Here begins my "Wild Reads" series where I recommend a book that has had a profound influence on me as an ecologist, a naturalist, and a lover of The Wild. I am a lifelong bibliophile and am so excited to share some of my favorite reads with you!
Our first book in the series is We Took to the Woods by Louise Dickinson Rich. This lovely memoir of life in a remote backcountry settlement in the Rangeley, Maine area is absolutely charming. The book was published in 1942, and I read it in 1999. It resonated with my roots as a multi-generational Mainer, and a woman of the woods.
It's humorous, wise, and full of adventure. Rich's clever chapter titles include: "Aren't you Ever Frightened?" and "Don't you get Awfully Out of Touch?"
About 10 years ago my husband and I had the unique opportunity to tour the actual place where the book was written - Forest Lodge on the Rapid River. We spent the day with legendary Aldro French, the caretaker and flyfishing guide who had a relationship with that magical place for over 55 years (what a storyteller!). We wandered through the rooms of the "Winter" and "Summer" Houses, where many of Rich's belongings have laid untouched through the decades (including her typewriter). But that's another story...
Here's a favorite excerpt that may leave you wanting to read more of this fine book:
"At night, after being at Prospect, I lie in bed and see great clusters of berries slide by endlessly against my closed lids. They haunt me. There are so many of them yet unpicked, so many that will never be picked. The birds and bears and foxes will eat a few, but most of them will drop off at the first frost, to return to the sparse soil of Prospect whatever of value they borrowed from it. Nature is strictly moral. There is no attempt to cheat the earth by means of steel vault or bronze coffin. I hope that when I die I too may be permitted at once my oldest outstanding debt, to restore promptly the minerals and salts that have been lent to me for the little while that I have use for blood and bone and flesh."
Read on, Wild Ones!
- Jan 2, 2019 Wild Reads #1: We Took to The Woods
- Nov 28, 2018 Winterberry: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
- Aug 16, 2018 Where Have All the Whip-poor-wills Gone?
- Jun 22, 2018 Give a Warm Welcome to Wild Bees (Super-pollinators Part 2)
- May 16, 2018 The Wonder of Wild Bees (Super-pollinators Part 1)
- Apr 19, 2018 Saving Songbirds Starts with Your Morning Coffee
- Mar 21, 2018 Wildlife Habitat Design in A Wounded World
- Feb 16, 2018 “Intelligent Tinkering” - How to Boost Biodiversity at Home (Leopold’s Wise Words Part 2)
- Jan 18, 2018 Carnivore Coexistence (Leopold's Wise Words - Part 1)
- Dec 14, 2017 Dead and Dying Trees are Key to Life
- Nov 14, 2017 A Top Threat to Biodiversity: Invasive Plants
- Oct 18, 2017 Hallowed Habitat
- Sep 21, 2017 Beechnuts - Superfood for Bears & Other Wildlife
- Aug 22, 2017 Baby Bats Need Love Too
- Jul 25, 2017 Bring the Magic of Fireflies Back Home Again