Mar 16, 2008

One Day on Beetle Rock

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


  1. What is that thing on the cover? I want to snuggle it.

  2. I love this book too, and your review captures it perfectly. I just reviewed it on my own blog a little while back. Thanks,

  3. This sounds great! Such an original approach to nature writing.

  4. Anonymous3/17/2008

    This sounds like Mary Austin or John Muir, but with a fictional bent. Interesting idea.

  5. Anna- Lovely blog you have. Thanks for the visit. I enjoyed your thorough review of this same book.

    Writer2b- I have read several works by Muir, but never heard of Austin. Thanks to your suggestion, looked her up and now have The Land of Little Rain on my list!

  6. Anonymous3/18/2008

    Yes, 'The Land of Little Rain' is what I was thinking of. I hope you enjoy it too!


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