cover image A Year in the Maine Woods

A Year in the Maine Woods

Bernd Heinrich. Addison Wesley Publishing Company, $22 (258pp) ISBN 978-0-201-62252-2

A professor of zoology at the University of Vermont, Heinrich here recounts a recent year he spent in the western Maine wilderness. With his pet raven Jack, he began his sojourn at the end of May. His cabin, without electricity or plumbing, sat in a clearing a half-mile up a steep brush-filled hill accessible only to four-wheel-drive vehicles. His mailbox was at the foot of the trail, and his nearest neighbors lived on the road beyond the mailbox. To keep in touch with family and friends, Heinrich, author of the National Book Award nominee Bumblebee Economics, installed a phone and answering machine in the neighbors' outhouse. He takes us through his busy summer and fall of chopping wood and making repairs to the cabin, all the while observing the wildlife around him. He battles with blackflies and mosquitos, mice and cluster flies. In January he conducts an on-site seminar for selected students. For readers who love the outdoors, even vicariously. (Nov.)