Summer to Fall by Dana Wilde

Summer to Fall by Dana Wilde            If you love summer and fall as much as I do – and what Mainers don’t? – then you will enjoy Dana Wilde’s new book, Summer to Fall: Notes and Numina from the Maine Woods, published by North Country Press.

As Dana explains, “It’s a book about the quirks, denizens and stars as seen from Troy, Maine, and collected from the Backyard Naturalist and Amateur Naturalist newspaper columns, plus other writings.”

I especially enjoyed the chapters on birds and other wildlife. If you’ve never heard Barred Owls howl like monkeys, wondered why we aren’t hearing whip-poor-wills anymore, spoken to chickadees, or celebrated the return of juncos to your yard – well, there’s all of this and more. I was especially surprised – given my hatred of spiders – how much I enjoyed Dana’s stories about them. Good to know most don’t bite!

You will surely enjoy the chapter on a fox howling in Dana’s yard, and the one on wild turkeys, and you will steer clear of those beautiful white flowers that can kill you.

The book includes an interesting story about Cheabeague Island and Dana’s experience growing up there. And there are lots of chapters on the night sky.

Dana lives in Troy, Maine and has taught at several of our colleges, been an editor, and even a rock and roll musician. He’s written a number of interesting books, and his Backyard Naturalist columnists in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel are favorites of mine. I always learn a lot about what’s happening in my backyard.

Summer to Fall is available in paperback as well as Kindle and Nook editions, through North Country Press <>, local book shops and online sellers.

At 6:30 pm on Wednesday, Sept. 14, Dana will be doing a book talk at the office of the Sebasticook Regional Land Trust, 93 Main St. in Unity village. Should be lots of fun!

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.