To Walk in Beauty reflects a lifetime of studying and interacting directly with nature in all its myriad forms. Beauty to Allen Benton is not rigidly defined but perceived through many sensory modalities. There is no biotic limit to where beauty can be found and experienced. He leads the reader through the changes in the seasons in a typical western New York backyard and shows how organisms adapt. He perceives and describes beauty in all life forms: birds and their nests, spiders, slugs, plant galls, vernal flowers and even carrion beetles. Beauty lost is represented by the passenger pigeon and beauty regained by the distinctive Bermuda petrel called a cahow, long thought extinct. All of his research is basic. To Benton, even fleas are worthy of intensive study--especially fleas! I vividly remember when he described the beauty of fleas to me, many years ago. His is a view of life that few share and many should emulate. Dr. Donald H. Miller Lyndon State College, Vermont Allen Haydon Benton is professor of biology, emeritus, at the State University of New York, Fredonia. He has written several books of poetry as well as the definitive "Manual for Field Biology and Ecology and Atlas of Fleas of the Eastern United States." His most recent, published by YBK Publishers, is "Birding Through Life: Wanderings of a Born Birder."
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