Thursday, November 14, 2019

Hitchcock Center to Host Eastern White Pine Film

Our latest New England Forests film, "Eastern White Pine- the Tree Rooted in American History," will be presented at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, MA, on December 4, 2019, at 7pm. 

This will be a free event (donations to Hitchcock appreciated!), open to the public. 

Pre-registration (here) is appreciated and advisable (our last film event at Hitchcock filled the house and had a long waiting list). 

(The film will premiere at the Cinestudio theater in Hartford, CT, November 21, 2019.)



 The one-hour documentary uses vintage images, new footage, and aerial views to tell the 4-century story of the eastern white pine's critical contribution to America's founding and history. The white pine's significance to wildlife and people is related by famed Minnesota wildlife biologist Lynn Rogers; Trinity College neuroscientist Susan Masino; and nationally known old-growth forest expert Bob Leverett.

Following the film, there will be a Q&A session with a panel comprised of Bob Leverett, co-author of the Sierra Guide to Ancient Forests of the Northeast; botanist Jared Lockwood; and naturalist/filmmaker Ray Asselin.

Further screenings of the film are scheduled for other venues and will be announced on this blog.

More information and a short trailer can be found in our September 7, 2019 post (click here).


Bob Leverett, Among White Pines

Monday, November 4, 2019

White Pine Film Premiere at Cinestudio

Our latest film, "Eastern White Pine- The Tree Rooted in American History" is scheduled to premiere at the Cinestudio theater on the campus of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, November 21, 2019, at 7pm. This will be a free event, open to the public.



The one-hour documentary uses vintage images, new footage, and aerial views to tell the 4-century story of the eastern white pine's highly significant contribution to America's founding and history. The white pine's importance to wildlife and people is related by famed bear biologist Lynn Rogers of Minnesota, Trinity College neuroscientist Susan Masino, and nationally known old-growth forest expert Bob Leverett.

The event's organizers are planning a multi-sensory experience, where attendees will be able to experience white pines via their senses of sight, touch, smell, and even taste. 

Following the film, there will be a Q&A session in the theater with a panel comprised of Bob Leverett, co-author of the Sierra Guide to Ancient Forests of the Northeast; Trinity professor Susan Masino; botanist Jared Lockwood; and naturalist/filmmaker Ray Asselin.

More screenings of the film are scheduled for other venues beginning in December; they will be announced on this blog.

More information and a short trailer can be found in our September 7, 2019 post (click here).

Bob Leverett, Among White Pines


Saturday, September 28, 2019

Old Growth Forest Event, Simsbury, CT

Simsbury, Connecticut's Belden Forest will be in the spotlight on October 25, 2019. Ecologist and author Dr. Joan Maloof, founder of the national Old-Growth Forest Network, will lead a public induction of Belden into the Network. Belden is Connecticut's very first member of the OGFN, meaning it will forever be available to the public and will never be logged, allowing it to revert to old growth conditions; it's beautiful and already well on its way.



Belden Forest

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Adirondacks on a Higher Level

Bob Leverett (well known for his decades of exploring, measuring, and documenting old growth forests across the country) spent several days in the Adirondacks this August with his wife Monica. Botanist Jared Lockwood and I made our way there separately as well, on a mission to film white pines. Bob chronicles their experience below, in his unique style.

Adirondacks on a Higher Level

by Bob Leverett (Edited by Monica)

Introduction

It will come as no surprise to our friends that Monica and I are bona fide nature lovers. We each have plenty of other interests, but given the opportunity to choose from a palette of possibilities, both of us inevitably gravitate to nature to maintain our bearings and renew our spirits.

While I am commonly associated with trees, my nature interests are broader. I’m drawn to mountains, forests, the ocean, and charismatic animal species, especially the standouts among them. This is one way of stating that I am attracted more to the superlatives than the ordinary. In contrast, Monica is more balanced. In the past, she was an avid birder, but overall, her interests stay balanced so that she is better able to accept a place for what it is, without the need to make comparisons.

We each have our favorite haunts in which we experience nature at her most complete. A place that we share, near the top of our lists, is the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. For me, and I think Monica as well, my passion for the Dacks continues to grow. I say this because our introduction to them followed different paths. Mine was searching for old growth forests starting in the early 1990s, and Monica’s was in pursuing her camping and canoeing passion. Today, with our limited mobility, we are more into hiking to accessible spots. This suits my need to continue searching for patches of old growth forest and superlative trees, and fits Monica’s capacity for communing with the
spirit of the place. With her it is more the gestalt, which I concede is more balanced than my need to discover, document, and compare.

With this brief introduction, we’d like to share with you the trip that we just completed. It promised to be different from recent trips, and it lived up to its billing. We connected with special people who are devoted to the Adirondacks and their forests, which promises to open a path to expanded explorations.


Saturday, September 7, 2019

New Film: Eastern White Pine- The Tree Rooted in American History

Four hundred years ago, the first English colonies were established in what would be known as New England, and Virginia. What prompted this to occur? The answer may not be quite what you've always thought. Here are some more questions to contemplate...

  • Why did the King send people three thousand miles from home to settle on this continent? Did things go according to his plan? 
  • What role did the eastern white pine tree (Pinus strobus) play in the venture?

Eastern White Pines





  • What is Riga fir?
  • Why are some New England village commons triangular?
  • What were the "King's Pines" about?





  • What did one of the first colonial flags look like?
  • What led to the American Revolution?
  • What was the "Long Island Express"?
  • What is the tallest living thing in the northeast?
  • How does walking in a white pine forest personally benefit you?







These questions and more will be answered in our new documentary film, "Eastern White Pine - The Tree Rooted in American History". More than two years in the making, it uses archival images, new footage, and aerial views to tell the 4-century story of the eastern white pine's significant contribution to America's founding and history. The white pine's importance to wildlife and people is related by famed bear biologist Lynn Rogers of Minnesota, Trinity College neuroscientist Susan Masino, and nationally known old-growth forest expert Bob Leverett.

The film is currently being scheduled for local screenings in central/southern New England, and will be published later for all to see on our New England Forests Youtube channel. A short trailer can be seen now on the channel (click here), or in the player window below (may not be available in email feeds).

We hope to see you at one of the local screenings!







Wednesday, July 3, 2019

New Film: The Ecology of Coevolved Species

Have you ever thought about why nuthatches search a tree's trunk for insects, but seldom search its branches, while chickadees forage in the branches but rarely on the trunk?

At least two species of woodpecker eat ants, but flickers hunt for them on the ground, whereas pileated woodpeckers hunt for them on tree trunks; why?

Northern flicker hunting for ants
Pileated woodpecker hunting for ants


Why are many owl species nocturnal, while hawks are diurnal?

A nocturnal Barred owl
A diurnal Redtail hawk

Why are there ephemeral spring wildflowers, followed by a replacement crop of different summer ones?

Spring Beauty wildflower
Blue Cohosh
Why was the American chestnut ravaged by the chestnut blight?

What makes our forests and other natural environments resilient in times of environmental change?

Maybe you've seen lichen-covered tree trunks and wondered whether those lichens are harming the tree.

Lichen-covered Red Oak


















How does competition among species affect their ecological roles?

You'll find answers to questions like these, and more, in a new film titled "The Ecology of Coevolved Species", featuring professor emeritus (Antioch New England) Tom Wessels. Tom is a master of terrestrial ecology, with a well-honed skill for passing his knowledge on to others.

Ecologist Tom Wessels


In this film, Tom explains the ecological principles that help us understand some of the interactions among animal and plant species, what "natural currency" governs those interactions, and some implications of our tinkering with natural environments. After some introductory explanation of the topic, Tom takes us into the forest to see a number of species that have evolved together, thus shaping each other's ecological role.

If you've watched our 3-part "Reading the Forested Landscape" series, or read Tom's book of the same title, you know how skillful Tom is at interpreting what we see in central New England's forests. This film will expand your understanding of how the natural world operates. You won't be disappointed.

The film (and others) can be viewed on our New England Forests Youtube channel, or in the player window below (window may not be available in email feeds). As always, we welcome comments, posted either here or on the channel.






Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Upcoming Screenings of "Lost Forests of New England"

The Lost Forests of New England film continues to attract audiences who are eager to learn about the remnant old growth forests of central New England.

It was screened on January 23 at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment in Amherst, MA, to a full house, with scores of people on a waiting list or turned away at the door. A Hitchcock spokesperson said it was one of the best attended programs they've had since they opened the center! We'll be scheduling a second showing there later this year.

In the meantime, we have several more showings on the slate.

First, the film will be shown at the Mass Audubon Arcadia Wildlife Center in Easthampton, MA, at 7pm on March 22, 2019. Registration is required.


On March 28, 2019, the film's Connecticut premiere will be in the beautiful Cinestudio theater on the campus of Trinity College, Hartford CT, at 7:30pm. You won't want to miss this!

Cinestudio theater


In connection with Earth Day, we will present the film on Sunday, April 21, at the Gateway City Arts center in Holyoke, MA, at 3pm.

Following each screening, there will be a panel of several experts who will conduct a question & answer session. Check each venue's website for specific details.

At each presentation, a limited number of a special, valuable gift will be given away as well. Hopefully you'll be one of the lucky recipients!