New book features Alabama rivers



Headwaters, A Journey on Alabama Rivers features photographs taken by Beth Maynor Young, some of whose beautiful pictures of the Locust Fork River have been published by The Blount Countian and also highlight notecards for sale by the organization Friends of the Locust Fork River.

The book is reviewed in the spring/summer 2009 issue of Alabama, the magazine where publications of The University of Alabama Press are listed. With permission from UA Press, the enticingly worded review is reproduced below.

Headwaters is a breathtaking portrait of Alabama rivers. From their primal seepages in the Appalachian highlands or along the broad Chunnenuggee Hills, Alabama’s rivers carve throught the rocky uplands and down the Fall Line rapids,then ease across the coastal plain to their eventual confluence with the Gulf of Mexico.

“Beth Maynor Young’s 155 full-color photographs constitute art through a lens; the colors, the light, and the angles all converge for a tender praise of her subject. Her stunning visuals are supported by tantalizing captions and introductory text from John C. Hall, a master fieldtrip leader. Together, they tell a proud story of the native beauty and complexity of these Alabama watercourses that shepherd fully 20 percent of the nation’s fresh water to the sea.

“The intimate close-up of verdant mosses or pebbled beaches pulls one into their space just as surely as does a sweeping scene of a watershed vallley or a sparkling sunset over water. We all become eager listeners and observers on this guided ‘paddle to the Gulf,’ drinking in the peace, delight, and beauty offered by the experience. At the end, we know we won’t be the same as before beginning the journey.

“In addition to being a celebration of their richness, Headwaters serves as a call to greater stewardship of these riverine resources. Conservation sidebars describe the current efforts in this direction and encourage further study and protection. This books tells us, in glorious color and instructive word, why we’ll always treasure these wonderful rivers.”

The book features photographs by Beth Maynor Young, text by John C. Hall, and foreword by Rick Middleton. Maynor is an “accomplished conservation photographer who has spent much of her life chronicling the natural beauty and remnant wild places of the contemporary South.” Hall is curator of the Black Belt Museum, University of West Alabama, Livingston, and former director of interpretation at The University of Alabama Museum of Natural History. Middleton is founder and executive director of the Southern Environmental Law Center, with offices in Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.