Sigrid Sanders

In essays and other ways – fiction, journals, travel pieces, blogs – I write mostly about the natural world, especially about the landscape of the southern Piedmont, where I’ve lived for most of my life. Occasionally I write about special places like the Okefenokee Swamp, the coastal marshes and islands of the Southeast, or even the mountains of Yellowstone National Park, but I am most interested in exploring the beauty, mystery and surprises of the less appreciated old fields, second-growth woods, creeks, wetlands and wildlife around my own home and region. I want to learn more about them, to share what I learn, and to work with others to do what I can to help protect them for the future.

Most of the first few pieces here are previously unpublished essays. I’ll be adding more – both new and old pieces – as soon as I can. My main project currently is a collection of essays titled Inside a Southern Woodland. Several of these are included here and others will be added as I complete them.

 Winter Woods

There's nothing pretty about these woods in winter. Gray, battered, wet and bleak, the tall oaks and hickories stand starkly bare and blotched, as if stripped naked, unkindly exposed. Every scar, swollen joint, crooked limb and ragged break revealed. The evergreens droop. On the floor of the woods, withered vines, broken branches and parts of trunks, dead leaves, stump holes and fungi spread in a jumble of litter. It's generally a mess. It's cold and often rainy, windy, darkly damp and chill, but not cold enough for the saving white grace of snow. FULL ESSAY>>