Over the Mountain and Home Again: Journeys of an Adirondack Naturalist
On this powerful, sometimes mysterious journey into the heart of the Adirondacks, Ed Kanze describes man’s wild nature calling him to the forest, and then his civilized, social nature driving him home.
Revel with nature on a nighttime canoe trip on the Saranac River; think about snow differently in the never before published essay, “The Truth About Snow;” and see how our relationship to the outdoors and its creatures has evolved in the John Burroughs Association Outstanding Published Natural History Essay, “In Search of Something Lost.” Laugh out-loud as Kanze wages a hilarious, benevolent war of wits on the deer mice that have invaded his home (he refuses to kill the pesky creatures). And, in the title essay, “Over the Mountain and Home Again,” experience a “Victorian-era” adventure over Moose Mountain to Lake Placid and back home again to Bloomingdale on foot, boat, train, and canoe, but no car.
Kanze takes readers to the West Canada Lakes Wilderness, on a hike at the Stillwater retracing the steps taken by the naturalist John Burroughs in 1863, and on a biological survey of the eighteen acres of “Adirondack paradise” that is the author’s backyard near Saranac Lake. Finally, Kanze paints a detailed portrait of the four dramatic Adirondack seasons as he experiences them with his family along the Saranac River.
Naturalist Ed Kanze believes, “Life in all its endless manifestations amazes and astounds me, and I find great pleasure in celebrating.” Celebrate with Kanze the wild Adirondacks, where nature revels through the night; danger lurks in the wild terrain; the forest, animals, and lakes creep into your soul; and discovery generates excitement and wonder. Readers will discover the natural world of the Adirondacks—at once wild and gentle, teeming and hushed, restless and at peace, and along the way get to know themselves a little better.
These essays are based on material published in Adirondack Life, Adirondack Explorer, and Ed Kanze's column "All Things Natural," which appears weekly in ten Connecticut and southern New York newspapers.
Over the Mountain and Home Again includes a Foreword by the Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, Suzanne Lewis, and twelve essays on the Adirondacks, including the award winning “In Search of Something Lost.”
“Kanze’s natural history is impeccable. His writing is crisp and unassuming.... The exquisite fauna and flora of the Adirondacks are lucky to have such an eloquent and knowledgeable celebrant.”
“In the tradition of Thoreau and Burroughs…naturalist Ed Kanze remains forever awake to the wild creatures in his surroundings, reflecting their lives to pen and paper, immortalized by word, and bound together into the beauty of this book.”
“In sharing these Adirondack adventures Ed Kanze reminds us to cherish the natural world we have today, all around us. Over the Mountain and Home Again is a delight for those of us who also cherish time spent afield with a kindred spirit.”
“His tales of nature and adventure will guide you on a powerful, sometimes mysterious journey into the heart of the wild Adirondacks.”
"Ed Kanze's Adirondack essays are as lucid as a backcountry pond and as straight and true as an ancient white pine."
The only thing better and more fun than his writing is Ed, himself. I loved his Notes From New Zealand and Kangaroo Dreaming and can’t imagine how he was able to learn so much and wordsmith his findings and acute observations so beautifully. Whether you are an armchair traveler or a woodsaholic, you will find a lot of beef in these collected works.
“Using skill, humor, and knowledge born of personal experience, Ed Kanze entices us to join him on a pathway of discovery through the woods and waters of the Adirondack Park.”
"Kanze speaks with several voices: that of the professional naturalist full of accurate information and scientific observations; the skilled writer with a grand sense of humor; the storyteller with a sense of drama; and the adult who has the capacity to view the world through the eyes of a curious child."
Notes From New Zealand: A Book of Travel and Natural History (Henry Holt & Co., 1993)
The World of John Burroughs (Random House/Sierra Club paperback, 1999. Harry Abrams hardcover, 1993)
Wild Life: The Remarkable Lives of Ordinary Animals (Crown, 1995)