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Headwaters: A Journey on Alabama Rivers by Beth Maynor Young and John C. Hall
Headwaters is a breathtaking portrait of Alabama rivers. From their primal seepages in the Appalachian highlands or along the broad Chunnenuggee Hills, Alabama’s rivers carve through the rocky uplands and down the Fall Line rapids, then ease across the coastal plain to their eventual confluence with the Gulf of Mexico.
Beth Maynor Young’s 155 full-color photographs constitute art through a lens; the colors, the light, and the angles all converge for a tender praise of her subject. Her stunning visuals are supported by tantalizing captions and introductory text from John C. Hall, a master field trip leader. Together, they tell a proud story of the native beauty and complexity of these Alabama watercourses that shepherd fully 20% of the nation’s fresh water to sea.
The intimate close-up of verdant mosses or pebbled beaches pulls one into their space just as surely as does a sweeping scene of a watershed valley or a sparkling sunset over water. We all become eager listeners and observers on this guided “paddle to the Gulf,” drinking in the peace, delight, and beauty offered by the experience. At the end, we know we won’t be the same as before beginning the journey.
In addition to being a celebration of their richness,
Headwaters serves as a call to greater stewardship of these riverine resources. Conservation sidebars describe the current efforts in this direction and encourage further study and protection. This book tells us, in glorious color and instructive word, why we’ll always treasure these wonderful rivers.