Coming through the swamp: the nature writings of Gene by Gene Stratton-Porter

By Gene Stratton-Porter

E-book by means of Stratton-Porter, Gene, Plum, Sydney Landon

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Particularly in the middle essay, "Songs of the Fields," the writing and exquisite photographs grant the reader almost a primacy of experience. Music of the Wild is Gene Stratton Porter's most ambitious work. In it she strove to recreate the Limberlost and surrounding areas without benefit of fictional narrative or an interpreting naturalist figure. In three Page xx essays"The Chorus of the Forest," "The Songs of the Fields," and "The Music of the Marsh"she described a myriad of wildlife and vegetation, from dragonflies to dusky falcons, foxgloves to wild rice, weaving together her observations through the recurrent device of a description of the sounds of these different areas.

They were married in 1886, and a daughter, Jeannette, was born in 1887. Although she would not duplicate the childhood idyll of Hopewell Farm, in her lifetime Gene Stratton Porter did build a series of increasingly elaborate rural nests for herself. She persuaded Charles to move to a house with a sizable garden in Geneva, Indiana; then, in 1894, after visiting the Chicago Exposition, she began the building of a ''Queen Anne rustic" log home modeled after the Forestry Building at the Exposition.

The collecting of a year was yielding results. The book I had hoped for over a long period was rapidly coming to fulfillment. This was a month during which I scarcely slept. Each night when I went to bed, I looked over my collection and listened with cocoons held to my ear as one would hold a watch. If I heard struggling and efforts of emergence going on inside the cocoon I laid it on a tray beside my pillow in order that I might be awake and ready to make my records when the moths appeared. This night it was perhaps twelve before I lay down.

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