As John Joseph Mathew's grand nephew, I can tell you I have used this book as a spiritual guide for 10-years+ as a year-long inspirational tract and to further my community and observation of and with Nature. It is, in my opinion, far superior as a complete work to more famous works from Naturalists who lived in the Northeast. Mathews comes from a humbler place, both geographically and literally in this book. If you long for a night in the woods under a full moon, with a strong Winter wind whipping through the blackjack pines with nothing more than a good book and a strong fire, you have found your home. This is a VERY special book that is much under-appreciated by the reading public.