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A Place Between the Tides: A Naturalist's Reflections on the Salt Marshby Harry Thurston
Synopses & Reviews
For every nature writer there seems to be one special place that tutors him or her in the ways of nature and the relationships of humans to the natural world, including the spiritual dimension. For Thoreau, it was a pond; for Henry Beaton, a barrier beach; for Annie Dillard, a creek. For Harry Thurston, it is the salt marsh, that part of the planet where land meets sea.
Based upon childhood memory and his naturalists journals, "A Place Between the Tides" is the story of Thurstons return to the beloved environment of his boyhood when he moves to the Old Marsh, a 1.5-hectare marsh on the banks of the Tidnish River in Nova Scotia. Elegantly moving back and forth in time, from the present year through the past decade and all the way back to childhood, the book describes the seasons in the life of the marsh as filtered through two decades of Thurstons living there. Blending acute analysis and a poets lyricism, Thurston explores and examines one of the most productive and biologically diverse habitats on Earth, a habitat that has been degraded relentlessly since European settlement, making the few standing marshes precious because they are so vulnerable and vital.
Book News Annotation:
Poet and nature writer Thurston takes readers through an entire year of the salt marsh near where he grew up in Nova Scotia, from January and the red-tailed hawk at dawn through the June tidal clock to December and the boy at the window. The memoir is not indexed. Greystone Books is a division of Douglas and McIntyre.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A Place Between the Tides is an evocative mix of scientific observation and personal memories that captures the tremendous vitality and vulnerability of marshlands. For every nature writer there seems to be one special place that demonstrates the ways of the natural world and its relationship with humans. For Thoreau, it was a pond; for Annie Dillard, a creek; for author Harry Thurston, it is the salt marsh where land meets sea, one of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth but one that is increasingly threatened.
This is the story of Thurston's return to the beloved environment of his boyhood. Elegantly moving back and forth in time, and deftly interweaving a naturalist's observations with a personal journey, he describes the seasons of the marsh over two decades. Altogether, Thurston documents more than 100 species of fish, birds, and mammals, a myriad of creatures hiding in tidal pools, and 70 species of plants.
Rod Giblett came to live by Forrestdale Lake in southwestern Australia in 1986. Based in part on a nature journal he kept for several years, Black Swan Lake traces the life of the plants and animals of the surrounding area through the seasons. Presenting a wetlands calendar that charts the yearly cycle of the rising, falling, and drying waters of this internationally significant wetland, this book is a modern-day Walden. The first book to provide a cultural and natural history of this placeandmdash;taking into account the indigenous peopleandrsquo;s concept of the seasons (six instead of four)andmdash;Black Swan Lake will be enjoyed by conservationists, as well as others seeking connection with place, plants, and animals in their own bioregion.
About the Author
Rod Giblett is associate professor in the School of Communications and Arts at Edith Cowan University in Australia. He is the author of People and Places of Nature and Culture, also published by Intellect.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Part I: Wetlands calendar
and#160;and#160;and#160; 1. For a few years
and#160;and#160;and#160; 2. Rising waters (August/Djilba/late winter)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 3. Other place (September/Djilba/early spring)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 4. Other life (October/Kambarang/mid-spring)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 5. Wetland world (November/Kambarang/late spring)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 6. Drying up (December/Birak/early summer)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 7. Dry as a rule (Januaryand#8211;February/Birkand#8211;Bunuru/mid-, late summer)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 8. Still water (March/Bunuru/early autumn)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 9. Big puddle (April/Djeran/mid-autumn)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 10. Waterand#8217;s back (June/Makuru/early winter)
and#160;and#160;and#160; 11. Birds are back (July/Makuru/mid-winter)
Part II: The downflow
and#160;and#160;and#160; 12. The ballad of black swan lake: Homage to Henry David James
and#160;and#160;and#160; 13. The black swan: Homage to hoax writers
and#160;and#160;and#160; 14. The blackness of the black swan: Homage to Herman Melville
and#160;and#160;and#160; 15. Black swamp city: Homage to Hugh Webb
and#160;and#160;and#160; 16. The body of the earth and the body of Australia: Homage to the human body
and#160;and#160;and#160; 17. The way of water: Homage to Master Moy Lin-Shin
and#160;and#160;and#160; 18. The seasons: homage to Henry David Thoreau
and#160;and#160;and#160; 19. The black arts of sublime technologies: Homage to Henry Adams
and#160;and#160;and#160; 20. People and the place of the whistling kite: Homage to Haliastur sphenurus
and#160;and#160;and#160; 21. Living black waters: Homage to horrifying marsh monsters
and#160;and#160;and#160; 22. Living with the earth: Homage to home-habitat
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