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In a lyrical memoir and meditation on the nature of time and place, Elizabeth Dodd explores a variety of landscapes, reading the records left by inhabitants and by time itself. In spring in the Yucatán peninsula, she marks the equinox among the ruins of the Maya. In summer in the Orkney Islands, she considers linguistic and historic connections with Icelandic sagas. In tallgrass country in the fall, she observes bison and black-footed ferrets returning to their ancestral landscape. In winter in the canyons of the Ancestral Puebloans, she notes the standstill positions of the sun and the moon.
Ranging across continents and millennia, Dodd examines how people have inscribed the concept of time into their physical environments, through rock art, standing stones, and the alignment of buildings on the landscape. She follows the etymological trail of various languages, blending research with travel narrative and aesthetic meditation. From musings on the origin of the sandhill cranes’ transcontinental journey to reflections on the dimming light of shortening days as the winter solstice approaches, from depictions of exploding stars in ancient petroglyphs to meditations on the Great North Road, whose purpose scientists have yet to discover, Dodd captures the interstices of the natural world.