A Walk Through the Year, by Edwin Way Teale (New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1978; out of print, but available)
Inspired by Thoreau’s idea of “a book of the seasons, each page of which should be written in its own season and out-of-doors,” Edwin Way Teale selected entries from his journals and combined them into A Walk Through the Year, “a year of days at Trail Wood,” his Connecticut farm. Reflecting his daily walks, readers share Teale’s descriptions of the seasons, wildlife, and love of the natural world.
June 4. I fall in the pond before breakfast! Along Azalea Shore, a broken limb blocks the way. I tug at one of the dead branches, trying to drag the obstruction aside. It snaps without warning. Frightening the fishes and sending two mallards quacking and skittering down the pond, I pitch backward with a great splash into the shallows. Now it is my turn to come squelching and dripping up the slope to change my clothes – with a new mishap to explain to Nellie.
After breakfast, I clear away the fallen limb without further misadventure. Then, on my way to a morning’s work in my writing cabin, I pause along the way to watch the polliwogs. Black swarms of little tadpoles sweep outward along the muddy bottom of the shallows at my approach. Some have hatched from green frog eggs, some from toad eggs. Ballooned out into far larger size, the second-year tadpoles of the bullfrogs rush away propelled by the whipping of their slender tails. At Driftwood Cove, I come upon a score or more of the smaller swimmers resting, like black notes on a sheet of music, on two parallel twigs submerged among decaying leaves. Every floating mass of algae or decomposing vegetation provides a haven for the alarmed tadpoles.
It is among one such mass, entangled in a dense growth of waterweeds, that action shifts my attention from the polliwogs. A large bullfrog rips into sight swimming for its life. It attains the shore and I see one side of its body appears raw and covered with a kind of whitish slime. Then I notice the blunt head of a large snapping turtle thrusting this way and that among the swaying vegetation. Like a dog that has lost the scent, it is hunting for the frog, a frog that has made a miraculous escape and has attained the safety of the land. -- from A Walk Through the Year, by Edwin Way Teale