Nature Norm's North Woods

An Anecdotal Natural History

Non-Fiction - Environment
266 Pages
Reviewed on 12/10/2021
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Author Biography

Who is Nature Norm?

Nature Norm (Norman Weeks) has had a 25-year career as a teaching naturalist, a director of outdoor recreation programs, and the director of a resident summer camp for children. The camp program under his administration received several national awards for exemplary excellence, as well as attention in Camping magazine and on a television interview program.

Norman Weeks has had 40 years’ acquaintance with the north woods. He has taken many canoeing/ camping excursions into the Boundary Waters and the Quetico, some as guide for groups of young people. Over the years, he has explored much of the woods and waters between Ely and International Falls.

From his cabin on Pelican Lake in northeastern Minnesota, he ventures out on daily local excursions, as related in Nature Norm’s North Woods, an anecdotal natural history. The principal theme of the book is the rediscovery of the human direct experiential relatedness to Nature in a society of people ever more desensitized and technologized. An old-fashioned moralizing naturalist in the American tradition of Thoreau and Sigurd Olson, Norman Weeks is, above all, an engaging storyteller.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Nature Norm's North Woods by Norman Weeks is a personal journey led by nature and animals that we can all learn from in a universal way. Taking place in northeast Minnesota, the author describes anecdotes that will take you along with him on his adventures in the natural history of that area. With 40 years of exploring there, he is an expert on how life in the area looks from a cabin at Pelican Lake. Surrounded by water and woods, he watches and interacts with the animals in the area and shares these unique stories with us. His experiences include canoeing and hiking trips and he makes good, important points on how human life impacts wildlife in that area. Nature Norm is the perfect name for this man who sees and relays the value of our natural surroundings. These are Nature Norm's woods, but they can be yours too.

I like how Weeks explains his progressive journey, that it's something he grew into from urban life to nature lover, and how profoundly it changed his life over the years. His change was organic, and anyone who loves nature and appreciates wildlife will appreciate what he has to say. Finding peace isn't easy for some, but nature can help lead you toward it, and this author's experiences convey this message quite well. Being at one with nature may sound cliched, but it does so for a reason, and that's because it can be a true experience for some people, just like it is for Weeks. The circle of life is evident in nature, as the author describes, and being out in nature can teach you a lot about yourself. His enthusiasm for nature is infectious, and a few of my favorite parts include his Chicago childhood and how he was drawn to nature even though he was nowhere near it when he encountered a turtle at a stream, and his crib fight with a Teddy bear. It will make you want to be out on a nature trail, and it will make you take a closer look at how we humans treat the world around us. If you haven't made friends with nature yet, Nature Norm's North Woods, by Norman Weeks, will be an immersive introduction.