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The Wingless Crow

The "Wingless Crow" joins together thirty-three superb short essays on nature, science, country living, and self. They are written by a man who - watchful, inquisitive, at times prickly - is animated by delight, wonder, and love for the rural places and wildlife of Pennsylvania. Charles Fergus wrote these insightful pieces for his monthly column, "Thornapples," which ran in "Pennsylvania Game News" magazine from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. They are based on many hours spent hiking, skiing, botanizing, and observing wild creatures, as well as trips to libraries and hours spent with books, teasing out information about the objects of his interest. The writing is simple and vivid, rendered dramatic through the delivery of carefully chosen details. Fergus scrutinizes a captured dragonfly and sees "a bubble of a hide through which organs glimmer." He recalls a night in a tent when lightning shook the ground. He tells about topographic maps and deerflies and auctions and poisonous mushrooms and crows. Propelled by an unrelenting curiosity, a wry sense of humor, and the tough heart of a born curmudgeon, Fergus is astonished at how little he sees at first - and how much, with care and dedication, there is to see. Readers will delight in his observations of and insights into the life, both human and wild, that enlivens the wooded mountains and farmed valleys of the author's central Pennsylvania home.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Contents Preface Stump-sitting On being a curmudgeon Paper traveling A four-star shower Arteries The way a mind wended My old man The vulgar bird Hiking on your stomach The showing is nightly The decoy Sulfur in the air Cast iron, basic black A fair day for hunters Country matters Destroying angels To eat crow The power of flies An hour's hunt Upsik and siqoq Stolen moments Expectations A rogues' gallery of bats Sleeping out Crow Stoltzfus consignment sale The perfect hat A small brown package Mr. Detwiler Holding infinity at bay Three incidents Lord and master of June Fetch

About the Author

Charles Fergus is the author of seventeen books, most of them about nature and the outdoors. He was born in central Pennsylvania and lived there for many years before moving, in 2003, to a small hill-country farm in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.


"The Wingless Crow is a collection of nature-related essays that brilliantly blend woodland lore with wisdom, anecdotes, philosophy, humor, and much more. Each page offers fresh surprises. If you are not a nature lover now, you most likely will be after reading this delightful book." - Bill Russell, author of Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic, published by Penn State Press "Charles Fergus knows how to keep a reader's interest in all that is wild and wonderful with this collection of short, lyrical essays on nature, country living, and the hunting life." - Marcia Bonta, author of Outbound Journeys in Pennsylvania and More Outbound Journeys in Pennsylvania, both published by Penn State Press"

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