By Thomas Springer
A brand new voice unearths the original personality of the higher MidwestIn the spirit of different writers who percentage an affinity for the traditional world---authors corresponding to Robert Frost, Emerson, and invoice Bryson---Looking for Hickories is Tom Springer's ode to the folks, normal good looks, and lore of the Midwest, a spot the place bustling groups neighbor a delicate mosaic of quiet woods, fertile meadows, and miles of farmland.Touching and funny by means of turns, searching for Hickories captures the essence of the higher Midwest's personality with topics specific to the sector but usually common in subject, from barn construction to land protection to the ignored significance of assorted bushes within the landscape.Like Frost's most sensible poems, Springer's essays frequently commence with pride and result in knowledge. They mingle a generosity of spirit and the childlike excitement of discovery with a grown-up experience of a time and a spot, if now not misplaced, then at risk of disappearing altogether---things to treasure and protect for this day and day after today.
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Extra info for Looking for Hickories: The Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest
No longer could I look upon a dilapidated barn as quaint or picturesque. I saw only leaky roofs, unglazed windows and crumbling foundations that cried out for repair. I saw neglected cultural relics whose owners had failed to protect the treasures entrusted to them by posterity. NOVEMBERcQ9Song if the Saw and Hammer When an Amish crew builds your barn, you often get to see where the wood comes from. In this case the source was Hostetler's Sawmill, an Amish-owned business where a diesel generator powers the equipment.
The answers have to do with aboriginal archery, footloose cattle, and the passion of two men to make the boundless prairie a respectable and rectangular place. For Native Americans, the Osage served a crucial and fundamental purpose: from its sinewy, yellow heartwood, they could make a bow that was powerful enough to kill a buffalo. As far north as Montana, Osage bows were eagerly sought by tribes of the Great Plains. In 18 IO, among the Arikara Indians, the going price for these prized weapons was a horse and blanket.
But how could they not be? Serviceberries have a rich, complex flavor that any gourmand would love. Technically, they're not berries at all but tiny apples rarely larger than half an inch in diameter. Their texture, though, is more like that of a sweet cherry. On a fruitful tree, it takes about thirty minutes to pick enough serviceberries for a batch of jam. That's considerably longer than it takes to harvest the fruit from, say, an apple tree, from which you can fill a bushel basket in ten minutes or so.