WILD with Latitude: An Ecologist's Years with Bush Bums, Anarchists, and Other Arctic Wildlife

Overview

WILD with Latitude celebrates close encounters with Arctic beasts, human and otherwise. The author mingled with wild apes - bush bums, trappers, goldminers, mushers, and even townsfolk. And, when he wasn't face to face with apes, he was having close encounters with other charismatic creatures including bears, muskoxen, wolves, moose, and "Earth's Best Bird." His stories describe the adventure of being a semi-feral ecologist in the Brooks Range and the lives of extreme yet ...
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Overview

WILD with Latitude celebrates close encounters with Arctic beasts, human and otherwise. The author mingled with wild apes - bush bums, trappers, goldminers, mushers, and even townsfolk. And, when he wasn't face to face with apes, he was having close encounters with other charismatic creatures including bears, muskoxen, wolves, moose, and "Earth's Best Bird." His stories describe the adventure of being a semi-feral ecologist in the Brooks Range and the lives of extreme yet ordinary Alaskans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781614342427
  • Publisher: BookLocker.com, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/15/2011
  • Pages: 274
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Waite is a graybeard (retiring) professor of ecology with a proclivity for reminiscing. As a fresh-faced (aspiring) ecologist, he went AWOL annually to Alaska, where he studied survival strategies of the gray jay. He sought adventure and Thoreauvian wildness. He found both aplenty — while consorting with trappers and miners, while trekking across the Brooks Range, while watching circus-like baseball games in Fairbanks, and while overwintering solo. In WILD with Latitude, he shares unfiltered tales of his Arctic adventures. Waite is currently at work on a series of books on ecological sustainability and rationality.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Tom Waite Bests Himself

    For those readers fortunate enough to meet ecologist/satirist/humorist/naturalist author Tom Waite in his terrific first 'commercial book' -The LAUGHalachian Trail: A Green Zealot's Uncensored Celebration of Thru-hiker Humor - prepare yourselves and quickly add this newest book to your must read list: WILD WITH LATITUDE; AN ECOLOGIST'S YEARS WITH BUSH BUMS, ANARCHISTS AND OTHER ARCTIC WILDLIFE. This is a dynamite book on many levels. Waite is first and foremost a very fine writer who is able to express interaction with Nature and her various climes and inhabitants with a combined sense of comedy and awe. But he is more: Tom Waite has actually spent (correct that, 'spends') time with Nature on his own and with comrades of both the human and the other animal species. And he is able to present to his readers a journal/memoir that is at once hilarious reading while always maintaining a profound appreciation for the land and water and mountains and plains of the territory he so daringly explores.

    This book represent eleven years of work and travels in Alaska and the Yukon Territory studying the ecohabits of the gray jay - the 'Earth's Best Bird' - and other ecological assignments. In his words 'I desperately sought adventure and deliberately sought extreme wilderness, Thoreauvian and otherwise. I found both aplenty, along with humor galore, at every turn - wile consorting with trappers and miners and sourdoughs, while trekking across the wilderness of the Brooks Range, while watching baseball games in Fairbanks, and even while overwintering solo in a remote cabin above the Arctic Circle.' That gives a pretty good idea of how disparate these stories and the cast of characters are. But it is in the telling of his adventures with grizzly bears, wolves, cranky old timers who have been living away from society for years, the friends he makes along the way as well as the 'wilde beastie boys' he encounters. One of the funniest chapters in the book concerns his search with tagalong Jeff "The Shrew' to find a canoe, the best used canoe apparently in the hands of one Shorty Zucchini who when found at last communicates via flatus!

    The manner in which Waite describes and consorts and the wilderness society recluses is at once astute observation, brilliant character description, while always giving the reader a sense of reverence o these men who brave the wilderness as a way of life. His survival traits - scaling impossible mountains to weighted down with supplies but lacking enough water to prevent dehydration and the concurrent problems, surviving impossibly challenging river currents, cold and hunger, etc - are enough adventure to trample the phony stories in Guns and Ammo or even Jon Krakauer's survival book 'Into the Wild'. As with his previous book the aspect of Waite's writing that makes for such rewarding reading is the sense of escapism and following adventures and dreams for the reader who may feel stuck simply surviving the rigors of living in civilization. He takes us on journeys, teaches us about Nature, entertains us, and provides a conduit for the unfulfilled dreams we all harbor. AND he is smart - package those traits of exploratory adventure with the elegant writing style of Tom Waite and then watch to see when his next book will come, because it is most assuredly in his mind already.

    Grady Harp

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Wonderful storytelling

    This book made me simultaneously wish I could be in Alaska and dread ever having to spend time there! Tom Waite is a wonderful storyteller, and it appears that Alaska is the perfect place to study behavioral ecology, whether the study species is the "Earth's Best Bird" or Homo sapiens (no idea how to italicize that). I think Tom Waite is a rockstar after reading this book, as I wouldn't have survived many of his adventures and he most certainly thrived on them. Thanks for a very entertaining read!!

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