Sunday, January 25, 2009

Illumination in the Flatwoods

Sometime last autumn my friends, Harold Eyster and his sister Artemis Eyster, enthusiastically told me about this book.  In Artemis's words, "it's the best book I've ever read."  Coming from Artemis, this is quite an endorsement.  Using different words, her brother concurred.  So, I tucked the title away in my head.  Sometime, around Christmas, for whatever reason and in whatever context, I mentioned this book to my friend, Tim McKay.  Tim had also read the book and had equally high praise for it.  So, in the beginning of January I ordered Illumination in the Flatwoods by Joe Hutto, copyright 1995 by The Lyons Press from Amazon.  Cost - no kidding -$0.01, shipping $3.99.  After being shipped via China, it finally arrived in my mailbox.  I am on page 207 of 238 pages and I can recommend this book before even finishing and without giving away the ending.

Joe Hutto is a naturalist who hatches and imprints wild turkey poults.  In journal format, he takes the reader through his daily experience of parenting these young turkeys.  His describes the highs and lows of this experience without passion or drama.  In addition to his fine writing, Mr. Hutto is an accomplished artist.  The black and white drawings spread throughout the book are as fine and detailed as a photograph.  He also, in 2-1/2 pages, gives one of the clearest descriptions I have read about the ravages of habitat destruction.

I own up to having previously thought of wild turkeys as being rather uninteresting or unexciting when I see them in the field.  This book has led me to an enlightened view of the wild turkey and I can recommend Illumination in the Flatwoods to you as enthusiastically as Artemis, Harold and Tim recommended it to me.  Don't be thinking that wild turkeys are boring.  That would be wrong.        

1 comment:

BJ said...

Love the blog!