“Ramble with Jerry Wilson along the Missouri River bluff as he explores the heart of the land he shares with animals and plants, family, friends, neighbors, and those who lived there long ago. In rhythm with nature’s cycles, readers can walk old trails and new in this rich Dakota landscape.”—Linda Hasselstrom, author of Between Grass and Sky: Where I Live and Work
“Waiting for Coyote’s Call is rooted in the river hills of South Dakota, but it speaks to wild places everywhere. If you are in love with the natural world, you will want to read this inspiring book.”—Candace Savage, author of Prairie: A Natural History
“Wilson’s book is a sensitive and personal account of his encounters with nature on the Missouri River bluffs. His subjects range widely from coyotes to stars to native grasses. It is a must read for those fascinated by the nature all around us.”—Dr. Carter Johnson, Distinguished Professor of Ecology, South Dakota State University
Inspired by Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Annie Dillard, Jerry Wilson’s eco-memoir Waiting for Coyote’s Call covers twenty-five years of trying to live life leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible. Wilson encourages readers to think about their place in nature through his family’s quest to live equably with the natural world on 160 acres of prairie and woodland near the Missouri River in South Dakota.
Wilson chronicles how he built their eco-friendly solar home and set about returning the plowed-under prairie to its original state. He muses on the difficulties of doing this in the modern world, where time is ever-more precious and convenience often outweighs the benefits of traditional methods of life. Taking the reader on journeys through his “Big Woods,” Wilson examines the wonder of the creatures that also make their home on the “North Forty,” noting how all that life fits together.
From delight in home-grown tomatoes and passing Sandhill cranes to fears about humans’ interaction with the web of life, Wilson’s twenty-five years on the Missouri River bluff spring off the page, mirroring the fawns’ leaps and bounds viewed from his window.
Watch Jerry Wilson speaking about his book at the 2012 South Dakota Festival of Books.
"This book is encouraging, optimistic, thoughtful and well-written. And it is also extremely relevant, given the pressure we continue to put on the land. If you hadn’t realized that every step you take in your life affects the earth, you will after reading this book. And - even better - you’ll want to do something about it."—LibraryThing.com
"These are eloquent, lyrical essays written from the heart."—South Dakota History
"I recently received Waiting for Coyote's Call as a gift, and have so enjoyed your writing…both the book and your weekly blog. My husband and I live in a very similar landscape…cedar breaks west of Yankton…woods and ravines, native plants, abundant wildlife…and we ourselves are “amateur naturalists.” Our hearts are so close to your own experiences and observations. So not only am I fine-tuned to your subjects, but I find myself thoroughly immersed in your graceful writing style.
You have written a rhapsody to this beautiful area we live in. Thank you for that. You have inspired several road trips…Spirit Mound and the Missouri River…fun to learn more about the landscape we call home. I will eagerly watch for your future writing. And I’ll be thinking of you sitting by the Solstice Fire. We will continue to open our hearts to the wonder around us…and think about how Jerry Wilson might capture it in words."—Comment from B. Mannes, Yankton, SD on CoyotesCall.wordpress.com blog.