Who am I?
I am a highly experienced outdoorsman, musician, songwriter, and backcountry guide who chose teaching as a day job. As a writer, however, I am a promoter of creative and literary nonfiction, especially nonfiction that features a thematic thread, whether it be philosophical, conservation, historical, or even unique experiential. The thread I used for thirty years of teaching high school and honors English was the thread of Conservation, as exemplified by authors like Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Edward O. Wilson, Al Gore, Henry David Thoreau, as well as many other more contemporary authors.
Why did Mark love this book?
Reading Terry Tempest Williams’ book brought me an intimate awareness of the magical beauty of The Great Salt Lake ecosystem and its abundant, fascinating bird life, while at the same time, the book educated me about the long-term impacts on both wildlife and human life from all who lived downwind of the 1950’s Western nuclear weapons testing and development.
I loved the themes of wild bird habitats and migratory bird refuges that ran throughout the book, and I truly felt the emotive connection that Williams created between wild birds and human lives.
The honesty about increased cancer rates and the ultimate death of her mother added a poignant, bittersweet element that brought me to emotional tears as well.