Monday, January 30, 2012

Environmental Work & Play

I'm spending a lot of time involved with our local Transition group. Yesterday a couple of us went to see a screening of the movie The Economics of Happiness. You can watch the trailer here. Then there was a discussion led by a friend about progressing from acting in a personal but somewhat futile way against climate change to being more empowered through engaging with local citizens, groups and government to make communities less carbon reliant and more resilient.

In my home, I'm shopping, growing and cooking local food; insulating my home to reduce our heating needs; trying to drive less; and purchase less and purchase used. But these efforts feel less than impactful lately. How can my sacrifices make up for those nearby who build bigger and bigger homes and drive Escalades? Even more alarming is the rise in global energy needs across the developing world and evidence of the quickly changing climate.

So I'm trying to add more local and political efforts to my individual actions. I'm reading relevant books, watching informative documentaries, attending lectures and discussions, planning events and writing articles for the local media. Here's one about an orchard hike and presentation I planned, and here's another about a recent lecture about flooding in our town.

This type of environmentalism can get depressing and exhausting. Time to rejuvenate and get out into the real environment. So on another unusually warm Saturday in January, R and I headed out to Noanet Woodlands, another wonderful Trustees of Reservations property.

This 600 acre area has had many uses, Native American hunting ground, farm, mill, and now conservation land.

The early 19th iron mill which produced barrel hoops, wheel rims, and nail rods, had been abandonned and was destroyed by flood long ago. But it has been partially restored.

Beyond the mill area, there are miles and miles of trails through forest and around ponds. The pine woods are thick and getting thicker. Look at all these competing seedlings.

There are lots of huge boulders and evidence of the ice age glaciers that once covered the area.

Streams to cross...

and icy ponds to throw rocks in...

Because of the lack of leaves in the winter, our eyes are drawn to the verdant moss and sculptural fungi of the woods. I hope to do a bit of investigation about these living organisms so I can identify them. There is such variety.

1 comment:

Kaat at MamaStories said...

It *is* exhausting, isn't it? But exhilarating too. Unfortunately those two don't often balance each other out.
Lovely walk. I wish we could have come. A is all better now. She gave it to ME!