The cover of Spring 1991 issue of NDQ is among my favorites (it’s issue 59.2 for those of you who keep a scorecard). The cover art is by Nancy Friese and is titled Deer Path.
As the cover indicates it is a sweeping review of nature writers and nature writing which seems particularly appropriate for April 1.
My favorite piece in the issue is Paul Bryant’s “Time in Nature Writing” which despite being 30 years old remains contemporary and compelling. It seems like the spring is one of the few moments when various kinds of time converge. Seasonal time brings about the first gestures of spring. The academic calendar begins to reach its final crescendo. The Christian liturgical calendar reaches its apex. And the final reckoning of our finances (with tax day on April 16th!) causes reflections and anxiety. Bryant’s essay isn’t really about those things, but spurred me to think about how various regimes of time serve as filters through which we make sense of our natural world. You can read his essay here and you can explore the entire volume here.