By Aldo Leopold
We will be able to position this publication at the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir. San Francisco ChronicleThese brilliant photographs of the wildlife discover the breathtaking range of the unspoiled American panorama -- the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. a gorgeous tribute to our land and a daring problem to guard the area we adore.
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Additional resources for A Sand County Almanac; with essays on conservation from Round River
In 1872 the last wild Wisconsin turkey was killed, two counties to the southwest. It is appropriate that the decade ending the pioneer carousal in wheat should likewise have ended the pioneer carousal in pigeon blood. In 1871, within a 50-mile triangle spreading northwestward from my oak, 136 million pigeons are estimated to have nested, and some may have nested in it, for it was then a thrifty sapling 20 feet tall. Pigeon hunters by scores plied their trade with net and gun, club and salt lick, and trainloads of prospective pigeon pie moved southward and eastward toward the cities.
I suspect that this farm played its share in the game, and that the sand blow just north of my oak had its origin in over-wheating. This same year of 1879 saw the first planting of carp in Wisconsin, and also the first arrival of quack-grass as a stowaway from Europe. On 27 October 1879, six migrating prairie chickens perched on the rooftree of the German Methodist Church in Madison, and took a look at the growing city. On 8 November the markets at Madison were reported to be glutted with ducks at 10 cents each.
Even after our cooling swim, waders felt like hot tar paper in the sun. The evening’s fishing proved as disappointing as its auguries. We asked that stream for trout, and it gave us a chub. That night we sat under a mosquito smudge and debated the morrow’s plan. Two hundred miles of hot, dusty road we had come, to feel again the impetuous tug of a disillusioned brook or rainbow. There were no trout. But this, we now remembered, was a stream of parts. High up near the headwaters we had once seen a fork, narrow, deep, and fed by cold springs that gurgled out under its close-hemmed walls of alder.