Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 184
Illustrations: 36 color photos

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The Southern Wildlife Watcher

Notes of a Naturalist

Rob Simbeck

Published: Aug 28 2020




Published: Aug 28 2020

OA Ebook
Published: Aug 28 2020


The inclusion of this book in the Open Carolina collection is made possible by the generous funding of

The Southern Wildlife Watcher is a colorful look at thirty-six common and not-so-common animals found in the southeastern United States—from the hummingbird to the bald eagle and from the bullfrog to the bobcat. Rob Simbeck, one of the Southeast's most widely read naturalists, combines a poet's voice with a journalist's rigor in offering readers an intimate introduction to the creatures around us.

Through delightful storytelling each vignette offers accessible information supported by quotes from noted naturalists and biologists. Simbeck covers habitat, diet, mating and reproduction, environmental challenges, and even folklore in outlining the lives of insects and other invertebrates, birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, and fish. The Southern Wildlife Watcher is a refresher course and handbook for veteran nature lovers, an introduction for young readers, and fireplace or bedtime reading for those wanting to reflect on nature's bounty.

A foreword is provided by Jim Casada, the author or editor of more than forty books and some five thousand magazine articles. He serves as editor at large for Sporting Classics magazine.

Rob Simbeck has written for the Washington Post, Guideposts, Field & Stream, Birder's World, Wildbird, and wildlife/conservation magazines in twenty states. He is the author, ghostwriter, or editor of more than twenty books and is former president and chairman of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association.

"Engaging and filled with surprising facts, Rob Simbeck's compact nature anthology conveys awareness of the natural world."—Foreword Reviews

"The collection is both personal and practical. . . [Simbeck] brings a sharp eye for detail and obvious love of nature to his pithy observations of everything from the house fly to the groundhog."—Chapter 16

"In The Southern Wildlife Watcher flies, worms, bullfrogs, and bobcats get comparable space and respect as relevant stars in nature's cast of eclectic collection, with fine, tight writing."—Ken Perrotte, The Free-Lance Star (Fredericksburg, VA)

"The Southern Wildlife Watcher is a feast of information, appreciation, and wonderful writing that will bring your everyday world to life."—Michael Sims, author of Adam's Navel

"This witty, insightful, and delightful book is a balm, and it's one that we need now more than ever."—Silas House, author of Southernmost

"From blue jays to luna moths, rat snakes to red foxes, starfish to great white sharks, Rob Simbeck teaches us all how to fall in love with the world, one wonderful, intricate living thing at a time."—Margaret Renkl, author of Late Migrations

"This collection tells us a little about the critters we might encounter while hiking, camping, or simply exploring the mysteries and charms of the South's vast natural world, or even in your own back yard. . . . a welcome and refreshing reintroduction to some of our fellow planetary travelers."—Ben Moïse, author of Ramblings of a Lowcountry Game Warden

"The bountiful wildlife of the southland as lovingly seen and described through the eyes of an adopted son of the South."—Charlie Daniels, country music artist

"Rob writes the kind of book you end up reading in one sitting."—Sean Dietrich, writer, "Sean of the South"

"I loooove this book! I was just thinking, I'd give anything to sit down and talk to my grandfather again. This book is like having that opportunity! My Mom's gonna love it, too."—Lee Ann Womack, award-winning country music artist

"An excellent guidebook. Any nature writer who can turn house flies and carpenter bees into must-read stories is worth paying attention to."—Sam Venable, columnist, Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel

"When I heard Rob was writing a book about the "critters" in the outdoors, I was really excited, and I was not disappointed—what a fun read! This book gave me new perspectives and fresh knowledge about creatures I'm very familiar with. Sometimes I forget that other people see them in different places and in different ways. This is a book I'll share with friends and read again. Catch ya later—I'm headed for the woods."—Kix Brooks, country music artist, Brooks & Dunn

"To look at nature with wonder and awe is to marvel at its glow. To see nature with knowledge and detail is to understand its truth. To view it through Rob Simbeck's eyes, the reader gets to embrace everything good about the beauty of nature in every possible way."—Holly Gleason, editor of Woman Walk the Line: How the Women in Country Music Changed Our Lives

"Some of my earliest memories are of the outdoors and it's a place where I still find peace today. Rob Simbeck's stories of everything from the cottontail to the hummingbird bring me back home to Tennessee no matter where I find myself in the world."—Craig Morgan, country music artist

"Rob Simbeck is the consummate storyteller—informative, engaging, enlightening. The Southern Wildlife Watcher offers a superb blend of outdoor education and entertainment. Simbeck's stories of familiar and less well-known inhabitants of the natural world will appeal to all who appreciate the outdoors, even those who stay indoors."—Whit Gibbons, professor emeritus of ecology, University of Georgia

"With the publication of this incredible collection of wildlife stories, Rob Simbeck takes his place in the company of truly great nature writers such as Hal Borland, Donald Culross Peattie, Herbert Ravenel Sass, and John Burroughs. His creature biographies reveal fascinating facts about animals that will stir readers to leave their armchairs and go outdoors to observe firsthand the denizens of woods, fields, oceans, and streams. Simbeck possesses a naturalist's keen awareness of mother nature's harsh realities but also has a sympathetic eye for the details that make her charming. The result is one of those rare books destined to be read again and again, each time with fresh enjoyment."—Keith "Catfish" Sutton, author of Hardcore Catfishing

Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers' 2021 Best Book

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