Page 162

Tidewater Review how watersheds work ~ to see how, for nearly 50 years, Carter and his w ife, Margaret, have done ver y little to the land, choosing instead to “stand back and obser ve” the transformation of a scraggly cornfield and overcut woods into a rich forest ecosystem fairly bursting with trees, plants and wildlife. The moral? Sometimes, doing nothing produces quite a lot, especially for the health of a watershed. Fa r m i ng , f i sh i ng , oy s ter i ng , c r a b b i n g , “ t u r k l i n’ ” (c a t c h i n g snapping t ur t les ~ pound for pound the Choptank’s most exp e n s i v e m e a t) , c r a b p i c k i n g ,

oyster shucking, birding, studying…Hor ton shows us t he r iver through all these lenses. We see in these essays the delicate bala nc e b e t we en m a k i ng a l i v i ng and protecting both the river and the future of that living. We learn about women who have spent t heir lives pick ing and pack ing the Choptank’s bounty, and how they learned the skill from their mot her s b e for e t hem, l iter a l ly at their knees. And we learn, in Travels with Minty and Fred, of the Choptank as Harriet Tubman would have known it as she led her Underground Railroad passengers to freedom, and how an enslaved Frederick Douglass pondered the

Tom Horton and David Harp. 160

March 2017 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times March 2017