Mar 5, 2011

Salt Marsh Summer

by Jack and Mike Couffer

Salt Marsh Summer was written by a father and son team, describes an area of marshland in Southern California, near which they resided. They describe walks through the mudflats, observations of local wildlife- most intriguing were the fiddler crabs!- and dismay at how the marsh was being affected by developments, people dumping trash, etc. I enjoyed the stories, all told in a friendly, charming fashion- one about a gull with fishing line tangled on its leg that they tried time and time again to catch and relieve of its burden, another about a lady who let her dog run loose on a beach where there were strict leash laws- only to end up plastered in mud when she tried to free her pet after it got stuck from wandering too far out into the marsh! yet another about the discovery of a rare species of shrew. It's a quiet kind of book, one that amuses and educates at the same time, showing how a few individuals can actually have a serious, positive impact on their environment. The Couffers were not at all shy about getting involved with local scientific studies or the work of Fish and Game biologists to do something about preserving this little bit of land. Most people would glance at the marsh and just see a lot of stinking mud, but these men reveal the hidden beauties of such a place, and the importance it has for myriads of wild creatures. Lovely little book.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 92 pages, 1978

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