Froghaven News Online 'Frogs n'Cats'
Home of Larry and Karin
by David Rains Wallace. Ohio State University Press, 1986. Used on Amazon $ .01
There are times when we get so involved in shaping nature, that we miss seeing nature. That is not a problem for David Wallace, who lives with an awareness of the smallest ecosystems that surround us and who has obviously given their perpetuation a lot of thought.
This naturalist and philosopher has lived in places as diverse as San Francisco and New Jersey, and visited the Okefenokee and Japan with equal interest. He seems to be unperturbed by wandering into those spaces the rest of us seldom frequent, and running across sleeping bears, or sleeping on stilts in the swamp surrounded by the reflected light of alligator eyes.
He studies the earth and appreciates its diversity, particularly in those out of the way places that we have not yet touched. It is for this revelation that reading this book is such a pleasurable experience. The beautifully descriptive scenes allow the reader to “finally escape from the world of suppressed waterways” as the author writes.
In a chapter titled “Wetlands in America” the author traces the history of a fictitious family from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to modern America through their impact on the wetlands of our country. “Fifteen thousand years of post-glacial swamps and marshes prepared a North American continent eminently suited to agro-industrial exploitation,” he writes, “which has always seems a little uncanny and ironic to me.”
For one cent, used or new, on Amazon.com, this little gem is too good to pass up.
Reviewed by Karin E. Guzy