Monday, May 14, 2012

Hal Borland, outdoor writer

Hal Borland
It is the birthday of writer Hal Borland (1900), whose Sunday "outdoor editorials" in The New York Times captured the imagination of nature lovers for nearly 40 years. He wrote more than 25 books, including four novels. Pulitzer Prize-winning naturalist Edwin Way Teale called Borland's outdoor books "a breath of fresh country air." He was born in a tiny town southwest of Omaha and raised in a tiny town in eastern Colorado, where his father owned a newspaper. His book County Editor's Boy, recalls his days growing up in Flagler, Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado for a time but dropped out to work on his father's paper. Later he went to Columbia University and graduated with a degree in journalism in  1923. Eventually, he worked at the Denver Post, and wrote for Audubon Magazine. In 1945, he and his wife, Barbara Borland, moved to a 100-acre farm in Connecticut, where he wrote books and magazine articles, and his column for The New York Times. His wisdom was that of rural America, born of his childhood and his love of nature. “Knowing trees," he once wrote, "I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”

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