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Wilderness Ways

William J. Long

Book Overview: 

Late nineteenth-century naturalist William J. Long invites us into the secret worlds of woodland animals in this, his second, fascinating book. Long's stories of the secret lives of woodland animals come from time he spent in the woods, observing the behaviors and characteristics of the wilderness inhabitants directly. His method? Sit quietly, wait (sometimes for hours), and the animals will come. This book, unlike his first, Ways of Wood Folk, seems to be directed at his critics who accused him of assigning human emotions and intentions to the animals he profiles in his writings; Wilderness Ways very deliberately tells the unvarnished truth about animal behaviors, both tender caring and vicious murder are illustrated herein. Wilderness Ways opens up the hidden world of its woodland subjects with beautiful imagery and descriptive prose which is accessible enough for a child to read while at the same time engaging for readers of all ages. Be transported into Long's hidden wilderness world.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Pushing my canoe into the grass, I made for a point just astern of the nearest quivering line of bushes. A glance at a bit of soft ground showed me the trail of a mother caribou with her calf. I followed cautiously, the wind being ahead in my favor. They were not hurrying, and I took good pains not to alarm them.

When I reached the timber and crept like a snake through the underbrush, there were the caribou, five or six mother animals, and nearly twice as many little ones, well grown, which had evidently just come in from all directions. They were gathered in a natural opening, fairly clear of bushes, with a fallen tree or two, which served a good purpose later. The sunlight fell across it in great golden bars, making light and shadow to play in; all around was the great marsh, giving protection from enemies; dense underbrush screened them from prying eyes—and this was their schoolroom.

The little ones were pushed out into the middle,[18] away from. . . Read More