What with so many of the local fruit trees either in or coming in to bloom right now, I took down a copy of a Johns Hopkins University Press backlist book, William Kerrigan’s Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard; A Cultural History, that was sent to me last year in a shipment of new review copies from that fine publishing house. In it was a note saying “Thought you might be interested in this as well.” Indeed, I remember thinking that it did seem interesting, but what with all the new books needing attention, I never quite got to it.
A friend of mine once asked “why don’t people watch insects the same way they watch birds?” It’s a fair question. After all, many insects – such as butterflies and a good many beetles – are distinctively patterned or colored in such a way that an amateur could learn to identify them on sight – […]
Back when I was a boy growing up in a small coastal town in the Pacific Northwest, my sense that everything around me was inexhaustible was not simply the result of youthful naïvety, it was acquired from and reinforced by all those around me. The salmon in the river were beyond number. The forests stretched for as far as I could see from the highest hill in the town. Everything upon which I, my parents, and everyone we knew relied seemed truly inexhaustible.
When I was a boy, every Sunday evening after the dinner dishes had been washed and the kitchen tidied up, my parents and I would sit down in front of our wood cabinet console encased (first for our family) color television set and watch Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. Hosted by the eminently calm Marlin […]