The Other End of the Driveway
An amateur naturalist's observations in the Maine woods
The Other End of the Driveway is a
collection of excursions into the natural
history, flora, fauna, weather and weirdness of
the central Maine woods. These essays short
and long follow in the tracks of writers like
Henry David Thoreau and Annie Dillard to
bring the quirks and curiosities of nature into
fresh and fascinating focus.
"[Dana Wilde has] journeyed widely over the nine or so acres surrounding his log
home in Troy. His adventures and misadventures, chronicled through the seasons,
are absorbing and entertaining to read any time of the year."
Dana Wilde lives in Troy,
Maine, and writes the
Backyard Naturalist column
column for the Kennebec
Journal and Morning Sentinel
Listen to the author
by Dana Wilde
"Dana Wilde’s essays of Maine’s natural world are a joy. It’s perfect for a
busy person who has 20 minutes to read. You can read an essay, put the book
down and not lose your place. It will leave you wanting to squeeze in three more
pages before you go to sleep."
"Wilde's writing is lucid, painting vivid word pictures of such things as colorful
autumn leaves, dirty spring snowbanks and wacky images of toad sex." ...
"[He] doesn't just enjoy the beauty of nature, he thinks about it, he questions,
he explores and he is amazed."
"[Dana Wilde] is unwilling to just accept the conventional answers provided in
most naturalists' guides. He presses issues from scientific and philosophical
points of view; he asks tough questions -- really tough questions. He delves into
the universe, be it measuring starlight, time or even creation. While those answers
could be lofty and ethereal, Wilde has done his research ... so that he can explain
them with surprising ease."
Poet Tom Sexton on Nebulae:
"Dana Wilde has a scientist's curiosity and a poet's
imagination. I can imagine him walking a field in Maine
with his mentor Thoreau at his side on a winter night
while they discuss the cosmos or the humming sound
you can hear in Shanghai even in the middle of the
"He defines amateur as 'one who lacks the
skill of a professional, but the root is Latin
"amare," to love -- an amateur is one who
loves, in this case, nature.' And his love shows
through this fascinating book. Whether he's
ruminating on the inner life of toads, or taking
us on a tour of China, he tells how he has
learned 'to navigate by intuition and moral
"'... the feeling that the woods are a layer
over a silence that seems to be speaking.' This is
from a chapter called the Woods and the
Singularity in Dana Wilde's The Other End of the
Driveway. This is one of the most interesting and
moving books I've read in a long time, a series of
essays that masterfully blend science and
spirituality. Check it out."