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Jimmy Buffet has his "Coconut Telegraph," but he's got nothing on nature writer John Lane, who sends his musings into the world each week in a popular newspaper column named after the ubiquitous green vine that's swallowing the South. Lane is a champion of the underdog, and what he seeks to protect is the character and the beauty of the place he lives.
Lane, a much published poet and essayist, is a soldier for sustainability and a warrior for wildness. Using both wit and wisdom he takes on the environmental issues of our times, often by simply taking us on a walk through the woods or a drive up the highway. Just when he seems to write best about animals in his South Carolina Upcountry backyard-deer, tree frogs, and, yes, coyotes-he captivates us with a river adventure. He writes with as much intensity about old maps or a favorite pickup truck as he does about the socio-political issues that concern him-land use, urban planning, and conservation.
These four dozen short essays, published by Community Journals in upstate South Carolina, will make you look more closely at the world around you and also, Lane hopes, will make you look ahead: to take actions, large and small, to protect the place you live.