Marcia Bonta teaches us what it is to be at home in the world. With unbounded curiosity and deep affection, she enters into the lives of the creatures we share the earth with. Appalachian Summer is full of natural history information, offering explanations for small mysteries of life that may have puzzled us on our own forays into the woods. (Ah katydids stridulating! So that's what I heard on those August nights!) But Appalachian Summer is also full of passion and grace. Bonta shows us how to live a life adapted to natural rhythms, how to pay close attention to life and our place in it, and why we need to care.
As she did in Appalachian Spring and Appalachian Autumn, Bonta offers a day-by-day account of the natural life of one place–her 648-acre property in south central Pennsylvania. In Appalachian Summer, Bonta’s first grandchild spends her first summer on earth, and her growth is compared with that of the forest animals. Another important event in this Appalachian summer is the disappearance of a local girl. As the mountain is thoroughly searched, Bonta poses questions about the safety of women in the woods. Do women stay out of the woods because they fear attack by men, or wild creatures and the unknown? Should they have such fears? In her minute observations of one place, one season, Marcia Bonta lays bare the connections we retain to the natural world, which is, finally, our own.
Naturalist Bonta combines scientific accuracy with a lyrical sense of wonder and excitement as she describes her daily explorations around her . . . hillside home.
Bonta describes the plants and animals of the forest in exquisite detail while accurately depicting their activities. The reader can't help but learn something about the ecology of these woods and the behavior of its denizens.
She is nothing if not a dedicated and sharp-eyed observer. . . . a lover of natural detail, to whom minutes and hours of silent examination bring the greatest rewards.
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.