In Walden, Henry David Thoreau ordered his readers to “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.” It can be difficult to find this type of thinking today, at least outside of smelly Vermont communes or health food stores. Yet, as much as we might like to scoff at this almost youthful idealism, we cannot overlook it completely. We live in a cynical, fast-paced world nowadays, and it is incredibly easy to live only in that day-in-day-out grind and never spend an afternoon in nature. Who has so much time that they can waste it doing nothing in the woods? However, I would posit that this time is not wasted, but sacrificed out of necessity. Among rows of silent, stately trees, the inane problems of everyday life fall away, and you’ll find yourself able to focus on what is actually important to you, whatever that may be. This was the approach taken by Wendy Pfeiffer Lawrence, and has since been immortalized in the Pfeiffer Nature Center.
The Pfeiffer Nature Center is a non-profit organization located near Portville, NY and has been in operation for nearly twenty years. It encompasses an impressive 468 acres of wilderness, all open for public utility and enjoyment. Their mission is to “build a foundation of knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the intrinsic values and aesthetic qualities of the natural world while instilling a sense of responsibility and stewardship for the natural world within the global community.”
This August, the center has three major programs lined up that promise to be fun for everyone. On the 1stat 10am, the center will launch its Bounty on the Mountain program. This event will teach vital skills necessary in the pursuit of outdoor cooking. These skills range from “trowing” a steak, to cooking biscuits on a stick, and even learning how to cook an egg inside of an orange. As no stranger to outdoor cooking myself, I can promise you that the orange cooked eggs are worth it in and of themselves. Everyone loves brunch (especially when it’s served in a gorgeous spot), and for the low price of $7, there’s really no reason for you not to go. Be sure to reserve a spot soon, as prior notice is required to attend this lovely opportunity.
On the 14thbeginning at 8:30 pm, the Oh My Stars event will take place. This will allow participants to view the full beauty of the Perseid Meteor Shower. The center encourages you to bring lawn chairs and friends to this event, as it is open to the public and free of charge. In my oh-so-humble opinion, the Perseid shower is one of the coolest perennial shows around, and I would urge you to catch a view of it, especially if you never have before. Also, it’s worth noting that it will be a new moon cycle on the 14th, so this year’s shower should be brilliant without any of that pesky light pollution.
The final event lined up this August is the Folk Dance on the 22ndat 2:15pm. Dancing is not everyone’s cup of tea ... (Lord knows it isn’t mine! I’m of Irish descent, so any rhythm I have exists below my ankles.) However, I have been assured that all dancing will be taught at this event, and no prior experience is needed. Hopefully, that assuages your reservations as much as it did mine. Besides, the event promises to be lots of fun with local musician Rachel Bell leading the pack. Dances include a Middle Eastern snake charmer, a Russian clapping dance, and a traditional American dance. This event is $7 and requires a reservation. So, grab some dancing friends and remember that you won’t feel as foolish if you’re in a group.
The Pfeiffer Nature center is located at 1974 Lillibridge Road, Portville NY. To make reservations for these events, either go online at pfeiffernaturecenter.org or call the office at 716-933-0187. Don’t miss out on these great opportunities to reconnect with nature.