As we have built the Land Library’s collection over the years, it’s always made sense to us to actively seek out books from other lands, other continents, other worlds. We’ve also made a special effort to have representative books from neighboring regions. As the Rockies’ rivers slide east, we have wanted to respect our strong watershed connection to the Gulf Coast. With the news of the catastrophic oil spill there, over the last few days we have gravitated to the following books on our shelves — partly with a feeling of anxiety and loss, but also a desire to know and celebrate a special place on earth.
Walter Anderson spent a lifetime along the Gulf Coast, and left a rich and highly unique artistic legacy. We especially love his paintings and woodcuts from the Gulf’s barrier islands, preserved in The Horn Island Logs of Walter Inglis Anderson (pictured above).
Also featured above is The Wilderness Coast, a wonderful place to begin to appreciate the natural history of our southern coast. What John Muir was to the Sierras, Jack Rudloe is to the Gulf Coast. A lifelong naturalist and beachcomber, his many books provide a rich glimpse of sea, land, and people along the Gulf:
More books by Jack Rudloe: The Sea Brings Forth, Search for the Great Turtle Mother, Shrimp: The Endless Quest for Pink Gold, plus other books not pictured: The Living Dock, Time of the Turtle, and The Erotic Ocean: A Handbook for Beachcombers.
and here’s a few more Gulf Coast books from the Land Library’s shelves:
Birds of the Gulf Coast by Brian K. Miller & William R. Fontenot, Beachcomber’s Guide to Gulf Coast Marine Life by Susan Rothschild, The Marine Mammals of the Gulf of Mexico by Bernd Wursing & David Shmidly, Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf, edited by Susan Cerulean, Janisse Ray, and Laura Newton. Not pictured, but a terrific book (and the first Gulf Coast book we added to our shelves): Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico by H. Dickson Hoese & Richard H. Moore.
We first gathered these volumes with the thought that folks in the Rockies should always have an appreciation for who lives downstream from us, and why we need to minimize our impact on the rivers that flow to the sea. This time the threat comes from the other direction, but it’s clear that we are all in this together, wherever we may be….