A ramble through the wild backyard of Florida
"Bill Belleville writes gorgeously and straight from the heart." --Carl Hiaasen, reviewing Losing It All to Sprawl
"If Bill Belleville were a quilt maker, this book would be his finest spread. It is a mosaic, in fact; a series of essays, each a snapshot of Florida. But pieced together, the collage becomes a kaleidoscopic rendering of our remarkable peninsula. And underlying the whole fabric is a fine batting of philosophy: we are reminded of our spiritual links to such a place, and our obligations to keep it whole."--Archie Carr III
"Get off the interstate, cast a cold eye on the strip mall, eschew the theme park, and come with Bill Belleville to the green heart of the real Florida. He takes you to the secret places in the deep woods, the holy swamps, the springs blue as a sapphire and cold as a January midnight."--Diane Roberts, author of Dream State
"Bill Belleville has earned the respect of just about everyone who cares about the Florida environment and Salvaging can only confirm his reputation. It's a little repast of little essays, replete with delicious revelations, such as the color of apple snail eggs (pink) and what sorts of organisms will grow on a sunken refrigerator (read the book). But it's much more than that. Spend some time with Belleville and he'll show you how much beauty there still is in our flowered state and how much, deeply much, it's worth saving."--Lola Haskins, poet and author of Still, the Mountain
Modern life has a tendency to trap people in cubicles, cars, and cookie-cutter suburbs. Thankfully, someone comes along now and then to remind us of the beauty that presents itself when we turn off the information feeds and turn away from the daily grind.
Bill Belleville’s enchanting Salvaging the Real Florida invites readers to rediscover treasures hidden in plain sight. Join Belleville as he paddles a glowing lagoon, slogs through a swamp, explores a spring cave, dives a "literary" shipwreck, and pays a visit to the colorful historic district of an old riverboat town. Journey with him in search of the apple snail, the black bear, a rare cave-dwelling shrimp, and more. Everywhere he goes, Belleville finds beauty, intrigue, and, more often than not, a legacy in peril.
Following in the tradition of John Muir, William Bartram, and Henry David Thoreau, Belleville forges intimate connections with his surroundings. Like the works of Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Archie Carr, his evocative stories carry an urgent and important call to preserve what is left of the natural world.
Bill Belleville is a veteran author and documentary filmmaker specializing in environmental issues. His books include the critically acclaimed Losing It All to Sprawl: How Progress Ate My Cracker Landscape and River of Lakes: A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River.