roads are defined as one-lane dirt roads not maintained during the
winter. They function as connectors linking farmers to their fields,
neighbors to neighbors, or two more well-traveled roads to each other.
Some access hunting lands and recreational areas. Some pass by
cemeteries, allowing people to visit and honor their dead. They can be
abandoned as people move and towns fade. In every incarnation, the
seasonal road touches the land in a gentler way than do other roads.
nearly every seasonal road in Steuben County, New York, Hood finds they
provide the ideal vantage to contemplate the meaning of place, offering
intimate contact with plant and wildlife and the beauty of a rural
Each road reveals how our land is used, how our land is protected, and
how environmental factors have impacted the land. As a literary
naturalist, Hood reflects on endangered species and invasive species,
as well as on issues of conservation and sustainability. From state
forests to potato fields, from development along Keuka Lake to
vineyards, from old family cemeteries to logging sites, Walking
is a celebration and an honoring of the rural and the regionalism of
place, illustrating the ways we connect to our home and to each other.
Walking Seasonal Roads
by Mary A. Hood
University Press, 2012
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