Tag Archive 'the Great Outdoors'

Jan 14 2024

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Books and the Great Outdoors

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I’m back inside after a short hike on a blustery winter day and glad to be here. I’m not a winter sports enthusiast. Next month, after a good dump of snow on a sunny relatively warm day, I’ll head for the hills and do some snowshoeing. But until then, the occasional, hour-long tramp locally will do.

In January I’m more of a bookman than an outdoorsman. I stay indoors most of the day, that is, tending to my online bookselling business or doing literary work. Or reading. Yeah, I read and write mostly about the natural world while snuggled inside this time of year. That’s rather ironic, isn’t it? Come early spring, I’ll get out more – a lot more. But now I’m mostly a cerebral creature. I wonder how many other so-called nature writers operate the same way.

I take a long, hard look at the shelf full of books that I’ve written and published. Some are works by other nature writers that I’ve published via Wood Thrush Books, but most of them are mine. I currently have over 20 of my own books in print. That begs the question: How many more do I need to put out there? At this point I have several more in various stages of production. It’s crazy.

Venturing into the Great Outdoors then writing about it… I’ve been doing this for 40-odd years. One would think the well would be running dry by now. Yet with each passing year I delve deeper into nature, trying to figure out where I as a human being stand in relation to it. I’ve become more of a philosopher in the process but haven’t lost my passion for the wild. This well is bottomless, I think. My ongoing studies of natural history confirm that.

I’m just about ready to dive back into my collection of short hiking narrative set in the Adirondacks. I’ve hiked over there a lot during the past five years, venturing into wild forests and wilderness areas that are new to me. Plenty to write about. Question is: Do I hike just to have something to write about, or write only to justify these excursions deep into the wild? It cuts both ways, of course. A lot depends upon the time of year. Either way it’s a win.

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