Rev. Diane Roth referenced For Love of Lakes in something she wrote. “I really enjoyed your book.”
“This spring I picked up a book by a retired college professor and ecologist, Darby Nelson. It is called For Love of Lakes. The book is part memoir, part geology, as he writes lyrically of his boyhood love of lakes, and yet exposes how many of them have become degraded. How can we say we love lakes, and let them fall to ruin?, he wonders. Is it because we don’t understand them? In a lake, so much happens under the surface, where we cannot see.
Two paragraphs in his introduction struck me: If I think of time as a river, I predispose myself to think linearly, to see events as unconnected, where a tree branch falling into the river at noon is swept away by current to remain eternally separated in time and space from the butterfly that falls in an hour later and thrashes about seeking floating refuge.But if I think of time as a lake, I see ripples set in motion by one event touching an entire shore and then, when reflected back toward the middle, meeting ripples from other events, each changing the other in their passing. I think of connectedness, of relationships, and interacting events that matter greatly to lakes.”See the entire Faith in Community: Of Rivers and Lakes post here.
Don Shelby on MinnPost.com “Darby Nelson, a Modern-Day Thoreau”
It may come as no surprise to regular readers of this column that I am a fan of Henry David Thoreau. I have read all of his works and possess a handwritten page from his journals. I’ve walked the shoreline of Walden Pond and stood on the spot where he built his tiny cabin. I have visited his grave.
Darby Nelson likes Thoreau even more than I do. Read more.
Nelson, Darby. For Love of Lakes. Michigan State Univ. Oct. 2011. c.270p. illus. bibliog. ISBN 9781611860214. pap. $24.95. NAT HIST
Nelson (biology, emeritus, Anoka-Ramsey Jr. Coll.) brings to bear his training as an aquatic ecologist in this eloquent paean to the natural beauty and wonder of lakes. Intermingling a lifelong fascination with lakes and cogent scientific commentary, this book will generate newfound respect for and appreciation of lakes. Nelson invokes prominent naturalists like Henry David Thoreau and Louis Agassiz as he explores the glory of lakes and explains their scientific significance. Like these classic observers of nature, Nelson teaches us to look closely at the minute features of lakes that, under close scrutiny, reflect the larger miracle of the universe. While lay readers may find the science chapters to be slow-going at times, the nature sections, replete with detailed observations, will more than compensate for this challenge. VERDICT Ideal for aficionados of nature writing. Readers who enjoyed Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek will find this book similarly rewarding.—Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law, PA