Stacey Cole has been writing a weekly nature column for the New Hampshire Union Leader for more than 50 years.
Now, for the first time, Granite Staters can read some of those essays in book form.
"Stacey Cole's New Hampshire: A Lyrical Landscape," has been published by Plaidswede Publishing of Concord. It is available in bookstores and through the plaidswede.com website.
Cole's column, "Nature Talks from Down on the Farm," is a blend of factual information on flora and fauna along with his own observations on life, as seen from his Red Crow Farm in Swanzey.
His work has often been compared to that of the poet Robert Frost, and Cole is a recipient of Plymouth State University's Robert Frost Award.
A graduate of the Thompson School of Applied Science at the University of New Hampshire (Cole Hall bears his name), Cole served as deputy speaker of the state House of Representatives and was president of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau. He also served for many years as executive director of the New Hampshire Petroleum Council.
"We're delighted to publish Stacey Cole's book," said George Geers of the publishing company. "His writing is poetic and presents that romantic image so many have of the woods and rural areas of our state. We're honored to put Stacey Cole's book on the bookshelves of New Hampshire for generations to come."
"I like to dip my pen in the morning mist and write of whispering woods - of their soft sounds and quiet ways," Cole writes. "I like a nothing background from time to time, so that my thoughts can be heard. It's like my very soul has taken nourishment from the surroundings and is endeavoring to communicate."
Chapters include: "The Shagbark," "Cutting the Winter's Wood," "October Snow," "Night Sounds," "The Time to Plough Has Come," "A Woods Walk After a Storm" and "The Mountain," referring to Mt. Monadnock (that "has always been mysterious and magical to me.").
Former New Hampshire Gov. Stephen Merrill says of Stacey Cole: "He embodies the best of our state: our wildlife, our natural beauty, the strength of character of our citizens. He maintains a youthful curiosity of all that is around him . "
The cover price is $16 for "Stacey Cole's New Hampshire: A Lyrical Landscape."