A Temporary Refuge: Fourteen Seasons with Wild Summer Steelhead
Lee Spencer, a true naturalist and environmentalist, describes fourteen seasons of observations and note-taking over a pool in the Western Cascade of Oregon, where wild steelhead have found a perfect refuge. In A Temporary Refuge, he describes his observations over a viewing platform from mid-May to mid-December. An environmental organization recruited volunteers to spend time and protect the steelhead, mostly from poachers and those who dynamite the pool. Besides these dangers, the survival of wild steelhead has many other threats, including, according to Spencer, hatcheries that release domestically raised steelhead. This is a long book and chapters are divided by the months. Spencer (with his permanent dog companion, Sis) stays on guard on the platform during much of the day—a true dedication for the protection of the wild and threatened steelhead. He describes much more than fish: fauna and flora, every living thing around them that changes from month to month. Beautiful sketches pepper the text, including illustrations such as ones of riverside insects and riverside foliage. A glossary at the end of the book is useful. Even though this is a lovely natural history writing, it is too long, too detailed for the average reader to enjoy.
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