Gordon Russell has spent the last 20 years chronicling the flora and fauna of the Great Meadow marshland in New Hampshire. His compelling journal of daily observations provides readers of all ages with a cautionary story of the effects of humans on the natural world right outside their doors.
The entries carry the reader from one enticing observation to the next, month by month, season by season, from one year to the next. The great power to this cumulative approach is the revelation that we can find, in just one wetland, complexity and beauty beyond comprehension, an ever-shifting drama of interacting life. Many of the species – birds particularly – make repeat appearances, but there is no repetition in the entries. The author always finds new and fascinating behavior to report.
author of Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook
Readers will take pleasure and meaning from this book, along with the inescapable pain of the awareness of the marginalization and loss that affects all wild places of the day. Honest as well as celebratory, Watching Great Meadow is the journal, kept over decades, of an individual deeply devoted to the nature—literally and figuratively—of a dearly loved, intimately observed place.
author of The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast
Gordon Russell’s Watching Great Meadow is an eloquent, moving account of the astounding integrity and beauty of the adaptation of an ecological community in the wake of unprecedented transformation. This journal is a gift.
President of the Russell Farm and Forest Conservation Foundation, Gordon Russell taught environmental studies in public schools in New Hampshire and Massachusetts before retiring in 1978. He has spent years mentoring college interns majoring in environmentalism and conservation, and received many awards for his volunteerism and five decades of conservation work in land and water protection. Russell and his wife Barbara live in New Boston, New Hampshire, on the edge of the Great Meadow marsh.