Join us for the launch of Conrad Vispo’s “The Nature of the Place: A History of Living with the Land in Columbia County,” this Saturday from 4 to 6 pm at the Hawthorne Valley Creek House.
Based on a decade of work by the Hawthorne Valley Farmscape Ecology Program,
“The Nature of the Place” is an exciting invitation to explore the rich heritage and nature of Columbia County, and our place within it. It describes forest, field, soil and waters of our county both from the perspective of the diversity and beauty of their inherent nature and also in terms of the way the human head and hand has, for better or worse, left its mark. In the words of John Barnes (editor and publisher of the book): “Written out of love and appreciation both for the land and its human residents – with a contagious empathy that reveals itself not least through its subtle humor – this book is full of original observations as well as historical and factual information. Though based on past history and present condition, it also seeks to uncover the future potential of Columbia County, and it calls upon its readers not only to appreciate its past and enjoy it in the present, but also to become active participants in forming its future.”
“Everyone who cares about Columbia County, who appreciates its exceptionally scenic and ecologically rich landscape, should read this book. Conrad Vispo’s vivid descriptions of the county’s forests, fields, soils and waters provide fascinating insights into the mysteries of the natural world, mysteries only deepened by his reflections on the uses to which the land has been put in successive eras of settlement, farming and industry and the ways in which this exercise of human dominion has affected the land. The book calls on us to ponder the interactions between the human and the natural world and the enormous, not always obvious consequences of decisions we make about how we occupy the land.” — Peter Paden, Executive Director, Columbia Land Conservancy
“An ambitious and remarkable book, learned, sharp, and fascinating, that describes the present nature of Columbia County and traces it to its historical and biological roots. It is one of the few books to describe how and why the Hudson Valley landscape has changed over time, and the only one that I know that relates contemporary biodiversity to agricultural history. In doing so – by presenting, if you will, forest and field as collaborative rather than competing landscapes – it gives us a deepened picture of where diverse landscapes really come from and, hence, what we will need to do to conserve them.” —- Jerry Jenkins, Ecologist, Wildlife Conservation Society Adirondack Program, Co-author of “The Adirondack Atlas”
“Blending natural and human history in an insightful interpretation of the Hudson Valley landscape The Nature of the Place will captivate anyone interested in the history, ecology, and conservation of the eastern U.S.” —- David Foster, Director of the Harvard Forest, author of “Thoreau’s Country: Journey through a Transformed Landscape”
Drop by the Creekhouse, 1075 Harlemville Road, Ghent, anytime between 4 and 6 on Saturday to meet some of the folks involved in putting the book together, have some refreshments, and chat about the County landscape. Conrad will sign books and the Farmscape Ecology Program will receive 50% of the proceeds from books sold at the Creekhouse for program support.
Other opportunities to purchase your copy and get it signed are during the monthly Open House on December 4th, 6-8pm (1075 Harlemville Rd., Ghent), at the Hawthorne Valley Yuletide Fair (December 6th, 10am-2pm) and at the Chatham Bookstore (December 11, 5-7pm). Conrad welcomes your feedback and conversation.
Books are always available at the Creekhouse, and through Adonis Press (www.adonispress.org) and local bookstores. For more information, contact FEP at the above link or 518-672-7994.