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The New Year´s Owl: Encounters With Animals, People & the Land They Share


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"A collection of 31 nature essays eloquently capturing the spirit of life in rural Maine. Raised in New York City, Shetterly moved to Maine some 16 years ago with her husband and young son after becoming thorouphly disillusioned with city life. What she found was a life style demanding hard physical labor, but allowing ample time for quiet contemplation and her long-sought connection with the land. Arranged by season, rather than chronologically, the stories depict both the pleasures and difficulties of rustic living, and are generously laden with colorful descriptions as well as sound information about the local wildlife and vegetation. Whether explaining a starfish's regenerative abilities, telling of her travails tapping maple trees for sap, or, in her work as a wild-bird rehabilitator, helping to save a crippled robin (who, though it will never fly, mates and has young who can and do), Shetterly's prose is artful and warm. And, in addition to keen observations of natural life, Shetterly's pieces bespeak an acceptance of nature and its cycles of life and death, and an intolerance for man's tampering with the environment—a philosophy that subtly surfaces throughout. For nature buffs, and 'back to the earthers' in particular." – Kirkus

"Susan Hand Shetterly is simply the best naturalist writing today. I was alerted to her work through a NYTimes review of best essay writing and recently read her newest title Settled in the Wild: Notes from the Edge of Town. Working backwards now, to this 1986 book that covers much of the same territory in rural Maine. Her comments on the man/animal intersection are profound and her love for wildlife and nature inspires me. She is also a noted children's fiction author. Highly recommended." (Review posted on 6/13/15) - Amy Paget in Goodreads

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