Reflections Writer-in-Residence receives Burroughs Award

Network News Spring 2010, Vol. 23 No. 1
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In 2009, Scott Russell Sanders from Indiana wrote a wonderful essay drawing on his residency in the HJ Andrews Experimental Forest LTER.  That essay, Mind in the Forest, recently received the John Burroughs Association’s recognition as the outstanding published natural history essay for 2009, based on the work’s content and literary value. With this award Sanders becomes the first writer to be recognized twice since the award began – a tribute to his remarkable skill and grace with thought and word. 

Excerpt from the essay: “I touch trees, as others might stroke the fenders of automobiles or finger silk fabrics or fondle cats. Trees do not purr, do not flatter, do not inspire a craving for ownership or power. They stand their ground, immune to merely human urges. Saplings yield under the weight of a hand and then spring back when the hand lifts away, but mature trees accept one’s touch without so much as a shiver.  While I am drawn to all ages and kinds, from maple sprouts barely tall enough to hold their leavers off the ground to towering sequoias with their crowns wreathed in fog, I am especially drawn to the ancient, battered ones, the survivors.” 

Sanders continues to consider our place in the natural world and the instincts that lead to mutual nurturing – and the forces that work against it. Read the full essay and reader comments at:

Information on the Andrews Forest LTEReflections program is online at