South of Seattle: Notes on Life in the Northwest Woods

Overview

James LeMonds is a man who knows his ecology. Fifty years ago, Aldo Leopold penned these words in the forward to "A Sand County Almanac:" "That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology . . . that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but often forgotten."

In this collection of 15 exquisite essays, a native Washingtonian steps forward to remind us. A ...

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Missoula MT 1997 Trade paperback New. NEW SOFT COVER. SHIPS FROM WA-USPS. EXPEDITED SERVICES AVAILABLE. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. 128 p. Contains: Illustrations. ... Audience: General/trade. NEW SOFT COVER. SHIPS FROM WA-USPS. EXPEDITED SERVICES AVAILABLE. Mountain Press Publishing Company, 1997. Anecdotes; Castle Rock; Castle Rock (Wash. ); Essays; General; History; LeMonds, James; Nature; Non-Fiction; Social life and customs; State & Local; United States; Washington (State) Read more Show Less

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Overview

James LeMonds is a man who knows his ecology. Fifty years ago, Aldo Leopold penned these words in the forward to "A Sand County Almanac:" "That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology . . . that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics. That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but often forgotten."

In this collection of 15 exquisite essays, a native Washingtonian steps forward to remind us. A lifelong resident of Castle Rock, LeMonds left only once to attend college in the late '60s at Western Washington University.

Currently an English teacher at R. A. Long High School in Longview, LeMonds was frank with himself about the prospects of returning to a backwater town of rural sentiments: "I was worldly-wise, and there was no way I was going back to a place without a bookstore, where the highlight of a Friday evening was a burger at the C & L." But just as Thoreau learned from his observations at Walden Pond, one does not have to go far to see the world. To anyone so inclined, microcosms can offer an unparalleled view into the ecosystems of regions, countries, and even the world. From the microcosm of his small hometown, LeMonds has managed to examine virtually all of the larger issues facing the Pacific Northwest.

He speaks with quiet authority on everything from Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson to smelt runs on the Cowlitz River. He walks us through the Castle Rock cemetery where his hard-working ancestors are buried, tells the tale of his grandfather's migration here from the frozen farmland of Depression Iowa. He describes the Washington of a half century ago, when logging trucks still came out of theforest land with trees the girth of a Pontiac, when deer and elk and coyote routinely roamed through backyards and pristine valleys, when "wise use" of natural resources was not even a concept yet.

A fine writer and responsible observer, LeMonds has given us a rich cultural harvest in this collection of essays, many of which appeared first in other venues, most notably The Oregonian and Seattle Weekly. Intelligent yet never glib, he offers a viewpoint that is astute, unsentimental, and ultimately altruistic. Though he expresses his concern for the "ability of my generation to create a mythology that our grandchildren can store and wonder at," in these expressive essays he as gone a long way toward preserving it.

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Editorial Reviews

Spokesman Review
A lot of writers have wandered the woods and mountains of the Northwest, ruminating on big trees, clearcuts, and neverending vistas. Some of the efforts end up just self-indulgent introspection. But from the forest of voices, some emerge with insight and new perspective. The essays of James LeMonds fall into this second (and much smaller) group. LeMonds is a teacher by day in Longview, Washington. Otherwise, he lives in and walks through the forests of southwest Washington, where he grew up and, save for a few years away at college, has lived his entire life. Many books written about Northwest forests end up with a shrill environmental tone. LeMonds shares a reverence for big trees and quiet places, but a temperance bleeds through his writing. This moderation alone sets his book apart from others of the genre. And it allows the reader to enjoy the cadences and rhythms of LeMonds' writing without feeling the harsh edge of an agenda. He writes in a pleasant style that says this about the author: he loves walking in the woods; here is his story told simply and straightforwardly. (Spokesman-Review, November 9,
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780878423637
  • Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/7/1997
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 9 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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