Reflections on the private lives of the wild critters of the Catskills, from birds to moths to wild deer, by a lifelong naturalist. ‘The Quarry Fox’ author is Leslie T. Sharpe

Ian Williams interviews Leslie T. Sharpe

 


A red fox stands poised at the edge of a woodchuck den, his ears perked for danger as two pudgy fox cubs frolic nearby. A mother black bear and her cubs hibernate beneath a felled tree.

A barred owl snags a hapless cottontail from a meadow with its precise talons. In The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of the Wild Catskills, Leslie T. Sharpe trains her keen eye and narrative gifts on these and other New York wildlife through her tales of close observations as a naturalist living in the Great Western Catskills.

The Quarry Fox is the first in-depth study of Catskill wildlife since John Burroughs invented the genre of nature-writing, in which Sharpe weaves her experiences with the seasons, plants, and creatures with the natural history of each organism, revealing their sensitivity to and resilience against the splendor and cruelty of Nature.

Sharpe’s frank, scientific observations join with her deeply felt connection to these creatures to instill in readers an appreciation of the undaunted and variegated beauty of the Catskills and camaraderie with its animals. From contemplating the importance of milkweed for monarchs to lay their eggs to reveling in the first steps of a wobbly fawn, The Quarry Fox is a celebration of the natural world and our place in it.

 

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