Reflections on the Watershed 2 Trail

The trail in watershed 2 winds through old-growth forest.

Kari O’Connell, previously the HJA Forest Director and now the Associate Director at the OSU Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, shares her reflection:

"One of my fondest memories of the Andrews Forest is the afternoon I hiked on the Watershed 2 trail with Howard Bruner and Robert Michael Pyle, during Robert’s residency (the first writers residency of the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program). In Robert Michael Pyle’s own words,

'It rained most of the time, and we grew awfully wet and muddy, but stayed warm enough with exertion; and though we were slipping and sliding, balancing and hopping like a bunch of red tree voles, (or two, plus a small walrus), no one got hurt. My hardest hike in years, but truth to tell, I much enjoyed it. Frequently, we passed trees tagged long ago so their life trajectories and ultimate mortality could be measured; transect plots; and other signs of curious hands on this uncut basin. The responses of this forest, both to management and stochastic events (or, vicissitudes) will have been monitored over a long period, along with numerous other places involved in the LTER project.'

The hike took us way longer than expected as we had to climb under and over enormous, downed trees and admire and appreciate plants and birds along the way. Robert Michael Pyle and his residency launched the Long-Term Ecological Reflections program, which brings together writers, humanists, and scientists to create a living, growing record of how we understand the forest and the relation of people to the forest, as that understanding and that forest both change over time."

Here are some links to some of Robert Michael Pyle’s writings:  The Long Haul  and Reflections: Field Notes  (see II. Journal Entry for a description of this grand Watershed 2 adventure).


First posted August 31, 2023