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Bare Feet, Wet Socks: Writing About Winter    edited by Ann Zwinger & James Halfpenny order for
Bare Feet, Wet Socks
by Ann Zwinger
Order:  USA  Can
Caldera, 2004 (2004)
*   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This slim (52 pages) volume is an anthology of fourteen essays and poems from a writer's workshop, and based on 'experiences in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone National Park'.

There's a tribute in verse 'To Bob Landis', a Yellowstone photographer. 'Friend or Foe?' portrays Yellowstone as 'an alert sentinel' awaiting the first snowfall of the season, and 'The Sound of Snowflakes' explores all the different sounds of a winter wilderness. I enjoyed 'Reading the Snow', a poem about predator and prey ... 'Fox sits. Eagle perches. / Patient as snow.' 'Layers' of snow give a fresh world view, while 'Too Old to be a Wolf Anymore' reminds us of our own vulnerability. 'Changes of Fortunes' speaks of 'Driving into an Ansel Adams photograph', and of the potential impact on the park of global warming.

In 'Red Beauty', we hear about the 'Cabernet hue' of the wintry park landscape. 'Skiing Through Dark Woods' speaks of drinking in this twilight pleasure, while 'The World in White' reveals a 'nurse rock' with relevance to the human experience. 'Circle of Water' addresses the life cycle of a winter droplet. 'Distraction & the Howl of the Wolf' tells of a first sighting, a mating pair of wolves and a lone observer, while 'Slough Creek Notations' addresses wolf conservation. Finally, 'Bare Toes and Dreams of Glory' mixes science with tingling toes.

Bare Feet, Wet Socks is an eclectic collection, a mix of winter observation and ecological concerns, of interest to anyone visiting Yellowstone Park, or planning a visit, in any season.

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