Over a period of three years, Thoreau made three trips to the largely unexplored woods of Maine. He climbed mountains, paddled a canoe by moonlight, and dined on cedar beer, hemlock tea and moose lips. Taking notes constantly, Thoreau was just as likely to turn his observant eye to the habits and languages of the Abnaki Indians or the arduous life of the logger as he was to the workings of nature. He acutely observed the rivers, lakes, mountains, wolves, moose, and stars in the dark sky. He also told of nights sitting by the campfire, and of meeting men who communicated with each other by writing on the trunks of trees. In The Maine Woods, Thoreau captured a wilder side of America and revealed his own adventurous spirit.
A professor of zoology at the University of Vermont, Heinrich here recounts a recent year he spent in the western Maine wilderness. With his pet raven Jack, he began his sojourn at the end of May. His cabin, without electricity or plumbing, sat in a clearing a half-mile up a steep brush-filled hill accessible only to four-wheel-drive vehicles. His mailbox was at the foot of the trail, and his nearest neighbors lived on the road beyond the mailbox. To keep in touch with family and friends, Heinrich, author of the National Book Award nominee Bumblebee Economics, installed a phone and answering machine in the neighbors' outhouse. He takes us through his busy summer and fall of chopping wood and making repairs to the cabin, all the while observing the wildlife around him. He battles with blackflies and mosquitos, mice and cluster flies. In January he conducts an on-site seminar for selected students. For readers who love the outdoors, even vicariously. Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Holland (Milkweed Visitors), a naturalist and wildlife photographer, has an oddball vision of nature that is both informative and entertaining. Her description of her home, where she stores beaver castor glands in her freezer and has a fecal bear plug on display in her living room, prepares the reader for a book that includes pictures of penile bones and other oddities—as well as plenty of natural beauty. Nearly 1,000 color photographs should help the newbie naturalists learn what to look for and where to find it. Readers will delight in images of a newt and spring peeper attempting to mate; remarkably vibrant robins eggs in a nest; and a loon chick swallowing a fish whole. Though Holland begins her calendar year in March, the start of the mating season as dictated by her Vermont home-base, she provides a simple algorithm for readers to adjust according to latitude. Months are color-coded and organized around species; amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects & arachnids give way to plants, and the detail provided about each group is astounding. For Holland and her readers, treasures abound. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.