Whether we live in cities, suburbs, or villages, we are encroaching on nature, and it in one way or another perseveres. Naturalist Susan Shetterly looks at how animals, humans, and plants share the land – observing her own neighborhood in rural Maine. She tells tales of the locals (humans, yes, but also snowshoe hares, raccoons, bobcats, turtles, salmon, ravens, hummingbirds, cormorants, sandpipers, and spring peepers). She expertly shows us how they all make their way in an ever-changing habitat.
In writing about a displaced garter snake, witnessing the paving of a beloved dirt road, trapping a cricket with her young son, rescuing a fledgling raven, or the town's joy at the return of the alewife migration, Shetterly issues warnings even as she pays tribute to the resilience that abounds.
Like the works of Annie Dillard and Aldo Leopold, Settled in the Wild takes a magnifying glass to the wildness that surrounds us. With keen perception and wit, Shetterly offers us an education in nature, one that should inspire us to preserve it.
Susan Hand Shetterly is the author of the essay collections Settled in the Wild and The New Year's Owl, as well as several children's books including Shelterwood, named an Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children by the Children's Book Council. Shetterly has received a nonfiction writing grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and two grants from the Maine Arts Commission.
"This is a delightful book about living in the woods, enjoying what's outside your window and finding pleasure in taking the time to notice the little things right in front of us."
– Columbus Dispatch
"Shetterly provides a unique window into a world of wonder."
– Boston Globe
"Shetterly shares her journey of hope, loss and discovery. Along the way, she is transformed by the calls of birds and the 'delicate pins-and-needles sounds' of ice crystals, by the aroma of rich soil, by the challenges and gifts of an unforgiving nature."
– Dallas Morning News
"Voices like Susan Hand Shetterly's are soothing [...] Shetterly puts a hand on your forearm and says, come walk along the Maine coast. Let's consider other species, eels and hummingbirds."
– Los Angeles Times