Appalachian Spring

Marcia Bonta, Author University of Pittsburgh Press $16.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-8229-5442-2
This finely written journal details the natural history of the four months of ``a typical Appalachian mountain spring'' in the author's central Pennsylvania home. Naturalist Bonta ( Outbound Journeys in Pennsylvania ) combines scientific accuracy with a lyrical sense of wonder and excitement as she describes her daily explorations around her 500-acre hillside home. Exhorting those who would preserve nature to ``watch rather than manage the land,'' she observes and meticulously limns the mating rituals of all kinds of creatures, from earthworms to grouse; the activites of a myriad of birds, including American pipits and phoebes; and the blossoming of plants and shrubs such as trailing arbutus and Dane's rocket. We feel her awe when she comes upon 100 wood frogs crammed into a tiny pond: ``In the intense, prehistoric silence that settled over the pond, the first amphibian head appeared, its eyes just above water level and turned purposefully in my direction. I sat ramrod still as head after head emerged.'' This is a lively introduction to the pleasures and rituals of nature study. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/11/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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FORMATS
Hardcover - 187 pages - 978-0-8229-3658-9
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