Delightful The first half is Fran Hamerstrom s wry account of her childhood She s the rare kind of adult who hasn t forgotten what it s like to be a kid The second half is her equally wry account of her life as a wildlife biologist studying the surprisingly fascinating prairie chicken in the wilds of central Wisconsin with her husband. I loved this ever fascinating book, especially the latter half when Frances and her husband are young naturalists in the wilds of late 30s Wisconsin A mesmerizing voluntary riches to rags story as well as a Prairie Chicken rescue account It is written as 2 3 page vignettes from Frances life, plus some photos and illustrations The first half of the book is comprised of quite outlandish, random tales of silver spoon life as a precocious child and Frances daring do All very interesting if not a bit of an eye roller at times BUT stick around for the second half where we pick up with Frances as a young wife and hardscrabble naturalist in the early days of the field highly unusual for women of the time, of course It is completely enthralling What a life I couldn t put it down. Incidents, many humorous, from a well lived though often trying life. These are the astounding memoirs of Frances Hamerstrom, a pioneering conservationist before much of the techniques and terms we associate with conservation were even developed In fact, she and her husband Frederick invented or discovered many of them She was the only female graduate student of Aldo Leopold, who is featured in her memoirs, and a shining idol giving courage to any female biologists who want to walk that swampy and multiflora rose thorned path The first half of the book is filled with her recollections of childhood and adolescence Her wealthy parents raised her to be an international hostess, first in the cities of Europe, then in America, and it s clear from the start that she was remarkably smart, self possessed, and independent, and would not follow the path they laid in front of her The essays are loosely strung together but logically show the metamorphosis from pampered toddler to gritty wildlife biologist studying prairie chickens in Wisconsin Frances and her husband, and the people they worked with, were passionate about their cause and made the tough but traditional sacrifices in comfort that biology often demands It s fascinating to hear about the beginning of the conservation movement from her point of view, and somehow both comforting and amazing to know that the people involved and the challenges to meet are much still the same. This book was a good read, but it had a lot of overlap with some of her other books mainly strictly for the chickens If you have already read that book, be prepared to reread most of it in the second half of my double life. An absolute delight of a book The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I feel like she had so much to tell I also know way about Wisconsin prairie chickens than I ever thought I would The first part of the book her childhood is the magical part of the book A creative way to look at your own upbringing It s a fun read. This Is The Memoir Of Wildlife Biologist, Fran Hamerstrom The Only Woman To Receive A Graduate Degree From Ecologist Aldo Leopold, Hamerstrom Illustrates The Hardships Of Implementing A Conservation Mentality And Provides Glimpses Of Both The Wildlife World And The Human One Which Studies It I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book couldn t put it down It was extremely enjoyable and a wonderful book to suggest to my middle school children to read about the beginning of environmental exploration. I couldn t get past the first quarter of the book the series of stories of a young girl and the things she did just didn t hold my interest. Read the first few essays of this and had to return it a compilation of essays by an amazing woman Her style is sort of witty in an old fashioned kind of way.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- 316 pages
- My Double Life: Memoirs of a Naturalist
- Frances Hamerstrom
- 03 March 2019 Frances Hamerstrom