A Snowy November Skiing at Garnet Hill with Friends






Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nature Writers

A perfect early autumn/late summer day in the Adirondacks. Sue and I were gushing with superlatives throughout our hike on the eastern slopes of Eleventh Mountain. My nature walks recently have been crammed full of one-of-a-kind plants, trees, and animal happenings and discoveries. Surprising! And so welcome.

I've been closely examining and studying native trees for well over a year, and I'm finally getting to the point where I really know a great deal about the trees in the South-Central Adirondacks. But! I'm always adding new information and discoveries to my reservoir of knowledge.

Sue is a nature lover whose main residence is in the San Francisco Bay area. She and her husband spend three months of the year here in a cozy, quaint old cabin once belonging to her husband's parents. Today she told me about the New England nature writer she's been reading, someone I don't know, which surprises me. I must get a hold of some of Edwin Way Teale's books.  Like many of our wonderful nature writers, he's been dead for several decades, but his work continues to captivate. Can't wait to read him. From his Wikipedia listing, he's authored many fascinating titles. An intriguing life.

My favorite nature writers:
Bernd Heinrich: I own most of his books. My favorites are Winter World and Trees in My Forest. He's a wildlife biologist who was a professor for many years at the University of Vermont in Burlington. As far as I know he still owns a  place in northern Vermont as well as a remote cabin in the wilds of northern Maine. He's still observing and writing. I find his writing fascinating. Although he's in his early 70s now, he has always not let the environment, the harsh climate, or anything get in the way of his nature study. He is the author of many books.

Henry David Thoreau. Well, of course.

Who are your favorite nature writers that observe the environment in your neck of the woods?

9 comments:

  1. I don't read enough nature writing to have favorite authors, but I envy your hike yesterday. It was a perfect day for being outdoors!

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    1. JoAnn,
      I wish I knew more--Danielle at A Work in Progress highlights nature writers from time to time. I should look back.
      And yes, gorgeous weather then, as in past tense now! The humidity of today and yesterday was abominable.
      Best,
      Judith

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  2. Gavin Maxwell, Lawrence Durrell, Tom Weir (hill walking) lots of gardening writers. I want to read Gladys Taber (US). Is that mountain really called Eleventh Mountain?

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    1. Katrina,
      Thanks for the list of writers! I'm interested in hill walking in the UK, so I'll look up Tom Weir. And I'll add the others to my list. Hmmm... Gladys Taber...I think I once read a book by her back in my twenties. I'll look her up, too!
      Eleventh Mountain...yes, it's true. Evidently when the Adirondacks was surveyed way back when, surveyors assigned numbers to zones and mountains. For some reason, some of these numbered place names stuck. We have a Thirteenth Mountain in our town as well, and a Thirteenth Lake, and a Little Thirteenth Mountain.

      Who are your favorite gardening writers? Maybe you could write a post about them. I'd be fascinated!

      Judith

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    2. Oh! And Eleventh Mountain is the closest mountain to my home, so it's extra special.

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    3. Garden writers I like, Geoff Hamilton, Roy Lancaster, Monty Don, Ann Scott-James. I like Clare Leighton's country/gardening writing and her wood block illustrations. She moved to the US in the 1940s and continued to write about gardening in the Cape Cod area I think. She designed stained glass windows for quite a few New England churches. http://www.nationalacademy.org/collections/artists/detail/1360/

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  3. I don't really read nature writers, and if I did, I'd have to dig hard to find books about New York City's natural environs.

    I do, however, read Barbara Kingsolver's books, and as a biologist, she well describes the natural surroundings in The Prodigal Summer and Flight Behavior. The latter is about global warming and climate change in Appalachia.

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    1. Kathy,
      Oh, how I loved Prodigal Summer! My favorite of hers.

      And, how I wish I had on the tip of my tongue the names of nature writers living and writing about nature in and close to New York City. Darn! I think there have been several extraordinary birders who have written articles about the glory of birding in Central Park. But I believe there are more writers than that.

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    2. Kathy,
      Oh, how I loved Prodigal Summer! My favorite of hers.

      And, how I wish I had on the tip of my tongue the names of nature writers living and writing about nature in and close to New York City. Darn! I think there have been several extraordinary birders who have written articles about the glory of birding in Central Park. But I believe there are more writers than that.

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