Mar 14, 2016

Self-Portrait with Turtles

by David Carroll

Naturalist, author and artist David Carroll wrote this memoir telling how he became so passionate about turtles and where they led him. He caught his first turtle at eight years old, wading through creeks and ponds in scant woods near his home, and was enthralled by the reptiles from then on. At first he just spent his time looking for turtles, in later years he learned to identify them and began keeping records of his sightings. He also describes his training in art school, early directions his art took, and how it finally became focused on nature subjects. Became a teacher and often had to move his family, each time searching for a place to live where he could be near unspoiled wetlands, for finding turtles. It seems this became more and more difficult as the years went on. He describes going back to his childhood home and dismay at finding so much changed, the farm he finally settled on, and how he worked to secure and protect habitat for wildlife (especially turtles) around his property and in other areas as well.

While this book wasn't quite as captivating for me because it doesn't have the extent of in-depth, detailed nature writing I so loved in Swampwalker's Journal and Trout Reflections, it is still a good read. I appreciate learning how other people's lives become involved with wild places, and how an artist saw and portrayed nature. And of course, the turtles.

Rating: 3/5           181 pages, 2004

1 comment:

Stefanie said...

Oh I might have to look this one up! I love turtles! I even owned one for 20 years, she was great, loved cantaloupe and having her back scratched. :)