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Scratching the Woodchuck: Nature on an Amish Farm

by David Kline

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602349,910 (3.71)1
David Kline came upon a sleeping woodchuck one summer day as he walked the land near his farm. In a gesture that speaks eloquently of Kline's relationship with the natural world, he scratched the animal gently with his walking stick, and the sleeping creature arched its back with pleasure at the attention. Like its title, this collection of essays on nature, farming, animals, insects, and other topics bespeaks the gentle demeanor and appreciation for nature that shape the author's descriptions of the world around him. Whether sharing his fondness for watching clouds while he rests his horses or for planting flowers in his favorite spot in the woods, David Kline offers a view of life that few of us take time to experience. Scratching the Woodchuck resounds with knowledge, reverence, and a joyful spirit, and to follow Kline's explorations of the landscape and animals around his farm is to sense and come to share his respect for and unity with the earth.… (more)
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This is another wonderful collection of essays by Mr. Kline, seamlessly following his sublime "Great Possessions." With a gentle touch, he paints beguiling portraits of the wonders of nature as seen on his Amish farm in Ohio. His writing has inspired me to explore the parks and nature preserves in my area, and take time to appreciate the beauty of birds, wildlife, trees, wildflowers - and even weeds! ( )
  ghr4 | Nov 9, 2015 |
Such a pleasant little discourse on the nature in my own homestate. Kline is an Amish farmer with a written calm that drifts peacefully into the mind of the modern reader. He began his appreciation of nature, in particular birds, the weather, and plant life, from a naturalist schoolteacher during his childhood years. He also gained the opposing perspective, serving his conscientious objector service during Vietnam in a Cleveland hospital. Most of the book explores the various creatures and plant species he has encountered on his farm and the surrounding countryside. The last few chapters also touch on the community spirit of the Amish people. ( )
  jpsnow | May 24, 2008 |
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David Kline came upon a sleeping woodchuck one summer day as he walked the land near his farm. In a gesture that speaks eloquently of Kline's relationship with the natural world, he scratched the animal gently with his walking stick, and the sleeping creature arched its back with pleasure at the attention. Like its title, this collection of essays on nature, farming, animals, insects, and other topics bespeaks the gentle demeanor and appreciation for nature that shape the author's descriptions of the world around him. Whether sharing his fondness for watching clouds while he rests his horses or for planting flowers in his favorite spot in the woods, David Kline offers a view of life that few of us take time to experience. Scratching the Woodchuck resounds with knowledge, reverence, and a joyful spirit, and to follow Kline's explorations of the landscape and animals around his farm is to sense and come to share his respect for and unity with the earth.

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