'Reflections' at Andrews LTER now in print

Network News Fall 2007, Vol. 20 No. 2

The work of writers participating in the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program is increasingly appearing in print. A short essay, "The Owl, Spotted" (OnEarth Fall 2006) describes poet Alison Deming's encounter with a Northern Spotted Owl during a field outing with Steve Ackers, leader of the Spotted Owl crew at the Andrews Forest. She writes:

"The owl doesn't make a sound.
She perches on a branch high above us.
She is still."

What is the consciousness of a spotted owl? There she perches perceiving us, and here we sit perceiving her. We exchange the long, slow, interspecies stare-no fear, no threat, only the confusing mystery of the other. Steve knows her language well enough to speak a few words: the location call, a bark of aggression. Perhaps that means she thinks we are owls. We do not look like owls. But we do, briefly, behave like owls, catching and offering prey, being still, and turning our eyes to the forest."

An article about the "Reflections" program co-written by Frederick J Swanson, Charles Goodrich, and Kathleen Dean Moore was published in the Ecological Society of America's Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment magazine and is available for download at www.esajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1890/070076.

By Lina DiGregorio, Education Coordinator, AND