Dune Boy: The Early Years of a Naturalist by Edwin Way Teale
The long summer days of his earliest boyhood were spent at his grandfather’s farm on the edge of Indiana’s dune country. Lone Oak Farm was Edwin Way Teale’s training ground as a naturalist. “I was out-of-doors from morning until night, running barefoot and in overalls, a straw hat protecting me from the midday sun.” He knew every stone, met all the birds, mammals and insects — and like many a young naturalist, he diligently set about the establishment of his very own natural history museum.
Looking back on his boyhood, Teale wrote: “The debt I owe my grandparents most of all is the freedom they gave me, freedom to roam the acres of corn & wheat & potatoes, the woods & swamps, and to make this world my own.”
As the twig is bent…
There are several excellent childhood memoirs of naturalists, including The Story of My Boyhood and Youth by John Muir, and The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland by Robert Michael Pyle. Here’s three more from the Land Library’s shelves!
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, Naturalist by E.O. Wilson, Far Away and Long Ago: A Childhood in Argentina by W.H. Hudson.