Lay of the Landscape is an exploration of real landscapes.  It is dedicated to providing a deeper experience of place by examining the significance, history, and sustainability of individual landscapes.  Landscapes are the result of human activity and natural phenomena. They are a crucial scale for humans to perceive and make sense of the world, and to manipulate for their own sustainability.   Many persons attach to, if not identify with, home landscapes.

The goal of this blog is to portray specific landscapes, which may be familiar or exotic, but which have a story to tell, and ultimately a lesson to show us.  In this journey, I will also muse about the importance of landscapes to us, to nature, and to the future sustainability of both. My intention for the next year is to post fortnightly features about places I believe are illuminating.  I learned long ago it is impossible to write well about a place one hasn’t seen, so I will limit this blog to places I have observed personally. But this is not a travel blog — it will be a closer look at the ecology, history, and culture of landscapes.  This is also an opportunity to burnish my photography skills so I can show you these places too.

A little bit about me. I am an environmental and landscape planner with training in both landscape architecture and city and regional planning. I worked for several years in regional planning for a collaborative non-profit and became a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. I have taught at the college level for nearly 20 years. I enjoy a peripatetic lifestyle, which is good for someone who loves to experience and study new landscapes. Fortunately I have in my spouse an adventuresome travel partner.  After several decades living in many other cities, I moved back to the Pennsylvania town where I grew up. Revisiting these landscapes has triggered a wealth of memories, which I will include in my posts. Of course, I love to study new landscapes also. In the end it is my hope you will look at landscapes differently both out your front door and far afield.