Rick Marsi ’69

Rick Marsi ’69 gives Scene readers a peek into Brier Hill in the fall. As he invites in his book Wheel of Seasons: “Take a walk, a little walk.” Especially in autumn, he adds, “As well as offering the universal lessons inherent in all seasons, it may reveal special ones of its own.” (Photo by Andrew Daddio)

Pausing next to a tamarack tree, Rick Marsi ’69 purses his lips and exhales, “pshhht, pshhht, pshhht, pshhht” in staccato breaths. A male common yellowthroat, wearing a black mask, answers the call and alights on a nearby branch. Marsi — economics major, ornithologist, naturalist, writer, and photographer — is seemingly satisfied.

Crunching through fallen leaves at Brier Hill, his 30-acre property in Vestal, N.Y., on this balmy, mellow Monday, Marsi points out landmarks: a towering white oak that he refers to as “the matriarch,” a grove of red pines that grew from seedlings he and his mother planted in the mid-’60s, and mini-waterfalls created by stones that he and his wife piled in the creek. All the while, his feathered friends warble overhead, and the birdman is always listening.

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