RUDOLPH L. BIESELE, Editor
Adventures with a Texas Naturalist. By Roy Bedichek. Garden
City, N. Y. (Doubleday 8 Co., Inc.), 1947. Pp; xx+293.
Adventures with a Texas Naturalist is the exhilarating result
of thirty years' observation of natural life in many parts of Texas.
Though the material reflects principally a long residence in
Central Texas, the author's excursions into nature have ranged
far and wide-from the Davis Mountains and the Big Bend to
Keller's Creek, an estuary of the upper reaches of Lavaca Bay.
The results of such excursions are rewarding to the reader, as
they have been to Mr. Bedichek. For example, an Austin resident
can find the answer to questions he may have asked himself
about the migrations of the robins, which appear and reappear
sporadically throughout the Central Texas winter. And from
the chapter "Heronry on Keller's Creek" one may learn details
of a successful, and repeated, experiment in communal living
shared by diverse forms of bird life. If he has had the provoca-
tive, but unsatisfying, experience of just enough time in the
Davis Mountains and the Big Bend for fleeting glimpses of their
fauna, he can make vicarious acquaintance with the golden eagle
and the rock squirrel.
The author has allowed himself the freedom of the informal
essayist in arrangement of material and style of writing. Indeed,
the very chapter headings suggest a series of essays: "Fences:
Right-of-ways," "Denatured Chickens" (in which the plight of
the battery chicken is described so vividly as to become the
plight of the consumer as well), "Folk-Naming of Birds and
Flowers," "Nature Lore in Folklore," "Root and Rock," "Cedar
Cutter." In "Still Water" one may find incidental, if pertinent,
comment on the New Deal and a South American dictatorship,
and in "Fences: Fields and Pastures" significant implications
But such informality is deceptive. The book has a large and
solid core of fact, arrived at by the arduous, painstaking method
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/. Accessed December 27, 2014.