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Chronicles the annual migration of the alewives, beginning in the spring when these members of the herring family leave the ocean and come inland to spawn and following their journey through streams to freshwater ponds on Cape Cod
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In a book first published in 1959 and now reissued in an anniversary edition, John Hay, the nature-writing laureate of Cape Cod, ponders one of the great curiosities of nature in those parts. The mystery in question is the annual migration of the alewife, a kind of herring that behaves in this respect much like the salmon, moving at infancy from the freshwater lakes of New England into the cold Atlantic Ocean and thence back to the waters of its birth. The journey, Hay writes, is oddly heroic, and it comes at great cost: some 90 percent of the adult alewives do not survive the arduous move from ocean to stream. Hay's prose, too, is oddly enchanting, given that his subject is a fish--and a none-too-lovely one at that. No matter, for Hay describes the alewife as "a life that shone with vibrant persistence, one of nature's particularized energies, a wild texture as old as the animal world, a food that was the beneficent matter of all struggle and greed." His pages ring with such fish-born poetry as he recounts the life cycle of the alewife from wriggling larva to adult. The migration of this intriguing fish, he concludes, "is not only a matter of routes or seasonal behavior. It has to do with an internal response to this spinning globe and its unendingly creative energies." That creative energy nicely describes the spirit of this slender study, as well as Hay's other fine books. --Gregory McNameeAbout the Author:
J Hay is a Beacon Press author.
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Book Description W W Norton & Company, New York, 1979. hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. David Grose (illustrator). 3rd Ed. 1979 Third Edition, blue cloth hardcover with dust jacket, Signed by John Hay on the title page, owner's gift dedication, dust jacket is price clipped and lightly rubbed, cloth cover is faded with white spots, 184 pages. Seller Inventory # 20545
Book Description W W Norton & Co Inc, 1979. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Seller Inventory # SONG0393012697