by Hal Borland
The book was published in the late sixties, and some of Borland's views reflect that. He describes seeing the destruction of a local river ecosystem over the course of a decade, due to human development and interference. He reminisces with a friend on how winters don't seem as severe as they used to, and they surmise that the earth is warming up because of exposed blacktop, and physical heat rising from houses! Other speculations are more removed, such as his curiosity on the origins of old sayings. He picks out dozens from Cervantes, notes that they are also found in Chaucer and Shakespeare, wonders if those long-ago writers were geniuses who invented the phrases, or just captured what was already popular and familiar?
Sometimes his disparaging comments about his wife's intelligence insulted me, other times his complaints seemed petty, and the jokes often fell flat. But the majority of the book is nature-writing at its best (at least for me) so those were small matters to gloss over, the rest enjoyed very much.
Rating: 4/5 ......... 377 pages, 1967