Swampwalker's Journal: A Wetlands Year

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9780395647257: Swampwalker's Journal: A Wetlands Year
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The author of The Year of the Turtle provides a year-long journey through the swamps and wetlands, introducing the varied animal and plant inhabitants of the marshes and describing why such habitats are so important to his own life and to Earth's environmental future. 10,000 first printing.

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Wetland. The very word makes environmentalists swoon and real estate developers curse. While squishy places like swamps and bogs used to be considered unfit for human habitation, the 19th and 20th centuries saw a veritable festival of "reclamation" as the world's wetlands were transformed into land usable by humans. But what beauty and natural utility was lost in the process? In Swampwalker's Journal, David M. Carroll transcends the political to find joy in the damp places he has loved since he was a boy. In chapters describing his favorite vernal pools, marshes, swamps, ponds, and bogs, Carroll describes hours spent watching animals frolic in their moist, vegetated homes. Braving mosquito bites and the wrath of bears, he embarks on a journey through these mysterious, underappreciated ecosystems and records their ups and downs faithfully, complete with exquisite illustrations. You feel almost as if you're reading his field journals, the writing is so immediate and full of detail. Here, he describes a hunting heron:

He keeps as still as the breathless afternoon for a time, then moves again, taking several slow strides, each accompanied by a rhythmic, gradual curvilinear extension and retraction of his serpentine neck. From time to time he redirects his head, his long, sharp bill poised, his avid eyes ablaze with focus and intent. His movements are effected with such heron stealth that even in motion he could pass unseen.

Carroll saves his plea for the preservation of these fragile, fading landscapes until the epilogue, allowing readers to become as charmed as he is by the wetlands he loves. Annie Dillard calls David Carroll "a genius, a madman, a national treasure," and you'll agree when you've read this beautiful piece of nature writing, an unforgettable "tour de swamp." --Therese Littleton

From the Back Cover:

Winner of the John Burroughs Medal for Best Natural History Book of the Year

"Magnificent . . .the best kind of book . . .Swampwalker's Journal is an admission ticket to a secret corner of the world."
Bill McKibben

"David Carroll is a genius, madman, a national treasure."
Annie Dillard

"I was captivated by David Carroll's . . .obvious passion and respect for life in all its forms."
Smithsonian

"In my pantheon of nature writers, David Carroll walks on water."
Robert Michael Pyle

David Carroll has dedicated his life to art and to wetlands. He is as passionate about swamps, bogs, and vernal ponds and the creatures who live in them as most of us are about our families and closest friends. He knows frogs and snakes, muskrats and minks, dragonflies, water lilies, cattails, sedges everything that swims, flies, trudges, slithers, or sinks its roots in wet places. In this "intimate and wise book" (Sue Hubbell), Carroll takes us on a lively unforgettable yearlong journey, illustrated with his own elegant drawings, through the wetlands and reveals why they are so important to his life and ours and to all life on Earth.

David M. Carroll is the author of The Year of the Turtle, Trout Reflections, and Self-Portrait with Turtles. A lifelong preservation advocate, Carroll has also received an Environmental Merit Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and was awarded the prestigious MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. He and his wife, painter Laurette Carroll, live in Warner, New Hampshire."

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