In some ways, yes, this is another nature blog. Sort of. Get ready for close-up shots of flowers, questions about bird identification, and exclamations of wonder at just how big trees can grow. I am much more interested, however, in exploring my twin yearnings for wilderness and strong communities. To me, the concept of “community” consists of a series of nested groups of people, to whom I am directly linked and responsible. From housemates to fellow US residents to citizens of the world, these communities vary in size. Those of you strange enough to feel at home in the wild and lucky enough to return to good people will recognize some of the themes that I’ll tackle. For the rest of you, I hope you enjoy the window into a somewhat different world.
Who am I to be writing this series of loosely connected posts? My name is Rachel, and I am an avid wilderness lover, practicing naturalist, and politics addict. In May 2012, I graduated from the Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning Program at the University of Vermont, where I earned an M.S. in Natural Resources/Ecological Planning. There I honed naturalist observation skills, learned how to ask interesting questions about the natural world, and had a grand old time studying old trees. Since graduating, I returned to my work as an Outward Bound instructor. Introducing teenagers and adults to the vastness of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is an absolute joy. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the US and backpacked through stunning forests and mountains in New England, Montana, Colorado, and Alaska.