A Temporary Refuge: Fourteen Seasons with Wild Summer Steelhead

A Temporary Refuge: Fourteen Seasons with Wild Summer Steelhead


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A Temporary Refuge: Fourteen Seasons with Wild Summer Steelhead by Lee Spencer, Cathy Eliot

As featured in the documentary, DamNation (2014).

Every May for 14 years, Lee Spencer and his companion, a herding dog named Sis, have camped next to a deep pool along the North Umpqua’s Steamboat Creek. Their explicit job, until December, is to protect the 400 to 800 cherished wild summer steelhead who come up from the Pacific to spawn in Big Bend Pool, from poachers who had been known to dynamite the pool to create a massive kill. His implicit calling is to observe and record the web of life that nurtures the pool and its surroundings and inhabitants.

A distillation of 14 years of detailed observations, in this surprisingly engaging almanac Spencer has captured natural history teeming with fish, water, vegetation, birds, mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians, seasonal changes, and interesting events and stories. Spencer is a modern day Thoreau, and the steelhead pool is his Walden Pond. In the grand tradition of The Sand County Almanac, this book will educate, inspire, and activate conservationists and anglers to appreciate and protect the waterways they love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938340673
Publisher: Patagonia
Publication date: 06/13/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 790,702
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Lee Spencer was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1950 and was raised in Minnesota. After being awarded a Master’s in Anthropology in 1978 by the University of Oregon, he worked as a field archeologist for more than twenty years, mostly in the desert west and often excavating dry rock shelters. He has cast flies for steelhead on his river of choice, the North Umpqua, for the last thirty-five years and, in 1999, with his good dog, Sis, he began volunteering with The North Umpqua Foundation at Big Bend Pool.

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From the Publisher

As an intricate tapestry of aquatic and riparian life is revealed to him, year after year, season by season, Lee Spencer’s pool becomes not just a refuge but a sanctuary.
What is the holiness we glimpse there? Laotse calls it “the Mysterious Female." The tribes 600 miles north call it “Creek Woman.” Aldo Leopold calls it, “a vast pulsing harmony, its score inscribed on a thousand hills, its notes the lives and deaths of plants and animals, its rhythms spanning the seconds and the centuries.” Lee, echoing Rainer Maria Rilke, calls it “the Open that lies so deep in an animal’s face, free from death,” and never tires of revealing the warp and weft of all that the Open weaves.A Temporary Refugeisan incandescent work of natural history, an Oregon cultural treasure, and a sanctuary for aching hearts in a dark time.
David James Duncan, author of The River Why and My Story as Told by Water

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