In this sensuous nature journal, MacArthur "genius" award winner Carroll (The Year of the Turtle) follows the inhabitants of his local New Hampshire wetlands through a season of turtle life from March thaw, when the turtles wake from hibernation, to November, when ice puts them back to sleep, along the way celebrating such personal "holy days" as "the Return of the Red-winged Blackbird." Wearing camouflage and waders, he meets wildlife on its own terms. At the sudden appearance of a red doe, he wonders, "to have those senses-would I trade my thinking, dreaming, imagining mind for them for one full day... would I ever want to come back?" He watches a thirsty turtle hatchling encountering water for the first time: he "extends his neck full length, immerses his head, closes his eyes" and drinks for 21 minutes. Accompanied by Carroll's own exquisite drawings, this poetic recording of his season of loving observation is subdued by Carroll's dread of habitat destruction and nostalgia for a boyhood when "I entered waters that, if not alive themselves, were so filled with light and life that my binding with them was as much metaphysical as physical." (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Following the Water: A Hydromancer's Notebookby David M. Carroll
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The writer, naturalist, and artist David Carroll illuminates the ecology and life histories the tree frogs, hawks, foxes, and the increasingly rare wood and spotted turtles he has been tracking for decades with the precision and passion that won him a 2006 MacArthur "genius" award.Following theWater is the intensely observed chronicle of Carroll’s annual March-to-November wetlands immersion—from the joy of the first turtle sighting in March to the gorgeously described, vibrant trilling of tree frogs ("lichen with eyes") in late May to the ancient sense of love and loss Carroll experiences each autumn when it is time once again to part with open water. Illustrated with the author’s fine pen-and-ink drawings, Following theWater is a gorgeous evocation of nature, an utterly unique "admission ticket to a secret corner of the world" (Bill McKibben).
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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Meet the Author
DAVID M. CARROLL is the author of The Year of the Turtle, Trout Reflections, Self-Portrait with Turtles, and Swampwalker’s Journal, which won the prestigious John Burroughs Medal. In 2006 he won a MacArthur "genius" award for his work as a writer, artist, and naturalist. Carroll has been featured on Today (where he reached down into swampy water, miraculously pulled up a turtle he knew, and told her history), in numerous newspapers and magazines, and in the most popular documentary in the history of New Hampshire public television. He is an active lecturer and consultant to conservation institutions throughout New England.
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David Carroll is so worthy of the MacArthur award. I was absolutely mesmerized by his April through November water journey. I was envious of him as he is following mayfly larva downstream, discovering legless turtles, watching trout in the amber, gold-flecked water and looking for tree frogs. His intimate knowledge of specific turtles, the ability to have "turtle eyes" is amazing. Carroll is telling a history of swamp, bog, stream, farmland over his 50 or so years of wandering these areas in a respectful, awestruck but increasingly sad way. He sees his beloved water habitat losing ground to development and explains the difference between conversation and preservation in a way that I had never looked at it before. Carroll cannot live without his journey every season into these watery areas. He is either there or waiting to be there. A not to be missed book if you love flora/fauna and wonder how it all works. Even Carroll spends much of his time wondering.
This book is a detailed diary of a naturalist who cares deeply for the flaura and fauna in the wetlands. You feel like you're following in the footsteps of this author and really seeing the ecosystems of the wetlands. The importance of wetlands cannot be overemphesized.