Lea, Vermont’s poet laureate, has crafted a series of essays on the people and places of his rural northern environment that will appeal deeply to those who love or admire New England and can appreciate the quiet life so often exemplified in Yankee magazine. Using the seasons of the year as a framework and including a series of short one page “daybook” entries, this is primarily a collection of reminiscences about friends and mentors and good times gone by. Lea is a waterman and hunter, deeply in tune with his surroundings and clearly indebted to the people he writes about. The author’s literary expertise shines through in a passage where bass fishing reminds him of an Elizabeth Bishop poem but as much as his essays are about quail and dogs and logging, Lea reaches beyond regionality to a purely American experience. There is a soulful quality to his words and a strong conviction that a connected life is one to be admired and emulated. A cross between Thoreau and David James Duncan, Lea is a northern treasure.