For decades, Wanda Ferguson has been delighting readers of The Rangeley Highlander with her stories about living on an animal trail in Sandy River Plantation. Now, she has brought those tales together in her new book, Ayuh, That’s Life on the Moose Trail! The Ecopelagicon will honor Wanda with a book launch and signing on Sunday, August 18, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m., 7 Pond Street, Rangeley. All are welcome to this free event.

Wanda Ferguson

Already known for her books Mountain Gardening and Over the Garden Fence: The Gardener’s Companion and Journal, Wanda’s new work takes a humorous turn. “My humor erupts mid-sentence, no matter what the topic,” she laughs. In 1960 when she and her husband, Holman bought their land near the junction of Route 4 and South Shore Drive, they had no idea that a well-established moose trail meandered through it—down from Dallas Plantation to the wetlands of Rangeley Lake’s Greenvale Cove. So, year after year, moose spy on them through the windows and trample Wanda’s gardens into worm food. Inquisitive bears pay unannounced visits, bobcats lounge in window flower boxes, and Charlie the Skunk is an expected winter guest in the root cellar. A keen observer of human behavior as well, Wanda tells about encounters between the trail’s wild animals, her Route 4 neighbors, and visitors from away.

Published by Liongrass Editions of East Wilton and edited by Dr. Margaret “Peggy” Yocom, Wanda’s book has been praised by folklorist and storyteller Dr. Jo Radner of Lovell who writes that Wanda’s “storytelling is as natural as the land around her. What better image of delight than ‘feeling giddier than a cow lapping up silage syrup?’”

Born in 1932, a sixth-generation descendant of Luther Hoar, Rangeley’s first white settler, Wanda Ferguson has donned many hats, including those of wife, mother, homesteader, caregiver, secretary for Kay Mora, bookkeeper for Ferguson Excavating, Rangeley Library board member, laboratory worker at Orgonon for Wilhelm Reich, and treasurer of Sandy River Plantation. The passion of her life, though, is writing. “I’m going to write till I drop,” she promises. She is busy with several more projects, including a novel about life, love, and war in Maine of 1900 that dramatizes many of her family stories.

Wanda Ferguson will sign copies of her new book on Sunday, August 18th, at the Ecopelagicon, 7 Pond Street, Rangeley, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

In Ayuh, That’s Life on the Moose Trail!, Wanda Ferguson reveals the tenacity and humor—as well as the many trials and errors—that it takes to coexist with forest animals at “the end of the line” in the mountains of western Maine. Part cultural history, part environmental advocacy, Wanda’s tales conjure up the natural world around us and show how it, with all its inhabitants, can keep us grounded and steady in the course of our lives. “Humans come and go,” she reminds us, “but the land remains.” Please join Wanda Ferguson and her family on August 18th as they celebrate Wanda’s latest accomplishment.

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