On Saturday May 29, there was a good turnout of PVNWG members, 5 oldies and one newby. Our morning outing was a walk of discovery at a Wildlife Management area nearby--our new attendee is an expert on butterflies and enlightened us about sightings of Silvery Checkerspots, Tiger Swallowtails, Spring Azures and other beauties. She and our resident dragonfly expert demonstrated their netting technique (its all in the wrist) developed through long hours of practice. We thrilled to find various botanical wonders like Rattlesnake Fern, Rattlesnake Weed and Chocolate Tube Slime, (sorry no Rattlesnakes sighted) while Gray Tree Frogs serenaded us. Later, over an artfully presented luncheon, we traded musings in response to E. O. Wilson's autobiography and also touched briefly on impressions of Barbara Kingsolver's collection of essays, Small Wonder. From a list of nature writing classics and recent prize winners we chose upcoming selections so summer reading can commence in advance!
When we reconvene in September, we will compare/contrast Kingsolver's work to Letters from Eden by Julie Zickafoose. In October we tackle Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden. In November we honor our first fiction selection, WV author Ann Pancake's Strange As This Weather Has Been, about a family surviving the tragedy of mountain top removal mining. We round off 2010 in December with Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac. So those of you who enjoy reading in the hammock, on the beach, under a tree or on the porch, there is plenty to choose from. Enjoy the summer and see you in September!
Comments about books can be made online using the comment feature. Personal book reviews may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration to be posted on the blog. Original nature writing based on personal experience may also be submitted for inclusion on the REFLECTIONS page of the blog.
January: Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez February: Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez March: The Trees in My Forest by Bernd Heinrich April: Tinkering with Eden by Kim Todd (Recipient of Pen/Jerard Award) May/June: Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature by Linda Lear July/August/September: My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir October: All Things Reconsidered by Roger Tory Peterson November: Sierra Lane by Amy Minato December/January: Outermost House by Henry Beston
February 2011 Alice Outwater: Water, A Natural History /March 2011 John McPhee: Encounters with the Archdruid /April 2011 John Himmelman: Discovering Moths /May 2011 Bernd Heinrich: Summer World /SUMMER READ (June through September Hiatus) Scott Weidensaul: Mountains of the Heart /October 2011 Jane Goodall: Reason for Hope /November 2011 Barbara Hurd: Entering the Stone /December 2011 Barry Lopez: Arctic Dreams
The Potomac Valley Nature Writers' Group (PVNWG) formed in early 2009 to promote the art and appreciation of nature writing. This genre of literature explores and celebrates the natural world and our relationship within it. PVNWG welcomes both readers and writers to participate.