A Sand County Almanac with Other Essays on Conservation from Round River
First published in 1949 A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land.
Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces
So simple and so direct that one was struck by how obvious these statements are, and yet these words seemed like a newly discovered insight, especially as they came logically after a series of vivid expositions on nature and natural history. Nature is beautiful and if we preserve it, we truly deserve it. If we destroy it, we are killjoys. Simple as that.
a sand county almanac is roundly acknowledged as one of the most seminal titles in the nature/conservation/environmental writing genre, and like all great books it remains imperatively relative...more
It was actually published shortly after the author died of a heart attack, in 1949. Leopold's life was cut far too short, and I can't help but wonder how much further America's conservation efforts might have evolved in the past 50 years had he lived longer. Many of his observations and warnings from the early part of the 1900s still ring true today. In that respect, this book wa...more
Written from an experiential perspective, with a style that is often poetic, the main message of A Sand County Almanac is that the land is not there to serve us, but that we need to live in community with the land. Community without land is empty, so by threatening the land we are threatening community. The land, th...more
Much of Sand County informs the reader of the conditions of North American wild land, and the causes of its deterioration. Like others of his genre, however, his idealism distorts and clouds a scientific approach at the problems, and methods to stop and reverse environmental damage. For example, on page 51 he proposes the idea that there should be “idle” stri...more
On the one hand, there is incredible value to be gained from the author's keen sense of observation. The first set of essays, the Sand County Almanac, takes us through a year of observing nature at work on Leopold's farm. He discovers firsthand how certain plants fare better when collocated. He bands chickadees and later discovers the bands in the pellets of a screech owl. He gains broad insights from small things that most of us pass by every day without consid...more
For all his strengths of observation and rumination, Leopold w...more
"In wildness is the salvation of the world. Perhaps this is th...more
Patient observation of nature now lost in our rush for work can be recovered, if only in a book. Though as Leopold writes, “There will always be [passenger] pigeons in books… But book-pigeons cannot dive out of a cloud… or clap their wings in thunderous applause of mast-laden woods… They know no urge of seasons, feel no kiss of the sun, no lash of wind and weather. They live forever by not living at all.” Not only is the writing lovely, but Leopold shows...more
Though not myself a woodsman, I have been enchanted by wilderness and the interface between wilderness and "civilization" since childhood. I recall being in the backyard of a friend when I was no more than 4 years old and thinking the little gully a veritable fairy-land: so long as I never turned back to see her house, I could see only a small valley before me, the edge of the woods both in front and to the left, and a pumpkin patch to the right. It would shock...more