists, lifetime residents of Howard County, and more — all would find something interesting and educational in his talks, walks and teaching us to read our landscapes.

I downloaded his latest book, Forest Forensics. I already learned more about my property by toggling between the plates, the evidence and the key to reading our property here in west Howard County.

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We were told our land was once a horse pasture. This barbed wire is evidence. The book explains how to read it. The wire is on our side of the fence, the common technique to string wire enclosing a pasture. It is barbed. If it was smooth twisted there would have been sheep in the pasture. It was constructed sometime after 1874 which was when wire first started showing up as fencing.

Tom will be leading hikes that will show us these types of details. Following him through the forests and grasslands, the Saturday and Sunday events will combine a 90 minute lecture to prepare for the hike, followed by a two hour hike looking for clues around Elkridge in the Patapsco State Park on Saturday, and all across the Conservancy properties, maybe even down to the river if he finds good evidence to share.

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Anyone who wants to know more about this area, and wants to be able to use these tips while walking the trails in the parks, or even searching the development’s open spaces in the county to learn the history of our land would enjoy these events.

There is still some room on both hikes, and lots of room for the Friday night lecture for those who may not be able to hike. The Friday night lecture: The Myth of Progress is a totally different topic than the weekend lectures and hikes.

More on that topic is found here. It is another of Tom’s books.

Sign up is on the Conservancy events page.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

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