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Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

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At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore's distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change. In her newest collection, Moore selects essays that celebrate the music of the natural world as a reminder of what can be taken from us—the yowl of wolves, tick of At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore's distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change. In her newest collection, Moore selects essays that celebrate the music of the natural world as a reminder of what can be taken from us—the yowl of wolves, tick of barnacles, laughter of children, shriek of falling mountains. Alongside these selections are brand new essays born from the sorrow and iniquity of this new age of extinction, all bearing witness to the glories of this world and the sins against it. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment to the determination to act. In Earth's Wild Music, Moore reminds us that whatever is left of the planet after its pillaging is the world in which those who remain must live. Whatever genetic song-lines, whatever fragments of whale-squeal and shattered harmonies are left, that's what evolution will have to work with. Music is the shivering urgency and exuberance of life on-going. In a time of terrible silencing, Moore asks, who will forgive us if we do not save the songs?


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At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore's distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change. In her newest collection, Moore selects essays that celebrate the music of the natural world as a reminder of what can be taken from us—the yowl of wolves, tick of At once joyous and somber, this thoughtful gathering of new and selected essays spans Kathleen Dean Moore's distinguished career as a tireless advocate for environmental activism in the face of climate change. In her newest collection, Moore selects essays that celebrate the music of the natural world as a reminder of what can be taken from us—the yowl of wolves, tick of barnacles, laughter of children, shriek of falling mountains. Alongside these selections are brand new essays born from the sorrow and iniquity of this new age of extinction, all bearing witness to the glories of this world and the sins against it. Each group of essays moves, as Moore herself has been moved, from celebration to lamentation to bewilderment to the determination to act. In Earth's Wild Music, Moore reminds us that whatever is left of the planet after its pillaging is the world in which those who remain must live. Whatever genetic song-lines, whatever fragments of whale-squeal and shattered harmonies are left, that's what evolution will have to work with. Music is the shivering urgency and exuberance of life on-going. In a time of terrible silencing, Moore asks, who will forgive us if we do not save the songs?

30 review for Earth's Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World

  1. 5 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Except during the lockdown to slow the COVID-19 virus, cities drown us in sound. Buses grind gears, trucks beep, and street-corner preachers call down damnation on it all—what does this do to the human being, whose ears evolved as a warning system? In daylight, our eyes can warn us of danger in front of us. But our ears alert us to opportunity and danger twenty-four hours a day, from every direction, even through dense vegetation and total darkness. When predators are on the prowl, birds and Except during the lockdown to slow the COVID-19 virus, cities drown us in sound. Buses grind gears, trucks beep, and street-corner preachers call down damnation on it all—what does this do to the human being, whose ears evolved as a warning system? In daylight, our eyes can warn us of danger in front of us. But our ears alert us to opportunity and danger twenty-four hours a day, from every direction, even through dense vegetation and total darkness. When predators are on the prowl, birds and frogs, even insects, fall silent. No wonder humans are drawn to places where the birds feel safe enough to sing. It’s quiet, too quiet. And it’s getting quieter. There is a soundscape, a world of vibrations, wherever we are. I started reading this collection in a laundromat, pen and notebook at the ready. The wall-mounted TV blares The Goldbergs, an upgrade from the unspeakable Judge Judy, but still, noise that attempts to pierce my concentration, vying for attention. I sit on a bench at a table just inside long, tall windows. A soft drink vending machine hums a steady note. Washing machines and dryers rumble. The irregular shmoosh-shmoosh of traffic passing on a wet street is muted by the window, higher tones intercepted by the glass. The only natural sound is a man with an operatic voice eager to engage on the subject of marriage as he folds newly-dry clothing on a table. While the urban orchestra may be largely comprised of mechanical instruments, it is not entirely so. The occasional dramatic crack and bang of nearby lightning are giant cymbals and following kettle drum, fading to a flutter-tongue trombone. Kathleen Dean Moore - image from her site The sounds of nature we experience most are weather-related. The howl of a gale, the whistle of a sustained wind as it slips past constructed edges, the susurrus of wind-shuddered trees, the plik-plik-plik of hail, the long shushing notes of rain. The screech and hiss of cats fighting offers the sudden blare of a coronet and soft mallets on a high-hat. Aside from that, we do not hear mammals beyond, for the most part, neighborhood canines who make their presence felt when mail or packages are delivered or when someone approaches too close to their no-walk zone. I seriously doubt you have heard much from our fellow urbanites of the rodent family. Ground hogs save their conversation for underground, raccoons chitter on occasion when deciding among themselves which garbage can is most accessible. Roaches, ants, bedbugs and termites being notoriously quiet, the buzz of crickets and cicadas is the likeliest insectile sound we will experience, depending on whether you live in close proximity to a hive of bees, yellow-jackets, or hornets. And, of course, the occasional pestiferousness of a horsefly, or mosquitoes. Depends what part of the world you inhabit, of course. Gulls on Anacapa Avian life probably offers the most sound from creatures in our natural aural canvas, the pik-o-wee of a red-winged blackbird, towee-oh-towee-ooh-towee-oh of a robin the hee-ah, hee-ah of the blue jay, the caws of covids, and gurgle of pigeons as they strut on an adjacent rooftop out of reach but within lunging distance of murderous pet felines safely contained behind windows, the rustle of feathers as a startled mourning dove launches. It is the sounds of avian life that receives the most coverage here. Great Blue in the Everglades All this competes with the incessant onslaught of the television, 24/7, or so it seems, spewing news and noise into the world. City traffic also offers ongoing background noise. In my neighborhood there is the added joy of numberless hordes eager to blast car stereos at teeth-shattering volumes, as they pick up pizza next door. And there’s the hair place across the street that has proven resistant to civil pleas to lower the volume on the music they blast onto the sidewalk in hopes of attracting, I am guessing, the hearing-impaired. Silence is a rare event, and is unnerving because of that infrequency. Frigate Bird in the Dry Tortugas I was living in Brooklyn when 911 happened. The sirens were ever-present, well, more ever-present than usual, masking the sudden absence of all air and most street traffic. Any city resident could tell from auditory clues alone that something very bad had happened. The soundscape changed, more than the hush created by a large snow. There was a different quality to it all, and it was unnerving, as if the quiet was in anticipation of another disaster. That was a sudden shift, and thus noticeable. The shift Kathleen Dean Moore writes of is a very different sort, more like the apocryphal frog in a pot of boiling water, which does not notice the gradual increase in heat until it is too late. Great Egret in Everglades It is necessary to leave the larger cities (unless, of course, yours features sufficient acreage to allow one true aural relief from the urban) to have a chance at a more natural chamber orchestra. The sound of waves at oceanside, of burbling streams in the woods, or rushing rivers before they become major thoroughfares. In the absence of prowling predators, there is usually no such thing as woodland silence. Particularly at night the airwaves are alive with diverse calls and responses, come-ons and threats, warnings and conversations. But the rich chorus of the unpeopled world is being silenced, as member after member of that grand orchestra has been removed from their seat. Vivaldi incorporated the sounds of wildlife into his masterpiece, The Four Seasons. Let’s hope that critter-mimicking played-instruments or recordings are not all we have left of the sonic scape of the world of wildlife. Green Heron in the Everglades It is, of course, not just creatures that Moore writes of. There are plenty of other sounds she celebrates, the song of dripping water in a luminous cave, the calming sounds of a singing mother soothing a squalling infant, the roar of the surf, the music of wind playing over cacti spines like a bow over strings, and plenty more. While a wide range of auditory experience is noted in this book, the largest representative of sounds that may be lost is the songs of birds. Anhinga in a tree - Everglades I am no one’s idea of an outdoorsman, thus my very urban point-of-reference noted above. But neither have I been locked in a box. National Parks hold a magnetic attraction and I have been fortunate enough to have visited a bunch. Moore’s effervescent tale of a pika sitting on her son’s shoe while somewhere above the treeline, and squeaking out a warning when Moore happened to move about in the family camp downhill from her progeny reminded me of having seen a pika sitting atop a rock in Glacier National Park, and issuing the same squeak. There is an excellent chance that a few of the critters she mentions here might be found in whatever part of the states you live in, or similar creatures in places outside the states. That occasional direct connection adds to the enjoyment of reading about experiences she has shared with us. Tri-colored Heron – Everglades In Earth’s Wild Music, Kathleen Dean Moore, has produced a cri du couer about the anthropo-screwing of our planet. She notes, in particular, the auditory element of our world, our experience of it, and the diminution of the actual evironment of sound on our planet as species go extinct. Juvenile White Ibis – Everglades It is a book rich not only with a blaring call for recognition of what is taking place, for concern and action, but with notes of information, many of which will make you say to yourself, “Huh, I never knew that,” whether silently or aloud. The calls of shorebirds, which evolved at the edge of the sea, have high frequencies, audible over the low rumble of surf. In the forest, birds have low-frequency voices because the long wavelength of the low tones are not as quickly scattered or absorbed by the tangle of leaves and moss. or The true gifts of the saguaro are the stiff spines set in clusters on the pleats of their trunks. When the wind blows across the spines, they sing like violin strings. Better yet, when you pluck a spine, it will sing its particular tone. If a person is patient in her plucking she can play music on a saguaro cactus. It was a jaw-dropping read for me, not just for the content, but for the gift of poetic description that Moore brings to her mission. I experienced the same piercing joy in reading this book that is usually reserved for books by Ron Rash or Louise Erdrich. The gifts of nature tell us there is a persistence to life that no measure of insolence or greed can destroy…the natural world holds us tight in its arms—calm as we tremble, patient as we mark the days “until this is over,” strong as we weaken. When the time comes, the natural world will embrace us as we die. It will never leave us. If we are lonely, Nature strokes our hair with light winds. If, frightened in the night, we wander outside to sit on a bench in the moonlight, it will come and sit beside us. If we are immobilized, having lost faith in the reliability of everything, still the Earth will carry us around the sun. If we feel abandoned, the Earth sings without ceasing—beautiful love songs in the voices of swallows and storms. This sheltering love calms me and makes me glad. Moore has been at this for some time. This is her eleventh book, continuing her lifelong dedication to writing about the moral imperative for protecting the only planet we have. I am two things, a philosophy professor and a natural history writer. They speak to the same thing, I think, which is developing a responsible relationship with a place, so that you can openly learn about it and it can openly inform you and you feel this moral urgency in protecting it. - from the NHI interviewIt is not so much that this book should be read slowly, it MUST be read slowly, sips, not gulps, savoring the stunning beauty of her words, the appreciation of, the wonder at our world, the sorrow at what has already faded. It reads like a novel that does not link scenes through action, but through theme. Yet those scenes can be compelling. There are 32 essays. In a chapter set in Washington state, flooding had loosened the grip on the earth of a stand of huge cedars, sufficient so that biblical winds could push them over, into each other, causing a cascade of tree onto trailers, stoving them to ruin, across roads, requiring the liberal use of chainsaws to clear passage, with the residents holed up in a local tavern hoping for surcease like a science fiction town hoping for the best against an invading zombie army. In another, she comes face to face with a cougar in a cow field. There is the song of water dripping in a luminous, unsuspected cavern, more like glass than stone. Pelicans – Everglades ==========In the summer of 2019 GR reduced the allowable review size by 25%, from 20,000 to 15,000 characters. In order to accommodate the text beyond that I have moved it to the comments section directly below.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Kathleen Dean Moore writes from a place of deep love for the worlds music—“the birdsong, the frog song, the crickets and toads, the whales and wolves, even old hymns and Girl Scout songs”. All the while, facing the sad facts of surging extinction. Kathleen and her husband, Frank spend a lot of their time in Alaska at their cabin. (their main home is in Oregon) They named their Alaskan cabin the “Drum House” — because each early morning when they wake —still in bed—they hear the little birds ‘rat- Kathleen Dean Moore writes from a place of deep love for the worlds music—“the birdsong, the frog song, the crickets and toads, the whales and wolves, even old hymns and Girl Scout songs”. All the while, facing the sad facts of surging extinction. Kathleen and her husband, Frank spend a lot of their time in Alaska at their cabin. (their main home is in Oregon) They named their Alaskan cabin the “Drum House” — because each early morning when they wake —still in bed—they hear the little birds ‘rat-a-tat’ — and it sounds like a drumbeat, sharp and insistent (beating on their metal roof). It’s true, what Kathleen said, “it must be powerfully rewarding for something so small to make a sound so large”. It hadn’t occurred to Kathleen that their cabin was designed in a long traditions of drums. Pretty cool realization... because of course it was!! 🦅 🐦 🦢.... I was reminded of the morning bird-chorus Paul and I woke to each weekend during our ‘sugar shack’ tent cabin days. Paul built it for us... (our mini Taj Mahal), in the woods at a nature resort. We visited our sugar shack every weekend - for about five years.... Awww, the good ‘younger’ days of our lives. Waking up early mornings snuggled under our cozy quilt hearing the birds sing - and seeing them outside out tent window was glorious! Today, Paul and I have many birds that visit our garden - (doves that return once a year and re-build their nest, and feed their babies)... several bird-feeders in our yard —and lots of squirrels and critters; neighbors cat visit often, too. Our indoor birds are Phil and Lil. We’ve never not owned birds inside our house. (43 years)... Their daily ‘sounds-of-pleasure’ never go unappreciated. Our yearly December trips to Maui and Kauai (where we honeymooned 43 years ago too), are days spent on trails exploring luscious beauty and sounds of nature intensely. “Wild Music”... as Kathleen calls it. Kathleen Dean Moore kept bringing back years of memories for me (with Paul... my main character as Frank is to Kathleen). I hope to keep creating new memories for many more years. It was impossible to read this book without being reminded of years-of-nature-treasures. And so...... I especially - so fully and thoroughly - enjoyed all the personal ‘Kathleen & Frank’ stories. From their long car rides, sleeping in tents, listening to bears, beach days, walks along mossy trails, thunderstorms, hot blistering, days, etc., it was a joy to imagine all the wonders that our nature-woman-author and her husband have experienced.... allowing some of us readers to reflect on our own similar experiences. SO NICE 🏔 It’s funny... I love nature - spend a great deal of time in it... (it’s my excuse - forgive me- why I often miss comment-connections online).... I’m busy being outside.... but I realized I don’t read many ‘traditional nature’ books ... [some]... but I’m not organically a nature-reader- so... this book was a great treat....for the reminder, reflection, beauty & miracle that nature is.... at the same time - global warming was never too far from my/ our shared thoughts. Kathleen educates gently, but clearly. She provides tips of things we - people- can do to ‘try’ to slow down our extinction crisis. Habitat loss through deforestation, mining, urbanization, and other destructions....over harvesting, overhunting, over-exploitation’s, pollution, poisoning, population growth, ... are the results of human decisions. Kathleen talked about us having a long way to go before it’s too late for life... “large or small; life will go on for probably 5 billion years, until the sun swallows the Earth in fire. What we do now will change everything forever. Whatever species get through the narrow hourglass of this century will determine what lives will evolve on the planet through that future”. So... it’s ‘not’ too late to do some things. “We can’t give up and lie supine before the human steamroller of destruction”. “Our greatest asset in the struggle, maybe our only hope, is the beauty and power of our own voices, raised in global chorus of outrage, conscience, and imagination”. I am reminded of the voice from Pete Buttigieg... “If this generation doesn’t step up, we’re in for trouble. This is, after all, the generation that’s gonna be on the business end of climate change for as long as we live”. Kathleen says.... “We can stand against corporate wreck and plunder. Stand. In the way. With the choir and a conscience and a sign. We can stand and say, ‘This is wrong, and I will not be a part of it’”. Kathleen Dean Moore... Thank you for being a voice for moral and emotional bonds to the wild. Thank you Betsy and Will for bringing the book - and this wonderful dedicated author to my awareness. There are many powerful excerpts to highlight... Here is one of them: “In birds, tantalizing evidence of birdsong is found in 67-million-year-old fossils, marking the first known appearance at the syrinx. The syrinx is the organ deep in birds’ chests that they are use to create their melodic songs. Now the whole Earth chimes, from deep in the sea to the high in the atmosphere, with the sounds of snapping shrimp, singing mice, roaring whales, moaning bears, clattering dragonflies, and a fish calling like a foghorn. Who could catalog the astonishing oeuvre of the Earth? And more songs are being created every year”.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Betsy Robinson

    4/19/20 I'm rereading this (see original review below). And as I did last time, and now that I know what's coming I'm more confident about this, I'm reviewing the experience a mere 50 pages into my second reading. What I realize this time is that Kathleen Dean Moore makes you fall in love--with Earth and all its creatures and plants. That is why this book is so magnificent. Also, it holds up for a second reading. Each essay is complete and demands a pause--to reflect, to associate to your own exp 4/19/20 I'm rereading this (see original review below). And as I did last time, and now that I know what's coming I'm more confident about this, I'm reviewing the experience a mere 50 pages into my second reading. What I realize this time is that Kathleen Dean Moore makes you fall in love--with Earth and all its creatures and plants. That is why this book is so magnificent. Also, it holds up for a second reading. Each essay is complete and demands a pause--to reflect, to associate to your own experiences, to savor and digest it. So this is a perfect book to read in little bits, maybe even while reading another book (which I almost never do). 5/10/20 update I'm pretty much equally right- and left-brained and I can switch types of thinking consciously. That makes me a good editor, good at literary structure, basically a really good mechanic. I also have a good ear for voice and dialogue, having started as a playwright and actor. But after all these decades of writing, narrative still does not come easily. So when I read this paragraph (actually reread it as the writing is so good I'm reading the book for a second time), I thought: this is a master class in narrative. Not a limp adjective or verb. No showing off whatsoever, but just describing what is and what happens in the most vivid and visceral way possible. Although they are probably the very same whales that sing in Hawaii, the humpbacks of Southeast Alaska add a different call to their repertoire when they migrate back to northern feeding grounds. They are all violin music in the Hawaiian bays, but on the feeding grounds in Alaska, whales trumpet. The cacophony is part of their raucous feeding ritual, unique to Southeast Alaska. An assigned member of a pod circles deep, blowing bubbles the size of beachballs. The bubbles form a sort of cylinder, encircling a school of herring. Other whales swim below, herding the herring into a tight ball. A whale sounds the signal, that magnificent screech, and all the whales drive powerfully upward through the panicked fish, jaws agape. They go so fast, they breach the surface, sailing half a body's length into the sky. Water streams from the baleen curtains that hold the herring in their maws. Gulls scream as whales fall back onto the water with all the weight and grace of a school bus falling off a cliff. April 4, 2021 review At only 42 pages into this exquisite book, I find myself unable to contain my joy, enthusiasm, and pure ecstasy. This level of awe and excitement require action, so I just ordered a hard copy of the book from Bookshop.org (https://bookshop.org/books/earth-s-wi...) because: 1. I must own this. I want to mark it up and eat it! I'm reading a library copy, and I can't molest it in any way, so I'd rather slow down my reading and wait for a book that I'm free to consume. (No I won't eat it, but you get my emotion.) 2. I bought it because the actions I want to take are to roar "Thank you!" -- to Kathleen Dean Moore, who will get a royalty, and to indie bookshops that want to do service for readers, so buying from them through Bookshop allows me to enact an exchange in the direction of my beliefs. 3. If I were to begin marking quotes I want to remember in just the pages I've read, I'd mark up the whole book, so this way I can pick it up and reread as many times and as slowly as I choose any passage I open to. I want to recommend this book to everybody! The writing is sublime, charming, funny, serious, artistic but without guile, smart, all the adjectives. I don't want this book to end, and I'm worrying about that just 42 pages in, so ordering my own copy will make me stop and wait. This is not a literary meal you want to wolf down, and I will do my best to pause. I do not know if I will write a real review once I've finished this book. Maybe this is enough and I'll keep my other thoughts to myself. Thank you a million times, Will Byrnes, for reviewing this book. P.S. Just finished. Couldn't wait for my copy to come so just kept reading. I look forward to rereading and marking up my copy as soon as it's in my hot little hands.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane Barnes

    I read one review which started out with "this is not a feel good book". Exactly, because how do you put a positive spin on the deliberate destruction of our Earth? Moore tells us about the beauty of the wild creatures, the beauty of our surroundings in the natural world, the beauty of the sounds all around us, then tells us how much we have lost and are still losing, trying to scare us into action. Will we survive? Probably, but not in the same world that we live in now. I wish everyone could rea I read one review which started out with "this is not a feel good book". Exactly, because how do you put a positive spin on the deliberate destruction of our Earth? Moore tells us about the beauty of the wild creatures, the beauty of our surroundings in the natural world, the beauty of the sounds all around us, then tells us how much we have lost and are still losing, trying to scare us into action. Will we survive? Probably, but not in the same world that we live in now. I wish everyone could read this book and understand what she and other scientists are trying to tell us.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Comfort Me With Nature

    “Sometimes sounds turn me almost inside out with longing.” The first time I heard a deer vocalize, I was observing her from my second-story window. She and the other adult females that traveled together were protecting their offspring from a coyote that had dared to venture too close to their little family. Until that point, I didn’t know that deer could vocalize. The wheezy screams sent an undeniable message. I was both stunned and amazed. What other sounds had I been missing? Shortly after that “Sometimes sounds turn me almost inside out with longing.” The first time I heard a deer vocalize, I was observing her from my second-story window. She and the other adult females that traveled together were protecting their offspring from a coyote that had dared to venture too close to their little family. Until that point, I didn’t know that deer could vocalize. The wheezy screams sent an undeniable message. I was both stunned and amazed. What other sounds had I been missing? Shortly after that event, I saw a posting for this book and knew I wanted to read it. It was everything I expected and more. Kathleen Moore, a seasoned essayist, brings us a collection of both new and previously published works. These are her reflections on the presence and joy of song in nature, the tragedy of lost songs, and finally our obligation to save what we can and how we should proceed. Each essay is filled with detail and emotion. “We must understand,” she writes, “that we do not have the luxury of living in ordinary time…” You can feel her emotional restraint entwined with her plea for urgency and action. While there is some despair, she never dwells there too long without holding forth the chord of “active hope” for a different future. There have been many calls to action to find a more sustainable way for humans to live on the Earth. The plea isn’t new yet Moore’s essays still feel vital. More than just about song, this is also about listening. She encourages us to listen to the truth that is playing out around us, a truth that we have so far mostly ignored. Perhaps using song as a vehicle will stir something in the hearts of those who have been otherwise unmoved thus far. Why you should not miss this one: * this is an important addition to the genre, introducing another reason for action; * Moore’s timeline of hope is so on point; * the writing is accessible and relatable, even if you are not an experienced nature lover. Thanks to NetGalley, Counterpoint Press, and the author, Kathleen Dean Moore, for the opportunity to read a digital copy in exchange for this review. #NetGalley #EarthsWildMusic If you like this review, please consider checking out my blog at www.comfortmewithnature.com Thanks!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Kathleen Dean Moore's nature writing is bright and beautiful, and this book is especially dazzling because she incorporates her love of music throughout the whole book. But this book is also depressing, from start to finish. An author can choose to write whatever they want about their subject, narrow or broad, shallow or deep, but as I was reading this book, I wondered if, as a philosopher, the author had thoughts about the waning health of the planet other than it's ultimate demise as an inhabi Kathleen Dean Moore's nature writing is bright and beautiful, and this book is especially dazzling because she incorporates her love of music throughout the whole book. But this book is also depressing, from start to finish. An author can choose to write whatever they want about their subject, narrow or broad, shallow or deep, but as I was reading this book, I wondered if, as a philosopher, the author had thoughts about the waning health of the planet other than it's ultimate demise as an inhabitable planet as we know it. Philosophically speaking ... I think there is a lot more to talk about here, and I wish that the author would have expanded the book to discuss the "more". Overall, I very highly recommend this book and think anyone who has an interest in nature will like it. I think a small note is in order that this is not a "feel good" book - I think I would put it in the category of "call to action".

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cori

    This book is the healing balm I didn’t know I needed for my beaten down morale and soul. Moore skillfully reminds us the magic of the world still exists. We must simply make time to seek out the aptly called wild music of the earth. Her lyrical writing turns science lessons and field observations into poetry and transports you to far flung places. Her stories will inspire you to seek out your own immersive experiences in our wild places. Her direct reminders of existing loss and ongoing dangers This book is the healing balm I didn’t know I needed for my beaten down morale and soul. Moore skillfully reminds us the magic of the world still exists. We must simply make time to seek out the aptly called wild music of the earth. Her lyrical writing turns science lessons and field observations into poetry and transports you to far flung places. Her stories will inspire you to seek out your own immersive experiences in our wild places. Her direct reminders of existing loss and ongoing dangers to the natural world are not demoralizing and instead provide motivation to believe we can preserve and protect the natural world.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    I live in a rural area, surrounded by nature. Our neighbors have cows, horses, goats, etc and the pastures host wild turkeys, deer, and all sorts of wildlife. Birds sing throughout the day and love a bountiful supply of sunflower seeds in the feeders. A few days ago three deer were only a few feet from my window. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how blessed I am to be able to live away from man's busy concrete jungle and in the serenity of the sounds of nature. Excellent writing and a fascinat I live in a rural area, surrounded by nature. Our neighbors have cows, horses, goats, etc and the pastures host wild turkeys, deer, and all sorts of wildlife. Birds sing throughout the day and love a bountiful supply of sunflower seeds in the feeders. A few days ago three deer were only a few feet from my window. Sometimes I need to be reminded of how blessed I am to be able to live away from man's busy concrete jungle and in the serenity of the sounds of nature. Excellent writing and a fascinating read. Enjoy!!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    Descriptions so real, so enchanting you can see, hear, breathe, taste, touch and smell them. Through anecdotes the author beautifully captures what it feels like to to listen to nature. Truly listen. Her descriptions are spine tingling and goose bumpy, so many of them but some of my favourites include fog, sidewinders, raindrops, water at night, pika calls, shrimp, loons, caves, jellyfish, spiders, falling leaves, impeccable timing of bird migration, moss and crickets. Discover your own favourit Descriptions so real, so enchanting you can see, hear, breathe, taste, touch and smell them. Through anecdotes the author beautifully captures what it feels like to to listen to nature. Truly listen. Her descriptions are spine tingling and goose bumpy, so many of them but some of my favourites include fog, sidewinders, raindrops, water at night, pika calls, shrimp, loons, caves, jellyfish, spiders, falling leaves, impeccable timing of bird migration, moss and crickets. Discover your own favourites. Lovely quotes and definitions are used to further focus on the enjoyment of the moment such as yearning, joy and hope. The use of musical terminology and songs to even further describe is incredible, such as Beethoven's symphonies and "Ode to Joy". Bird songs are spelled out. Then there is grief. As a passionate nature lover, I can relate to so much in this book. I explore forests and just...am for hours and hours and have my own "square inch" of perfection where there are no manmade sounds for the entire time. I simply envelop myself in nature with keen awareness of all my senses. One leaf falling can be almost thunderous. The book ends with ecological and moral issues and duties, pollution, climate change, etc. and a plea to change things. And it's not a canned clichéd plea, either. We are hurting ourselves by doing nothing. Nature lovers and anyone who is concerned about us and other creatures should read this touching, lovely and inspiring book. My sincere thank you to Counterpoint Press and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this multisensory book in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Judy

    Did you know that you can pluck the spines of a saguaro cactus and play a tune? Kathleen Dean Moore played Ode to Joy. Word images: the liquid octave of a canyon wren; or a coyote calling a question. This significant collection of essays celebrates the sounds and silence of the natural world and pleads for cessation of our collective loss of biodiversity. A quote: Each of us is so much more than we think we are -- this body, these sorrows and hopes. We are air exhaled by hemlocks, we are water p Did you know that you can pluck the spines of a saguaro cactus and play a tune? Kathleen Dean Moore played Ode to Joy. Word images: the liquid octave of a canyon wren; or a coyote calling a question. This significant collection of essays celebrates the sounds and silence of the natural world and pleads for cessation of our collective loss of biodiversity. A quote: Each of us is so much more than we think we are -- this body, these sorrows and hopes. We are air exhaled by hemlocks, we are water plowed by whales, we are energy ejected from stars, we are children of deep time. Our ears tremble with wind through treetops. Our eyes flash with sunlight through rain. How can we be fully alive, if we don't pause to notice, and to celebrate, all the dimensions of our being, its length and its depth and its movement through time? Thank you, Ms. Moore.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paige Auber

    by far my favorite book I’ve read in a long time. a hauntingly poetic scope of what makes our earth so beautiful and how much is at stake from decades of human & corporation greed, selfishness and negligence. I have so many sections underlined to reference, I can’t wait to read this again and gift to others. “can I claim to love a morning, if I don’t protect what creates its beauty? can I claim to love a child, if I don’t use all the power of my beating heart to preserve a world that nourishes c by far my favorite book I’ve read in a long time. a hauntingly poetic scope of what makes our earth so beautiful and how much is at stake from decades of human & corporation greed, selfishness and negligence. I have so many sections underlined to reference, I can’t wait to read this again and gift to others. “can I claim to love a morning, if I don’t protect what creates its beauty? can I claim to love a child, if I don’t use all the power of my beating heart to preserve a world that nourishes children’s joy? loving is not a kind of la-de-da. loving is a sacred trust. to love is to affirm the absolute worth of what you love and pledge your life to its thriving, to protect it fiercely and faithfully, for all time.”

  12. 5 out of 5

    Catie

    Review copy provided by publisher - January 30, 2021

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Friend of Robin Kimmerer, contemporary of Rebecca Solnit, shares the awe of creation, lyrical language, and long sentences with Brian Doyle, and writes with the density of the early Annie Dillard.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Chase

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The best nonfiction book ever!!!!!!!!!!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Molly Dressel

  16. 4 out of 5

    Felipe

  17. 5 out of 5

    Alex Stephenson

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Frankel

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lorelei

  21. 4 out of 5

    Katie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Schwartzmann

  23. 4 out of 5

    Counterpoint Press

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle Perry

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anna

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jae

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carl

  28. 5 out of 5

    Christina Stockard

  29. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kate

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