Book of the Week #43

Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook by David M. Carroll (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009)

It has been an eventful month for writer, naturalist, and artist David M. Carroll, a resident of Warner, NH. This book, according to the jacket copy, is "the intensely observed chronicle of Caroll's annual March-to-November wetlands immersion." It is also a 2009 finalist for the National Book Award. Mr. Carroll was also selected as the 2009 recipient of the New Hampshire Literary Award's Lifetime Achievement Award. This past summer Mr. Carroll was interviewed by Yankee Magazine.
"At the earliest openings of the ice in the overwintering niches of the spotted turtles, as minute glimmers of quickening water appear in acres of wetlands still locked in ice and snow, I forsake my winter paths: the worn floor
by the kitchen table and fireplace; the even more worn threshold of the narrow doorway to the Oriental-carpeted passage down the back hall, the narrow gallery hung with paintings and drawings above agreeably overburdened bookcases, lined along the floor with stacks of more books and empty frames; the footwarn stair treads up to my studio workrooms, with their slender passageways among bookcases, drawing and writing tables, and shelves, all impossibly piled with papers, notebooks, pencils, pens, and paintbrushes. With the opening up of the earth and water I go beyond my few, close-to-home outer trails of the cold season: my way to the woodshed, as trodden as an ancient deer path, and my modest snowshoe circlings through the back filed and bordering woods. At thaw I begin to walk a wider way again, beyond house and gardens, in places every bit as home to me as those." (p. 1)

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