Weekend in the woods: Alan Seeger and Bear Meadows Natural Areas

As you can see, I did not stick with my plan of going to Mount Nittany this weekend. Actually, I did go to Mount Nittany. I just saw the huge number of cars and immediately left. I’ll try again another weekend, maybe when the weather isn’t so perfect. Anyway, after abandoning Mount Nittany I decided…

Learning to fly

It seems like since I moved to Pennsylvania a little over a month ago, challenges have greeted me at every turn. First, finding an apartment was a much bigger challenge than I expected. Finally, after weeks of looking, I saw the perfect one on Craigslist. It was close to campus, one bedroom and an office, hardwood…

Weekend in the woods: Trough Creek

Confession time: I did not plan for this trip at all. I showed up with no map, no idea what trails were best, just a certainty that there was a creek, a waterfall, and a big rock. So, I was quite happy when my wandering resulted in a lovely hike of approximately three and a…

Artistic endeavors: bringing a bluebird to life

While I usually don’t like to spend an entire day indoors, sometimes a combination of weather and a need to get things done can force it to happen. It’s been very windy and threatening to storm all day. Plus, my apartment was quite a mess after a long week. So, this morning was spent cleaning,…

The little things

For those who are not hikers, it can seem like quite a boring activity. After all, it is essentially just walking. One foot after another after another. It just happens to be on dirt with trees nearby rather than on pavement with buildings nearby. It’s pretty for awhile, especially if it features beautiful overlooks or…

Weekend in the woods: Spring Mill

This weekend I had the increasingly rare pleasure of visiting Spring Mill State Park, one of my favorite places in the world. As Indiana state parks go, it’s relatively small, dwarfed by giants such as Brown County and Versailles. However, I would argue that it has more to offer than practically any other park in…

Why birds?

Everyone who studies animals eventually has someone, whether it be a family member, friend, or classmate, ask “Why [insert animal here]?” The variety of creatures people choose to devote their lives to studying is amazing. From salamanders sliding through the mud to whales gliding through the ocean to wolves prowling dark forests, there is always…

Weekend in the woods: Whipple Dam

When I was first thinking of moving to Pennsylvania, one thing I kept hearing was how many wonderful hiking opportunities there are here. So when I did make the move, I expected to be taking at least one hike every weekend. It then proceeded to rain all weekend the first two weekends I was here….

The Hoosier and the Nittany Lion

Moving to a new state alone hasn’t been easy. I’ve known for a while that I would likely go to graduate school out of state. However,  I didn’t predict that my husband would get a career position in Indiana just before I was scheduled to leave. Getting a full-time job in the wildlife field requires…

Patience rewarded

One thing I like about field work is that it forces me to sit still. Most of us, myself included, spend most of our lives looking at our phones, computers, e-readers, tablets, TVs, etc. However, for the last couple of days I’ve been unable to do that. My task in graduate school is to discover…