Thursday, October 5, 2023

Reading the Forested Landscape film screening


We central New Englanders are quite accustomed to seeing stone fences all throughout our forests. But why? Who built the estimated 125,000 miles of stone fences we have here? When were they built? For what purpose? 

Have you ever noticed trees "standing on tiptoes" in the forest, and wondered how and why they grew like that? Have you seen trees growing on peculiar mounds of dirt in the woods? 










A walk in the forest benefits us in many ways, physically and spiritually. But it can be so much more enjoyable when we can interpret and understand more of what we see.

Why do some white pine trees have a straight, single trunk, while many others have multiple, forking trunks? 

Why is the ground in some forests relatively smooth, and in others it's pock-marked with many depressions and bumps?

Can we determine whether a forest was logged in the past? Whether it was burned? Can we tell if and when a hurricane affected it? Or a strong thunderstorm?

What might tell you if a woodland was once a pasture, or other agricultural field?

These questions and many, many more will be answered in the "Reading the Forested Landscape" film to be presented in Newtown, CT.

Noted ecologist and author Tom Wessels is featured in the film, which parallels his book of the same title. Tom is the go-to expert on interpreting why our New England forests look like they do today. Those who participate in one of Tom's forest walks are invariably impressed with his skills, and excitedly look forward to their next opportunity to apply what they've learned. If you love forests, you'll appreciate Tom's knowledge, and his ability to pass it along.

Preceding the main feature, we will show a short film entitled "My Forest Has Worms", which describes the highly destructive nature of what most of us have always believed were beneficial creatures... earthworms! In northern states, where glaciers once covered the land, there are no native earthworms that survived the glaciers. A sad surprise: those big, fat nightcrawlers we see in our lawns and gardens are non-native, invasive species that are destroying New England's forests!

Following the films, we will host a Q&A session.

The evening's program, sponsored by the Newtown Earth Day organization, will be held at the Edmond Town Hall in Newtown, CT, at 7pm on Thursday evening, October 19, 2023. Come early... light refreshments will be available, and the event is free and open to the public. Hope to see you there!