"I live in a world of light, fragrance, beauty, and song; no wonder some of it overflows in my books," wrote Gene Stratton-Porter. Gene was a great storyteller and she wove nature into her stories. Her Limberlost books were known as much for the nature within as they were for the stories themselves.
In one of the early book reviews of her first book, "Song of the Cardinal," the Chicago Tribune wrote that the book had the true "Spirit of Nature" with "artfully blending" the "field and swale" with the story of the cardinals. The story was about a pair of cardinals and the setting was Rainbow bottom on the north side of Geneva. Gene wrote about the silver beauty of the Wabash River at Horseshoe Bend. This area is owned by the Friends of the Limberlost and it has been restored to wetlands.
Gene's second book was "Freckles." One of the most descriptive passages in the book was about the beauty of Limberlost in the fall. "The Limberlost was now arrayed as the Queen of Sheba in all her glory. The first frosts of autumn had bejeweled her crown in flashing topaz, ruby and emerald. Around hr feet trailed the purple of her garments, while in her hand was her golden scepter. Everything was at full tide."
Her main character, Elnora, in "A Girl of the Limberlost" enjoyed being out in nature. One passage in the book was about the sounds of spring: "Back in the deep woods a hermit thrush was singing his chant to the rising sun. Orioles were sowing the pure sweet air with notes of gold poured out while on the wing."
The San Francisco Chronicle wrote a favorable review of Gene's book, "The Harvester." "She may write indoors, but she lives, moves and has her being in the open and like most nature worshipers, exercises her imagination as freely as her powers of observation. The setting is the Limberlost woods in Indiana, the descriptions are as entrancing as the story."
Gene wrote, "I have never seen any person who on being shown any of ten of our most beautiful moths did not promptly pronounce it the most exquisite creation he had ever seen, and evince a lively interest in its history." She wanted her book "The Moths of the Limberlost" to be a book that the average reader could learn about the moths she found so fascinating. She did not want a dry text book full of facts. "It is in belief that all nature lovers afield for entertainment or instruction, will be thankful for a simple method of becoming acquainted with moths, that this book is written."
Gene drew inspiration from the nature and saw aspects of it as a treasure. She described the "gold of sunshine, diamond water drops, emerald foliage and sapphire sky." We are happy that she shared her special place of Limberlost with the rest of the world.