Ask any wildlife biologist to name important professional influences and most will include Aldo Leopold (1887-1948). His book "Game Management" (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933) essentially created the profession of wildlife management.
Leopold, however, is better known to the general public for his work in "A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There" (Oxford University Press). It is nature writing at its best. Fortunately, for every Aldo Leopold there are dozens of other naturalist/writers who have made regional names for themselves. Pennsylvania has Ned Smith.
E. Stanley "Ned" Smith (1919-1985) was a self-taught naturalist, writer and artist. He worked for Pennsylvania Game News, first as an employee and later as a freelancer. He illustrated nearly 120 Game News covers and wrote a monthly column illustrated by his own pen and ink drawings.
Long before I had ever heard of Aldo Leopold, I got to know Ned Smith from his work in Game News. Smith's words and drawings inspired me to explore the woods, fields and stream near my home in Montgomery County. I tried to find the plants and animals that Smith brought to life on paper.
In 1971 the Pennsylvania Game Commission published a collection of Ned Smith columns titled "Gone for the Day." To the delight of hunters, anglers and wildlife watchers, it has been in print for more than 40 years and 10 printings.
"Gone for Another Day" (Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art, 2013) is a new collection of his work, compiled and edited by Pennsylvania naturalist and writer Scott Weidensaul. Once again arranged in a chronological almanac format, "Another Day" is taken from 46 years of field journals and scores of previously unpublished illustrations.
Open "Another Day" to any page and join Ned on a fishing trip, a turkey hunt or a bird walk. A great addition to "Another Day" is a series of sidebars called "Farther Afield." Mr. Wiedensaul takes us beyond Penn's Woods to some of Smith's more distant destinations. Readers can tag along as Smith hunts elk in Idaho, fishes for tarpon in Florida and watches grizzly bears in the Rockies.
Order "Gone for Another Day" at www.nedsmithcenter.org.
Biologist, author, and broadcaster Scott Shalaway can be heard 8 to 10 a.m. Saturdays on 1370 WVLY-AM (Wheeling) or online at www.wvly.net. Or visit his website www.drshalaway.com or contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 2222 Fish Ridge Road, Cameron, WV 26033.