New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

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RayA
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New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by RayA » Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:27 pm

Tom Wessels is a terrestrial ecologist and professor emeritus at Antioch University New England, as well as a popular author. Two of his books are "Reading the Forested Landscape" and "Forest Forensics", in which he teaches how to interpret past land use history of, and disturbances to, eastern (particularly New England) forests. Tom is a master at this, and I highly recommend his books to all who have any interest in forests.

I had the privilege of producing a film with Tom which more or less parallels those two books; the title is the same as the first book, "Reading the Forested Landscape". It was published two days ago on Youtube, in three parts. Comments so far are very positive. You can access it via a blog announcement of the film at http://www.neforests.com, or more directly on the New England Forests youtube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/NewEnglandForests

Hope you enjoy it; I learned a lot from Tom, and hopefully you will too. The book covers more topics than a film can, and is well worth buying.

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dbhguru
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by dbhguru » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:09 pm

Ray,

Thanks for the heads up.

Ents,

For those of you who have visited Ray's blog in the past, you've seen his talents displayed in bringing forest aesthetics and mystery to life. I think that you'll find his current video no less compelling. For those of you who are not acquainted with Ray's work, you're in for a treat.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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JHarkness
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by JHarkness » Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:46 pm

Great series Ray! I watched all three films yesterday and really enjoyed them. I never realized the potential amount of time that pit and mound micro-topography can persist nor did I realize how noticeable the plowing in old crop fields can be.

I was inspired to go look for old hurricane blowdown in my forest and managed to find a very large, very very old tip up mound and adjacent pit, along with around 25 others of comparable size all facing the northwest, I can imagine that these trees would have had to be old growth, probably hemlock, so it would have had to occur before any land was cleared here, the only powerful storm that struck this area before the earliest clearing here was the Hurricane of 1635.

I am seeing the forest anew thanks to your and Tom's efforts!

Joshua
"Be not simply good; be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

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RayA
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by RayA » Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:54 pm

Joshua,

Most of what Tom brings to light is common sense, isn't it? But how many of us have taken the time to think about such things and do the kind of detective work he does? Learning to apply these lessons does take time and practice, but doesn't it make time spent in the woods that much more interesting? I think so.

Thanks for watching, and for the kind words.

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JHarkness
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by JHarkness » Thu Jul 05, 2018 7:08 pm

Ray,

I completely agree, these are all things I'd thought about before, but never really thought to look for out in a forest. I've become very interested in the history of disturbances in my forest, as it has an number of stone walls, but very few actually make an enclosure, some are just one or two hundred foot sections that come to a clean, intentional end, and sometimes transition to barbed wire. There are no large stone dumps so they likely weren't hauled off and dumped some place. All I can think of is that much of the sheep fencing was wood, with some stone sections. There are several fairly large woodlots on my property that still have remnant old growth (the oldest trees are around 320-350 years) so wood for fencing was not hard to come by. I'm very curious if this was the case, or if something else happened.

Joshua
"Be not simply good; be good for something." Henry David Thoreau

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ElijahW
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by ElijahW » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:20 pm

Ray,

I just finished watching the three parts to your film, and I'd like to commend you on another job well done. I also enjoyed the Peregrine Falcon video on Mt. Tom.

Mr. [Dr.?] Wessels obviously has a wealth of knowledge on this topic. I learned a bunch. Thanks for putting this together,

Elijah
"There is nothing in the world to equal the forest as nature made it. The finest formal forest, the most magnificent artificially grown woods, cannot compare with the grandeur of primeval woodland." Bob Marshall, Recreational Limitations to Silviculture in the Adirondacks

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RayA
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by RayA » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:41 pm

Hi Elijah, and thank you. Yes, Tom Wessels has done a lot of forest detective work, and is a talented teacher and accomplished author. He and his wife Marcia live in a timber frame house they recently built... they heat it to 70 degrees or better through the New Hampshire winters on two and a half cords of wood, and warmth absorbed from solar heating of a masonry floor. I'm already bugging him to do Part 4 of the film, and maybe 5 as well ! :)

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a_blooming_botanist
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by a_blooming_botanist » Sat Jul 07, 2018 5:45 pm

Ray,

I am very impressed! You are becoming quite the film maker! All three parts of this video series are as engaging and informative as Tom's books.

Next stop: Hollywood!

Jared

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RayA
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Re: New Tom Wessels film: "Reading the Forested Landscape"

Post by RayA » Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:25 am

Thanks Jared, I'll send a postcard from sunny downtown Burbank.

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