I visited with ecologist, historian, and author Kerry Hardy along Lake Megunticook in Maine during a recent family trip.
I first learned of Kerry from his book Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki, a multidisciplinary deep dive into the relationship between Native American foodways, language, place names, and ecology. Told in a series of personal stories in essay form, it's a fun read and a unique document.
In the interview, we discuss Native American foodways, burning regimens, and land management, including dispersal of species like bur oak and American plum. Kerry talks about many Native words, describing words as "among the most durable fossils there are". Kerry gives a fresh read on European economy compared to Native economy, including a moving insight into seventh generational thinking and "non-thinking". Kerry gives us a preview of his present project exploring the lost history of the Hudson River estuary, speaking evocatively of the missing voices of native peoples, African slaves, women, and the ecosystem itself in colonial history.
Kerry's an impressively learned guy, also a big-hearted, stout rural soul who bikes 27 miles to work and lives just a few feet from the dock where his Adirondack guide boat is kept. It was a treat to spend a few hours with him, and I think you'll really dig this interview. Enjoy!
All music by Jared Rosenbaum.
photos: Rachel Mackow 2019