Winter has arrived in Kentucky. The winter solstice is December 21st, but for me winter begins when the thermometer drops below 32◦, the last leaves fall, and sunset is around 5:00pm. The lack of sunlight, fresh air, and time outdoors can be disheartening.
Winter can be inhospitable, but I see silver linings. Every season is full of gifts and opportunities. Some of these are easy to identify and understand. The new beginnings of spring, the sunny summer moments of carefree living, the bountiful and colorful autumn harvest.
Others are not so easy. The violent storms that come when seasons change, the brutal heat of summer, or the bitter cold of winter. These require us to look beyond appearances to see deeper meaning.
There is a new kid on the block, folks! Berea College is proud to present the newly established organization known as the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition (BFNC). Student-led and student established group with the purpose of engaging students, faculty, staff, and community members. The BFNC plans to do this through opportunities that prove to be service-oriented, educational, and beneficial to the environment. The mission of the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition is to clean, maintain, and restore Brushy Fork’s Forest & Trails in order to provide an educational and recreational setting that offers students an opportunity to learn about the environment, wildlife, sustainability, and the outdoors. Berea College Sophomore Hunter McDavid is the founder and coordinator of the Brushy Fork Nature Coalition. Working alongside Hunter as the advisor for this coalition is the Forestry Outreach Center’s own Wendy Warren. This is an exciting development for nature lovers, those going into a nature related profession, and/or anyone that is interested in the beautiful scenery Brushy Fork has to offer. Brushy Fork is located right behind the Alumni Building at Berea College and is home to many beautiful sights
Why do we ever build bridges? Sure, we build bridges to travel over water so we can take our fancy cars from place to place or so we don’t get our feet wet when we need to cross a creek. Although these functions are very helpful, I do not believe these are the most important uses for a bridge. Bridges can be so much more than some concrete or some wood we use so our hiking boots stay dry. Bridges connect places and more importantly, bridges can connect people. They can help establish entire communities from nothing or repair longstanding communities that are on the brink of falling apart. This is why we are building a bridge through our work here at the Forestry Outreach Center (FOC).
Civilization grows at an exponential rate, and our technologies and influence over the Earth is ever evolving. It is astounding how different things were 100, 50, even 25 years ago. One large difference is our shift towards the comforts of living indoors, not just as a country, but as a society. In fact, as of around 2008, the majority of the world’s population (and 54% as of 2014) lived in urban areas. This is the first time in the history of the world that this has happened (UN 2014).
I don’t want anyone to hear me breathe too loudly.
This is the thought that held me back from hiking for so many years. That held me back from doing quite a bit of things, really. It is no secret that walking uphill causes a person to breathe more heavily, but imagine for a moment, that you believe to do so–to breathe heavily–is wrong.
I am convinced that language is the most fascinating aspect of anthropological study. We can study a culture’s words and oral customs and make inferences about that culture’s historic development and daily rituals. A language (and its numerous dialects) provides insight into what is prominent in the lives of its speakers. Words that describe very specific feelings or images are particularly intriguing; I try to imagine the origins of these words, the people that first spoke them, and what the word looked like when they were adopted.
I have always been amazed at how we do not know what we are missing until we take the leap of faith and try out new things.
As humans, we always go for the easier route, the comfortable one. We do not like to try things that take us out of our comfort zone, but once we do, we are always left in awe and wonder.
My name is Aloyce Riziki. I was born and raised in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. I am currently a rising junior at Berea College and for the first part of my summer, I am working at the Berea College Forestry Outreach Center.
we were joined by Dr. Sarah Hall, Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department at Berea College, for a winter tree identification session–the first of many themed Saturday hikes. An inter-generational crowd gathered in front of the Center anxiously awaiting Dr. Hall to begin. Our slow walk began at the base of the trails where Dr. Hall started by teaching us about shagbark hickory (Carya ovata). Its distinct shaggy, peeling bark is easily recognizable, but comparable to shellbark hickory (Carya laciniosa), where the differences lie in the shape of the nut.
A group of Berea College students, staff, and community members gathered Saturday, January 20th, to celebrate the return of warmer weather as we hiked together at the Pinnacles. We met at the Forestry Outreach Center at 12:30, divided into groups to accommodate hikers’ interests and needs, and made our way on trails along the roadside or up to various Pinnacles. Some of the people gathered had never hiked at the Pinnacles before, while others were quite familiar with the trails.