Moods of the Ohio Moons
An Outdoorsman's Almanac
Merrill C. Gilfillan
The Kent State University Press
For almost thirty years, Merrill Gilfillan has written outdoor columns devoted primarily to describing and creating moods about the world of nature. These columns are informed by a rural background and field notes from more than sixty years of outdoor experience. In Gilfillan’s words, “Observation is more of the mind than of vision; our attitude is the secret of original observation. I choose the subjective approach to outdoor enjoyment. I did this after training in zoology and twenty years of field work as a wildlife biologist….We should learn to seek our own original ‘view’ of what we observe….The scientific method is necessary to gain facts, but the manner in which one experiences the facts is what will determine their final value to the individual and, perhaps, to society.”
Moods of the Ohio Moons is the product of this subjective method of observation, balanced with scientific knowledge and intended to encourage readers to explore their own individual appreciation and understanding of nature. Twelve essays, one for each month, relate incidents and events—weather, diagnostic events, vegetation and wildlife, agriculture, trends of land use, and the wild harvest—that contribute to the mood of the time. As Gilfillan demonstrates, each month has its mood established primarily by nature and only secondarily by humans.