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A Sand County Almanac | Chapter Summaries


Chapter Summaries Chart

Chapter Summary
Part 1, January Each year in late January comes a thaw. The hibernating skunk rouses and walks through the snow, leaving a track behin... Read More
Part 1, February According to Leopold, among the benefits of owning a farm is a greater understanding of where food and heat come from.... Read More
Part 1, March The return of geese in March means spring has truly and fully come. Other animals—cardinals and chipmunks—do not migra... Read More
Part 1, April Because of melting snow and the farm's proximity to the river, April often brings flooding to Leopold's farm. This cau... Read More
Part 1, May When dandelions begin to bloom in Wisconsin, one can listen for the "final proof of spring"—the song of the upland plo... Read More
Part 1, June In this episode Leopold fishes for trout in a stream but has little luck. He relocates his fishing efforts to the Alde... Read More
Part 1, July Although the County Clerk records Leopold's farm as 120 acres, he finds this fact is irrelevant on a dawn walk with th... Read More
Part 1, August Humans create paintings that can last and be appreciated over generations. In nature there is another kind of painting... Read More
Part 1, September By September most birds sing less at daybreak, but the quail often lend their "contralto voices" to the opening song o... Read More
Part 1, October In Adams County, when the tamaracks are smoky gold, Leopold describes ruffed-grouse hunting. With his dog's nose leadi... Read More
Part 1, November In November the hurrying wind blows through the corn stalks, making a kind of music. The wind makes waves in the water... Read More
Part 1, December It is difficult to know how widely the wildlife in an area range, but careful observation of their actions may shed li... Read More
Part 2, Wisconsin This sketch marks the beginning of Part 2 of the book. In Part 1, Leopold made observations organized by month. These ... Read More
Part 2, Illinois and Iowa On a bus ride across Illinois Leopold sees a farmer and his son saw through a large cottonwood. It is an ancient tree,... Read More
Part 2, Arizona and New Mexico As the journeying continues, Leopold goes back to first living in Arizona and traveling on the White Mountain—referred... Read More
Part 2, Chihuahua and Sonora In this sketch, Leopold states that what makes a place beautiful is the presence of all its parts working together. If... Read More
Part 2, Oregon and Utah In another botanical sketch, animal and plant pests often work together to make sure every place gets its "quota of un... Read More
Part 2, Manitoba It is common for humans to "go blind" to the quality of marshes, a fact quite apparent to Leopold when he takes visito... Read More
Part 3, Conservation Esthetic This essay begins Part 3 of the book. In Parts 1 and 2, Leopold made observations of nature and wove his insights into t... Read More
Part 3, Wildlife in American Culture There are three kinds of value found in renewing contact with the wildlife of one's country. First this contact can remi... Read More
Part 3, Wilderness This essay begins, "Wilderness is the raw material out of which man has hammered the artifact called civilization," yet ... Read More
Part 3, The Land Ethic In this final entry Leopold discusses ethical systems that allow people to work together cooperatively. Over time ethics... Read More
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