Jerry Wilson, author of Waiting for Coyote’s Call: An Eco-Memoir from the Missouri River Bluff, writes a blog detailing more observations, insights, and thoughts stimulated by the natural environment that surrounds him on his land near Vermillion, South Dakota.

Inspired by the works of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, and Annie Dillard, Jerry Wilson’s eco-memoir Waiting for Coyote’s Call covers twenty-five years of trying to live life while leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible. Wilson encourages the reader to think about his or her place in nature as he recounts his own family’s experiences on prairie and woodland near the Missouri River in eastern South Dakota.

Wilson chronicles his family’s building of an eco-friendly solar home and their attempts to restore the plowed-under prairie to its original state. He muses on the beauty and simplicity of nature in contrast to modern lifestyles in which time is ever-more precious and convenience often outweighs other considerations. Taking the reader on midnight rambles through his “Big Woods,” Wilson shares his wonder at the creatures that also make their home on the bluff.

From his delight in home-grown tomatoes and high-flying Sandhill cranes to concerns about human interaction with the web of life, the stories of Wilson’s quarter of a century on the Missouri River bluff spring off the pages of Waiting for Coyote’s Call. Fawns leap and turkeys strut past his window as Wilson listens for the plaintive howl of the prairie predator.



  1. Jerry, congratulations on your book, and cheers to a well-informed lifestyle, considerate of earth’s resources and living creatures. Wishing you many more successes and continued peace and fulfillment in your surroundings.

  2. Jerry

    My sister Linda Scarmon gave me your book for my birthday this year and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I took the liberty of passing your name on to the folks at the Aldo Leopold Legacy center here in Wisconsin. They may be interested in having you as a guest sometime to talk about your book and observations and land ethic. If I come to SD this summer or fall I hope to have time to look you up.

    David Ogren

    • Hi David,
      Please forgive the long lapse in responding to your message. I somehow missed it when you filed it months ago. I’m glad you enjoyed the book, and thanks for mentioning it to the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center. As you can see, he is a hero and mentor of mine, and I would be delighted to come there for a visit sometime!

      Also, I hope I get to meet you sometime when you visit Linda and Mick.

      Jerry Wilson

  3. I enjoy your blog! I grew up along the mighty MO in St. Helena NE. Reading your entries and seeing the great pictures bring back the great adventure of life in the midwest. How I long to get away from DC and back to the beautiful river where the sun rises and sets every day!

    • Hello Jay,
      Please excuse the long delay in responding to your message. I somehow missed it when you wrote in September. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog, and I hope you’ve run across my book, Waiting for Coyote’s Call, as well.

      From my front window I see the grove of ancient cedars on the hill southwest of St. Helena, which I call “Mount St. Helena.” Yes, this is wonderful country. What do you do in DC?

      Jerry wilson

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