July 9, 2015 |
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - The Pine Barrens surrounding Stockton University were choked with brush and a mix of trees - from white oaks and red maples to Virginia, pitch, and shortleaf pines. The conditions made for a sickly forest, vulnerable to wildfires and insect infestation, including the destructive southern pine beetle. But last week - following earlier prescribed burns to clear undergrowth - the woods along Vera King Farris Road began feeling more airy. The first of hundreds of trees came down, and sunlight again bathed the ground, making it possible for a healthier forest to take root next to the Atlantic County school.
March 17, 2015 |
GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP, N.J. - George Zimmermann calls it a "living classroom. " Leaving PowerPoint presentations and books behind at Stockton University, the professor leads his students into the Pine Barrens that surround the Atlantic County school like a vast emerald ocean. They walk among shortleaf pines, white oaks, red maples, and Atlantic white cedars while taking up tough questions: How can they manage the forest's health? How can they protect it from fires, pathogens, and insects?
March 15, 2015 |
The warning growl, a flash of orange, heightened tension in the air: A tiger is near! This is what I had imagined and wanted to experience. Mention tiger , and India comes to mind. So, a few years ago, my wife, son, and I decided to visit Ranthambhore, a onetime princely hunting ground turned tiger preserve 112 miles from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan state in western India. We stayed in a luxury tent, once used to accommodate guests during tiger hunts in the last century.
February 17, 2015 |
WALKING through winter woods at the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, executive director Mike Weilbacher heard a few song notes high up in the bare trees and said: "That's a cardinal's mating song. The birds are dusting off their love songs, warming them up for spring. " A few minutes later, Weilbacher heard a woodpecker tapping out a drum solo in the Upper Roxborough forest on Hagy's Mill Road near Port Royal Avenue. "Woodpeckers are not great singers," he said, "but they are great percussionists.
January 12, 2015 |
THERE IS a mystery deep in the Haddington Woods. Behind the Cobbs Creek bocce courts on Vine Street near Daggett, there are two forests, standing side by side, as different as night and day. One is the picture of good health - mature native trees towering toward the sun while a young generation of saplings flourishes beneath them. The neighboring forest is dying, strangled by a thick jungle of invasive vines, shrubs and trees. Why? "That's the $10,000 question," said Tom Witmer, director of natural resources for the city's Parks & Recreation Department.
December 26, 2014 |
Partly thanks to mankind's remarkable historical propensity for ignorance and violence, these are not our darkest days. But even if most of us are immeasurably better off than we were millennia or centuries ago, a passing familiarity with the strife on America's streets and depredations abroad can make the present day look dim. And in an astronomical sense, these are our very darkest days - of the year anyway. The long nights of early winter, with fleeting glimpses of sun and months of freezing ahead, are the literally dark days from which all metaphoric meanings of the phrase spring.
November 16, 2014 |
2015 Subaru Forester 2.0 XT Premium: Subaru shows its sporty side. Ish. Price: $28,495, as tested. No options on test vehicle. Marketer's pitch: "Confidence in motion. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com likes the "roomy interior, admirable fuel economy, availability of a stout turbocharged engine, standard all-wheel drive, great safety scores, and available advanced safety features" but not the "finicky touch-screen interface; base engine is raucous at higher r.p.m. " Reality: The Forester may not do sporty all that well, but it still does Subaru well.
November 12, 2014 |
Josh Siegel's path to an Eagle Scout badge winds through a pristine patch of Voorhees called Ashland Woods. The trail he's blazing, designing, and building will improve public access to nearly 20 densely forested, out-of-the-way acres off Evesham Road. Voorhees purchased and preserved Ashland Woods from development two years ago for $1.6 million, using township, county, and state funds. The land borders the John T. Hale Sr. Memorial Park and the Cooper River's south branch. "I like nature," Siegel, 16, says, explaining why he chose the woods for his project.
October 8, 2014 |
There's much to enjoy in Alexander Burns' fun, frolicsome production of As You Like It . Burns' Quintessence Theatre Group starts its fifth season of contemporary stagings of classic works with a pair from the Bard in rotating rep ( Richard II opens Oct. 18), with an all-male cast tackling both plays. More on that anon. In Shakespeare's comedy, Duke Frederick (Paul Hebron) usurps the throne of his brother, Duke Senior, and banishes him to the Forest of Arden. Senior's daughter Rosalind (Alexander Harvey)
September 30, 2014 |
PRICE TOWNSHIP, Pa. - State troopers perched on rocks and leaned on trees, eyes fixed on the dense woods in front of them. Police cruisers lined the unpaved roads. White vans, unmarked SUVs, and armored vehicles sat ready near a pond. The hunt for alleged state trooper killer Eric Frein was narrowed Sunday to a rural Snow Hill Falls neighborhood bordering a state forest in Monroe County, where residents were once again advised not to leave home. Police said the search for Frein, a self-styled survivalist who has evaded capture in the Poconos for more than two weeks, was centered on the neighborhood.