Download PDF by Kathleen Dean Moore: Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World

By Kathleen Dean Moore

ISBN-10: 1558217800

ISBN-13: 9781558217805

Riveting, finely crafted essays approximately relatives and the wildlife, and winner of the 2000 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award.

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Extra info for Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World

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With a plastic bucket, they dredged for water boatmen and fairy shrimp. I leaf on through the book and by the time I get to bryozoans, clustered on the surface of large masses of jelly which . . hang from twigs, I have to close the book to keep from being swamped by all the memories. Spring peeper (Hyla crucifer). Spring peepers cling to dead grassblades by the pond-side uttering their shrill peeping, one of the earliest calls of spring in the ponds and marshes. They begin to sing in March, when the spotted salamander is laying its eggs, and continue through May.

I live in a house where hardwood floors, a layer of spiderwebs and acoustical tile, eight feet of damp air, a laundry basket of unmatched socks, a slab of concrete, and a six-inch footer of gravel fence me off from the earth. But if I dug under that, I could find an ancient riverbed of round boulders, The Western Singing Fish m 45 and below that, sea animals so old they have turned to stone, floating on a lake of burning rocks. If I could break through the ceiling plaster, the quarter-inch lath, the two-by-six-inch beams, the plywood attic floor, six feet of cardboard boxes full of things I don’t need, insulation four inches thick and a plywood roof stuck full of nails, I might discover a single scrub jay sitting on the gutter.

The sublime blows out the boundaries of human experience. Is this, finally, what we crave? Storms are our wilderness. A few generations ago, people looked to wild lands for the experience of the sublime. In thick slabs of yellow and violet, Albert Bierstadt painted light that threw the Rocky Mountains into terrible shadow, and even in the cities, people knew there was omnipotence in the advancing clouds and infinite time in the depths of rock. But now we tidy up the wild places and manage the mountains for scenic pleasure.

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Holdfast: At Home in the Natural World by Kathleen Dean Moore

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