This is a masterfully written collection that establishes a new voice for the spirit of the upper Midwest and Michigan and offers a fresh look at the landscape as well as the everyday lives of the people who make up the region's small communities.Equal parts Robert Frost, Emerson, and Bill Bryson, ""Looking for Hickories"" is Tom Springer's ode to the natural beauty and lore of southern Michigan - a place where bustling communities sit alongside a mosaic of woods, fertile grassland, and miles of farmland.Filled with touching and hilarious stories, ""Looking for Hickories"" captures the nature of things and highlights the unique character and spirit of the Upper Midwest as it touches on many subjects particular to the region yet often universal in theme: from barn building to land preservation for the greater good to the sassafras tree, now considered a weed tree but once thought capable of curing many human illnesses to the southwest-Michigan man who makes musical instruments from the wood on his land, and much more.Like Frost's best poems, Springer's essays often begin with delight and end in wisdom, and they combine a generosity of spirit and the child-like pleasure of first discovery with the grown up sense of a time and a place, if not lost, then in danger of disappearing altogether - things to treasure and preserve for today and tomorrow.
Tom Springer works full time as a senior editor at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. For the foundation, he wrote the books Blessed With Children, and How to Unravel Science Mysteries for Young Minds Without Unraveling. On his own, Tom's written about nature and outdoor travel for newspapers and magazines such as Backpacker, Michigan Out-Of-Doors, and Notre Dame, and his nature-themed commentaries have aired on several National Public Radio programs. He retired as a master sergeant from the Michigan Army National Guard, and holds a master's degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University. He lives with his wife and two daughters near Three Rivers, Michigan.