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Ways of Wood Folk

William J. Long

Book Overview: 

Late nineteenth-century naturalist William J. Long invites us in to the secret worlds of the woodland animals. Containing Long's own animal observations along with stories related to him by other humans who inhabit the woods, these stories give us an insight into the behavior of wild animals as they go about their lives in their own secret places deep in the forests of eastern North America. Although Long was accused in his day of anthropomorphizing the animals he wrote about, readers who are familiar with any of the animals he writes of will have glimpses of recognition at behaviors they have seen for themselves and explore the deeper meanings these actions have in that animal's life. The stories will paint pictures in your imagination that will stay with you long after the book has ended.

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Book Excerpt: 
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These birds are very destructive on the trout streams; if a summer camper spare them, it is because of his interest in the young, and especially because of the mother bird's devotion. When the recreant drake is met with, however, he goes promptly onto the bill of fare, with other good things.

Occasionally one overtakes a brood on a rapid river. Then the poor birds are distressed indeed. At the first glimpse of the canoe they are off, churning the water into foam in their flight. Not till they are out of sight round the bend do they hear the cluck that tells them to hide. Some are slow in finding a hiding place on the strange waters. The mother bird hurries them. They are hunting in frantic haste when round the bend comes the swift-gliding canoe.[Pg 34] With a note of alarm they are all off again, for she will not leave even the weakest alone. Again they double the bend and try to hide; again the canoe overtakes the. . . Read More

Community Reviews

We who are used to nature television programs with their spectacular close-up and slow-motion camera angles can perhaps be excused for finding it difficult to subside with a sigh into a book that describes animals and nature with mere words. (No pictures even!) But fortunately William J Long writes

Naturalist description 1800s

Kindle version does not have illustrations. But wonderful period writing of eastern fauna from the authors viewpoint. For all ages.

I've always had a tender place in my heart for animals, but Long's books give me deeper knowledge, appreciation, respect and love for God's creatures. His stories are fascinating and entertaining. My favorite may have been the beaver chapter, though Jonas and I both got quit a kick out of the story