A year ago I was asked to join the host of artists, writers, scientists, and students who have contributed to Penn State’s Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center’s Long-term Ecological Reflections Project (LTERP). Begun ten years ago under the auspices of Dr. Ian Marshall of Penn State Altoona’s Environmental Studies Program, the hope is to continue such reflections for 100 years.
Eight special places at Shaver’s Creek were designated as spots for participants to visit and reflect, including Rudy Sawmill, Lake Perez, Raptor Center, Twin Bridges, Chestnut Orchard, the Lake Trail, Bluebird Meadow, and Dark, Cliffy Spot. Several of the writers who lived a distance from Shaver’s Creek had spent a week in a cabin at Lake Perez and wrote and reflected on what they experienced during that week.
Since we live only 30 miles from Shaver’s Creek, I visited and wrote about one place each month. I tried to match the month with the place, beginning in April with Bluebird Meadow when eastern bluebirds are nesting. What I liked best about this project was the freedom to write whatever I wished about the places and their ecological ramifications.