• She uses lots of metaphor.
  • She provides geographical context (p. 4).
  • She drops anecdotes and symbolic stories without explaining them (p. 5).
  • Intermingles everything. Her writing is also curious and stimulated as if, really, walking.
  • She inserts vignettes and settles on them for a while (p. 6).
  • She describes general patterns, which means she have observed the same location, the same phenomena many times. But then describes what is happening now, today, as a point of reference or return (p. 7).
  • She includes flashbacks or memories (p. 7), which suggests she really is recording stuff.
  • She describes something before naming it, creating suspense and mystery (e.g., the giant water bug, p. 8).
  • In some areas she starts to sermon. This is her channeling Thoreau (p. 9).
  • She tries to write her philosphical thoughts but uses poetic language and metaphors (p. 11).
  • She is excellent in describing the landscape (p. 11).
  • She also describes a lengthier phenomena like sunset (p. 11).
  • She uses short simple sentences.
  • She uses disgression.
  • She inserts real scientific descriptions.
  • She inserts real anthropological accounts. Collect everything interesting!
  • In some areas she becomes the subject of her paragraphs and heavily uses “I”.
  • She uses childhood stories (p. 16).
  • She states an axiom. Then suddenly tells a story (p. 20)
  • Chapter three is a narrative on an afternoon of walking up until coming home. But within the narratvie are science trivias and writing, that extends the narrative. .


  • Collect lots of observations. Stay longer outdoors. Give more time for fieldwork.


  • She used the tomcat as a metaphor of her curiosity.
  • Mountains are her home; Creeks are the world where stimulus come from.
  • When describing how the wind creates ripples on the surface of the water: “it crumples the water’s skin.” I saw the word crumple used by Craig Mod to describe mountain.


  • “my spread lungs roared”
  • mutely alive


  1. Ex nihilo
  2. Bivouac
  3. Searing
  4. Seething
  5. Studded
  6. Strewn
  7. Ganglia
  8. Danse macabre
  9. Suet
  10. Gibbous
  11. Coot
  12. Rutted
  13. Pittance
  14. Spittle
  15. Engorged
  16. Rummaging
  17. Concertina
  18. Rove
  19. Clabber
  20. Excorciate
  21. Bungling
  22. Implacable
  23. Scrying
  24. Unkeeled
  25. Allayed


Is it possible to channel this sense of wonder? Everyday? Is it possible to be an existence where this wonder is not lost, but cultivated and transmitted to other and in one’s work?


Dillard, A. (2013). Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.