CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Press has published two new books about southern Oregon - one a look at fly fishing and area rivers, the other a journal of writings, paintings and drawings from a naturalist who spent 25 years roaming the Siskiyou Mountains.
"North Bank: Claiming a Place on the Rogue" was written by Robin Carey, an Ashland resident and frequent contributor to national periodicals and journals. In his book, he describes moving into a cabin on the lower Rogue River - paradise for a fly fishing fanatic. But, he points out, a new home means learning the nuances of a new river.
His essays describe how old memories and new experiences combine to make a new place home. In his work, he recounts remembrances of families, certain fish, and rivers, and details new experiences like scouting canyons, remodeling his cabin and volunteering at a fish hatchery.
"Carey's writings integrate river experiences into a larger fabric of community," said Tom Booth, marketing manager for the OSU Press. "In one essay, he turns a fish stocking scene into a social event reminiscent of a barn raising."
The second book with a southern Oregon flavor is "Spirit of the Siskiyous: The Journals of a Mountain Naturalist." It was written by Mary Paetzel and edited by Jacqueline Elliott and Lee Webb.
Born in 1919, Paetzel roamed the Siskiyous for 25 years, tracking rare plants and insects and recording her experiences in a series of illustrated journals. Traversing the logging roads in an old Volkswagen bus and hiking the high country, she learned the country as few others have.
A part-time resident of Merrill, Ore. (she also lives near Dolores, Colo.), Paetzel has written articles on rare plants and insects for a number of national publications, from Sunset to Insect World. During her colorful career, she has discovered rare butterfly populations, helped establish national forest botanical areas, and advocated for increased plant and butterfly protection.
In her book, Paetzel describes finding a rare butterfly, getting lost, exploring unknown canyons and ridges, mourning the loss of habitat and animal life that depended on it, and other experiences in her simple, yet vivid style.
Both "North Bank" and "Spirit of the Siskiyous" are available in book stores and libraries, or can be ordered directly by calling 1-800-426-3797.