Crow’s Nest: Reading Marcia Bonta

January 5, 2016

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager

I have been reading Marcia Bonta’s column “The Naturalist’s Eye” in Pennsylvania Game News for many years to gain insight into the natural world around me. But it hadn’t occurred to me to look on the web for her other writings until now. Her column this month was missing from the paper issue but readers were directed to look online. You can too, here!

Marcia’s writing of place, time, and its inhabitants comes from a life of careful observation, respect, and measured words, timely and timeless. Based on her wanderings on her land in Pennsylvania’s Ridge and Valley physiographic province (as opposed to the Piedmont here) and her associations with people doing research with Pennsylvania’s plants and wildlife, there’s something new to learn every month.

As she notes on her website, the blog is not a typical entry posted as soon as something happens (as many blogs are) but are essays sometimes written months ahead of time, usually tied to the season—but perhaps in reference to that which occurred the previous year. I especially like the button you can click on her blog that will take the reader to a randomly-selected article from the archive.

I know that many of our preserve staff read widely and that this column is one place they “check in.” It helps inform our work—and gives it meaning—to know more about those species that inhabit the lands we manage.