Monday, April 2, 2012

In which grad student shares a lit pilgrimage!

I had the great luck this past week to visit Aldo Leopold's shack outside of Madison, Wisconsin. This place was AMAZING and I want to share his most famous book A Sand County Almanac for those looking for an easy,  beautiful piece of non-fiction. Gasp!!! A foray outside young adult fiction, but worth every missing moment of teenage angst.

The need-to-know: Leopold is an incredibly influential writer, conservationist, forester, and philosopher,-- think a early-20th century mid-western Thoreau. DO NOT RUN IN FEAR. This book is lyrical and very funny. Its about his and his family's time on a farm that is left for dead during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s.  AND I GOT TO VISIT. It was awesome. AND probably supremely dorky. I'm sorry, but I'm not sorry!

Imagine me! standing right there!

“There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. To avoid the first danger, one should plant a garden, preferably where there is no grocer to confuse the issue. To avoid the second, he should lay a split of good oak on the andirons, preferably where there is no furnace, and let it warm him shins while a February blizzard tosses the trees outside. If one has cut, split, hauled, and piled his own good oak, and let his mind work the while, he will remember much about where the heat comes from, and with a wealth of detail denied to those who spend the weekend in town astride a radiator"” -Aldo Leopold, "Good Oak"

Crazy Camper, eat your heart out!

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