A Daybook for February in Yellow Springs, Ohio: A Memoir in Nature (Paperback)
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This second volume of A DAYBOOK FOR THE YEAR IN YELLOW SPRINGS, OHIO, is a memoir, extended meditation and guidebook to the month of February in southwestern Ohio, as well as in the Middle Atlantic region and much of the East and Southeast. The DAYBOOK journal itself consists of my notes on what I saw happening around me in Yellow Springs between 1979 and 2017. It is a collection of observations made from the window of my car and from my walks in and around Yellow Springs, in parks and wildlife areas within a few miles of my home and on occasional trips throughout the United States and Europe.My daily, weekly and monthly weather summaries have been distilled from over thirty years of observations, and they offer a statistical description of each day. Although information about the Yellow Springs microclimate at first seemed too narrow to be of use to those who lived outside my area, I found that I could adjust my data to meet the needs of a number of regional and national farm publications for which I started writing in the mid 1980s. Soon I was finding that what had happened in Yellow Springs was applicable to many other parts of the country. In the Natural Calendar sections of the DAYBOOK I note the progress of foliage and floral changes, farm and garden practices, migration times for common birds and peak periods of insect activity. The cumulative format of the DAYBOOK, which brings together all of the annual entries for the same day through the span of over thirty years, has shown me the regularity of the changes in the seasons, and it fleshes out a broad, multi-faceted picture of each segment of the year. The daily record and the natural calendar summaries, then, are records of moveable seasonal feasts that shift not only according to geographical regions but also according to the weather in any particular year. They are a phenological handbook for the region and a time- exposure narrative of the month. In addition, they can be used as an informal base line for monitoring future changes in local climate.The passages from ancient and modern writers that accompany each day's notations are lessons from my readings, as well as from distant seminary and university training, here put to work in service of the reconstruction of my sense of time and space. They are a collection of reminders, hopes and promises for me that I find implicit in the seasons. They are a kind of a cosmological scrapbook for me and the philosophical underpinning of this narrative.