Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir

By Jerry Apps

Hardcover: $22.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-709-9

128 pages, 5 1/2 x 8; E-book available

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In these times of technological innovation and fast-paced electronic communication, we often take nature for granted--or even consider it a hindrance to our human endeavors. In "Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir", Jerry Apps explores such topics as the human need for wilderness, rediscovering a sense of wonder, and his father's advice to "listen for the whispers" and "look in the shadows" to learn nature's deepest lessons.

Combining his signature lively storytelling and careful observations of nature, Apps draws on a lifetime of experiences, from his earliest years growing up on a central Wisconsin farm to his current ventures as gardener, tree farmer, and steward of wetlands, prairies, and endangered Karner blue butterflies. He also takes inspiration from the writings of Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Sigurd Olson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry, Richard Louv, and Rachel Carson. With these eloquent essays, Jerry Apps reminds us to slow down, turn off technology, and allow our senses to reconnect us to the natural world. For it is there, he writes, that "I am able to return to a feeling I had when I was a child, a feeling of having room to stretch my arms without interfering with another person, a feeling of being a small part of something much larger than I was, and I marvel at the idea."

Discover more Jerry Apps books, including a "Whispers and Shadows" companion book, The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters, in the Jerry Apps section of this web site.

To receive a review copy or press release, to schedule an author event, or for more information contact the WHS Press Marketing Department: whspress@wisconsinhistory.org.

Jerry Apps is professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the author of more than twenty-five books, many of them on rural history and country life. Jerry's nonfiction books include "Every Farm Tells a Story," "Living a Country Year," "When Chores Were Done," "Humor from the Country," "Country Ways and Country Days," "Ringlingville USA," "Horse-Drawn Days: A Century of Farming with Horses" and "Barns of Wisconsin." He has written two books for young readers, "Tents, Tigers and the Ringling Brothers" and "Casper Jaggi: Master Swiss Cheese Maker," and the novels "The Travels of Increase Joseph" and "In a Pickle: A Family Farm Story." He received the 2007 Major Achievement Award from the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the 2007 Notable Wisconsin Author Award from the Wisconsin Library Association. Jerry was born and raised on a small farm in Waushara County, Wisconsin, about two miles from the land that is the subject of "Old Farm." He and his family have owned their farm, Roshara, since 1966, and he and his wife, Ruth, continue to live there part time. Once a small dairy farm, the property is now a tree farm with an ongoing prairie renovation. Check out his latest book, "Never Curse the Rain: A Farm Boy's Reflection on Water". Discover more books by Jerry Apps on the Jerry Apps author page!

For more information on author, storyteller and historian Jerry Apps, please visit:
www.jerryapps.com

And check out his blog, which covers his thoughts on everything from his books to environmental subjects to his personal life and much more at: www.jerryapps.com/blog

"These essays...radiate simplicity, one of the most complicated things for a writer to do. You can pretty much open the book at random and read something beautiful. He [Apps] describes the wildflowers he loves, the animals he watches, the nature writers who inspire him, the family excursions he cherishes. He makes the natural world palpable." -Bill Lueders, Wisconsin State Journal

"[Apps'] lively storytelling, anchored by exquisite attention to detail, profound discovery and an obvious passion for his subject, make this a pleasure to read even if your idea of convening with nature is mowing the lawn once a week." -Michael Popke, Isthmus Magazine