Friday Reads – Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine

About-Closer-to-the-Ground~~element51From an actual conversation in the car, instigated by the excellent Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine.

Julia: Would you eat one of those clams that looks like a dick?

Me: You mean a geoduck?


Hell no.

Why not?

Because there are already enough things I like to eat. I don’t need to muddy the waters with more things.

But what if we went to some fancy restaurant on the coast or something, and they had all this kind of seafood on the menu?

I think it’s a bad idea. That’s how vacations get ruined, people eating weird food, then they spent the weekend in the bathroom. It’s not like we go out to eat at fancy places very often anyway.

You never know, you may love it.

(Ponders a moment, considering) I like clam dip. And I like those little oyster crackers.

(Rolls eyes)  How about as an appetizer? We could try it as an appetizer!

No! Why would I do that? It’s not worth the risk.


Yeah, risk. What if I didn’t like it? Then I just spent $12 on something gross when I could have had the bacon-wrapped prawns, which are always going to deliver.

I’m getting it as an appetizer.

You better bring your own $12 then.

I will bring my own $12! I’ll throw it right out on the table!

Go ahead. Keep your clammy fingers away from my bacon-wrapped prawns while you’re at it!


I read this book back in January and loved it. It’s excellent and inspiring. I loaned it to my mom, who also liked it. And Julia just finished reading it. You should too. Here’s what it’s about:

Closer to the Ground is the deeply personal story of a father learning to share his love of nature with his children, not through the indoor lens of words or pictures, but directly, palpably, by exploring the natural world as they forage, cook and eat from the woods and sea. Closer to the Ground captures the beauty and surprise of the world – and the ways it teaches us how to live – with humor, gratitude and a nose for adventure as keen as a child’s. It is a book filled with weather, natural history, and many delicious meals. Dylan Tomine, formerly a fly-fishing guide, is now a writer, conservation advocate, blueberry farmer and father, not necessarily in that order. His work has appeared in The Flyfish Journal, the Drake, Golfweek, the New York Times and numerous other publications. He lives with his family on an island in Puget Sound.


Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

6 thoughts on “Friday Reads – Closer to the Ground by Dylan Tomine”

    1. Have you ever seen one, Dave? It takes no imagination at all to make that connection. Even the book basically describes them so, only a little more “delicately”….


  1. A giant dick! At least the ones I’ve seen. 😉 I wouldn’t eat one either, Chris – they look WEIRD. Although, you know, if you were starving and that was the only thing around…

    1. That was my ultimate point. If I had to eat them, I would. But if I don’t, I won’t. I’m no adventurous food person in the interest of “trying new things.”

  2. I’m not big on eating things that come out of the water. You don’t know where they’ve been or what they’ve eaten. As for geoduck, I encountered the word for the first time this summer in Olympia. What’s even weirder is how you pronounce it.

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