Pam Owen & "Wild Ideas"


Author of the "Wild Ideas" column and blog

Pam Owen

A writer, photographer, editor, Virginia Master Naturalist, and lifelong conservationist, I love nature, great movies and great food, anything that makes me laugh, my dog (Mollie), a steady income (whatever that is), and dirty martinis.

Mollie and I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the border of Shenandoah National Park, and there's no place I'd rather be. When not exploring and writing about nature, I edit books for authors and do other freelance communications work through my company, Nighthawk Communications.

For years, I'd been involved in conservation in Rappahannock County, where I live. I helped found a six-county Virginia Master Naturalist chapter and served on its board as well as on the board of a local conservation organization before becoming its first executive director. Through my nature writing and photography, I've tried to support conservation efforts in Virginia.

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To share my observations about nature and promote its conservation, in 2010 I started "Wild Ideas" as a nature column in the weekly newspapers Rappahannock News and Culpeper Times, now both owned by Rappahannock MediaIn the column, I explore nature, particularly in the Blue Ridge Mountains and northwest Piedmont of Virginia.

My main reasons for starting the column were to keep me learning about nature and to share what I learned in the hopes of inspiring others to care as much about nature as I do and to help protect it. In the spring of 2020, amid the rise of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, I decided to share more of my daily mental and physical ramblings in nature and started this blog as a companion to the column.

Although I've studied nature through formal education and through years of observation and research on nature topics that intrigue, delight, or worry me, I still consider myself a student of nature, not an expert. But I do know quite a few experts who share their knowledge with me.

For every answer I find in nature, myriad new questions arise, leading me on journeys that sometimes land me, like Alice, down a rabbit hole. But what a wonderful place for a nature writer to be! I hope you'll join me on my journey, day by day, season by season.

For more Wild Ideas, follow me on Twitter (@WildIdeas) and Facebook.

— Pam Owen    


Adventures in Nature