Marcia Bonta is a naturalist-writer who has lived for decades on a five-hundred-acre mountaintop farm in Central Pennsylvania. In Appalachian Spring, the intricacies of the season unravel day by day in journal entries that combine Bonta’s own meticulous observations with the research reported by botanists, entomologists, and other natural scientists. Every aspect of the natural world catches her eye, from the life cycle of a tent caterpillar to the sex life of jack-in-the pulpit. She hopes, by recounting such wonders, to convert others to what she calls the “third stage” in humanity’s relationship with nature, that of empathy with all of nature for its own sake: “To know the earth better, to grasp a little of its workings, to look on it with awe and wonder as well as with respect, is to want to save it from destruction.”
Appalachian Spring is required reading for anyone who wants to know more about nature in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania.
Marcia Bonta is a freelance nature writer and the author of, in addition to her Appalachian seasons books, Outbound Journeys in Pennsylvania, More Outbound Journeys in Pennsylvania, Women in the Field, and Escape to the Mountain, and the editor of American Women Afield. She has written more than three hundred magazine articles for publications such as Birder’s World, Bird Watcher’s Digest, Living Bird, and Hawk Mountain News. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, and she is a popular lecturer on nature and nature writing.