Settled in the Wild

Settled in the Wild

Notes From the Edge of Town

eBook - 2010
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"Shetterly shares her journey of hope, loss and discovery. Along the way, she is transformed by the calls of birds and the 'delicate pins-and-needles sounds' of ice crystals, by the aroma of rich soil, by the challenges and gifts of an unforgiving nature." --Dallas Morning News
Whether we live in cities, suburbs, or villages, we are encroaching on nature, and it in one way or another perseveres. Naturalist Susan Shetterly looks at how animals, humans, and plants share the land -- observing her own neighborhood in rural Maine. She tells tales of the locals (humans, yes, but also snowshoe hares, raccoons, bobcats, turtles, salmon, ravens, hummingbirds, cormorants, sandpipers, and spring peepers). She expertly shows us how they all make their way in an ever-changing habitat. In writing about a displaced garter snake, witnessing the paving of a beloved dirt road, trapping a cricket with her young son, rescuing a fledgling raven, or the town's joy at the return of the alewife migration, Shetterly issues warnings even as she pays tribute to the resilience that abounds. Like the works of Annie Dillard and Aldo Leopold, Settled in the Wild takes a magnifying glass to the wildness that surrounds us. With keen perception and wit, Shetterly offers us an education in nature, one that should inspire us to preserve it.
Publisher: [New York] : Algonquin Books, 2010
ISBN: 9781565129733
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (256 pages)
Call Number: eBook

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JCLHannahJaneC Feb 28, 2016

Some sparkling moments:

- While listening to a whippoorwill with her son Susan writes, 'the blast of its chanting enveloped us, and we listened for the little clicks between the chants as if it were clearing its throat.'

- When Susan writes of being left to wander the woods as a child she called it 'benign neglect,' and this really sings to me because as a child I, too, was left to wander the woods as much as I pleased, and I thought my parents were a little crazy for allowing it, but I was, and am, also enormously thankful for their 'benign neglect.'

- Susan finds a hummingbird nest and happens to see 'two snug nestlings' who 'look like ticks after a good feed.'

- My favorite chapter, Chac, spotlights her 'pet' raven whose 'raucous calls' sound like the 'Mayan rain god who brings life back.' Susan's terrier takes to following Chac around because of the raven's habit of hiding any extra food. Susan mentions she's read that ravens and wolves cooperate. 'The birds are said to alert wolves to the presence of prey, then the wolves allow the ravens to feast on the leftovers of the kill.' I didn't realize this, and was more than a little delighted to imagine ravens befriending both terriers and wolves.

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