6 × 9, Softcover with photographs
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.
“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.”
–David M. Carroll, author of Following the Water: A Hydromancer’s Notebook
“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.”
–Lisa Brooks, author of The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast
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.
. . . Every new family of beavers that has reconnoitered this meadow and brook system over millennia has arrived at the same conclusion on where best to construct a family-supporting dam. When a new family of beavers migrates up the outlet stream, they “read” the lay of the land and its hydrology. Today, the average depth of a flooded Great Meadow is less than two feet. After many tomorrows, a swamp will replace today’s vegetation and trees will grow where herons now fish. The brook will continue to flow, playing other roles in its relationships with its surroundings. . . .”