710 IS LE Furman's status as a transplant is also reﬂected in the book's fascinat- ing concern with deﬁnitions of native and exotic. While we may think of Florida as a state thoroughly inﬁltrated by invasive exotics (Burmese pythons, Myna birds, Brazilian pepper trees, golﬁng tourists), Furman discovers that the status of some species remains uncertain, while others that are known transplants are now thoroughly naturalized. In his chapter on the spot-breasted oriole, a species introduced to south Florida from Mexico, Furman ultimately decides that this beautiful (and not particularly invasive) exotic is worthy of more respect than it receives. “It took a while, and several sightings,” he writes, “for me to question the prejudice among ‘serious’ birders against introduced species and to appreciate these birds on their own terms” (102). While Furman takes us on a few ﬁshing trips and a few birding trips into the northern Everglades scrub, much of his attention is focused on the nature of his suburban neighborhood. Like other excel- lent environmental memoirists, such as Janisse Ray and John Price, Furman resists the call of the wild and instead casts down his bucket where he is. The result is a rewarding form of
ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment – Oxford University Press
Published: Dec 1, 2014
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