J. Whitfield Gibbons • Book Signing & Talk
Join us on Tuesday, February 21 from 5:30-7:00 PM, as we welcome J. Whitfield Gibbons back to Ernest & Hadley Booksellers, to read and discuss his naturalist memoir - Salleyland: Wildlife Adventures in Swamps, Sandhills, and Forests.
~ Adventures & misadventures exploring nature on a patch of “worthless” abandoned farmland ~
Following his retirement from academic life, renowned naturalist and writer Whit Gibbons and his family purchased a tract of abandoned farmland where the South Carolina piedmont meets the coastal plain. Described as backcountry scrubland, it was originally envisioned as a family retreat, but soon the property became Gibbons’s outdoor learning laboratory where he was often aided by his four grandchildren, along with a host of enthusiastic visitors.
Inspired by nature’s power to excite, educate, and provide a sense of place in the world, Gibbons invites readers to learn about their surrounding environments by describing his latest adventures and sharing expert advice for exploring the world in which we live. Peppered throughout with colorful personal anecdotes and told with Gibbons’s affable style and wit, Salleyland: Wildlife Adventures in Swamps, Sandhills, and Forests is more than a personal memoir or a record of place. Rather, it is an exercise in learning about a patch of nature, thereby reminding us to open our eyes to the complexity and wonder of the natural world.
Starting with the simple advice of following your own curiosity, Gibbons discusses different opportunities and methods for exploring one’s surroundings, introduces key ecological concepts, offers advice for cultivating habitat, explains the value of and different approaches to keeping lists and field journals, and celebrates the advances that cell phone photography and wildlife cameras offer naturalists of all levels. With Gibbons’ guidance and encouragement, readers will learn to embrace their inner scientists, equipped with the knowledge and encouragement to venture beyond their own front doors, ready to discover the secrets of their habitat, regardless of where they live.
Whit Gibbons is professor emeritus of ecology at the University of Georgia and former head of the Environmental Outreach and Education program at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. He has published numerous books on herpetology and ecology including Snakes of the Eastern United States and Their Blood Runs Cold. His narrative works include two books coauthored with his sister Anne R. Gibbons based on his long-running newspaper column, Ecoviews.