Tom Seymour knows more about Maine wildlife than anyone in our state, and his new book, Wild Critters of Maine, published by Just Write Books in Topsham, is a real treasure of both information about our wild critters and very entertaining stories about Tom’s encounters with them.
Even if you know a lot about Maine’s wildlife, as I do, you will learn a lot from Tom’s book. I sure did. And I really appreciated Tom’s thanking me in the front of the book for encouraging him to write this book. I just knew, if he would do it, that the book would be very special.
Tom starts with our mammals, from moose to rabbits and gray squirrels. The next section is about fowl, including turkeys, ducks, and lots of birds. Then he moves on to fish, from brook trout and bass to crayfish. And then Tom surprised me with a section on crawly things from June bugs to dragonflies. I had no idea he knew so much about bugs!
Tom finishes up with amphibians including salamanders. You will especially enjoy his last story of unexpected encounters including a sparrow that landed on an ice fisherman’s head and the only flying squirrel he ever saw. His encounter with a blue snake is a good story too.
And here’s Tom’s final paragraph: “Chance encounters with the different Maine wildlife species are for the most part, something to treasure. And as illustrated here, these meetings can sometimes leave us with an appreciation for the wonders of nature, a sense of the ridiculous at the oddities of wildlife, or a grin that just won’t quit.” Boy, he got that right.
Tom does talks around the state, and can be reached at tomgseymour@gmail for information about those. He also writes columns for various publications and he has written a number of books.
One that Linda and I both enjoyed, and continue to use, is Wild Plants of Maine. Subtitled A Useful Guide, it certainly is. We’ve been amazed at how many edible plants can be found in the Maine woods and elsewhere, from goosetongue greens which we harvested along the ocean in Lubec and Campobello, to chanterelle mushrooms. One day in August, up to camp, we picked 9 large bags full of chanterelles. Yummy!