Tom Springer doesn’t understand why folks feel the need to go up north to experience wildness. And he's right. It’s all around us in Southwest Michigan. All we need to do is take some time and look around.
Tom’s new book, Looking for Hickories: The Forgotten Wildness of the Rural Midwest, is a collection of essays celebrating wild things in and around this part of the world — from the satisfaction of gathering berries to the restorative experience of wading down a river. Billing his July 15 program as the “Smell the Wood Tour,” Tom passed around pieces of wood cut from trees found in the area — burr oak, cherry, hickory, osage orange and walnut — so we could appreciate each specimen's characteristic beauty and fragrance.
Tom was joined by artist Lad Hanka who illustrated the book. For the program, they brought along some tasty samples of foodstuffs made from wild things: serviceberry jam, maple syrup and sassafras tonic.
Looking for Hickories