by Sally Carrighar
Based on several summers' observations of wildlife in Sequoia National Park, One Day on Beetle Rock describes the lives of nine different animals, crossing paths and spanning twenty-four hours on a singular location. Each chapter outlines events of the same day through the experience of a different animal: weasel, Sierra grouse, chickadee, black bear, lizard, coyote, deer mouse, stellar jay and mule deer. Written like a novel and full of detailed information on each species, this is one of my favorite pieces of nature writing. If you've ever wondered what the business of day-to-day life is like for another species, this book is an excellent read. It gives a strong picture of what each creature's sensations, concerns and consciousness might be like, without over-anthropomorphizing them.
I would like to quote from the forward by Robert C. Miller:
These are stories of the adventures of animals, but with a difference- the stories are of actual animals in an actual place, as the author has observed them. She has watched carefully and recorded truthfully, always with sensitive understanding and a keen awareness of beauty. The tales are fiction, yes, but fiction closely parallel with face. This is real natural history.
A companion to this book is One Day at Teton Marsh, by the same author.
Rating: 4/5 ........ Published: 1943, pp 196