The Big Bend Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Heart of West Texas
Book review by Jean Pitman, Front Street Books, Alpine.
My Wild Life: A Memoir of Adventures within America's National Parks
Here is a delightful book for nature-lovers, and particularly those who revere our national parks. One might consider Roland “Ro” Wauer the quintessential observer of nature. His interest in birds, butterflies, and the plants and flowers they feed on—as well as all other living aspects of the natural world—has been a life-long passion that began in childhood and continues to this day.
His story is an enviable one. After all, we don’t all get to have a long career in the most beautiful places in our country. From Zion National Park and Crater Lake to the Big Bend, Guadalupe Mountains, Great Smokey Mountains, Death Valley (which he recommends highly) and three more national parks, Wauer has sought the common and rare species of all kinds of plants, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals and insects. At a recent book-signing, Wauer said Big Bend National Park remains his favorite of all.
Among other extraordinary accomplishments, the author has held the rare Trans-Pecos Rat Snake in his hands long enough to be photographed. And he has observed and photographed
all types of ecosystems and their creatures.
The author’s prose is clear, enthusiastic, interesting, and authoritative. This book will fuel your own interest in getting back out into nature and observing such treasures for yourself.
Also highly recommended are Wauer’s earlier books on Big Bend: Naturalist's Big Bend: An Introduction to the Trees and Shrubs, Wildflowers, Cacti, Mammals, Birds, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fish, and Insects (Texas A&M Univ. Press, 15.95) and For All Seasons: A Big Bend Journal (Univ. Texas Press, 25.00) Wauer has penned several guides to the birds and butterflies, all of which are available through bookstores.