New book about creating a country home

Editor’s Note: We’ve been told about this interesting new book, available in Almonte at Mill Street Books.

Singing Meadow: The Adventure of Creating a Country Home

peri-front-cover-promo-shot-20150801After 30 years of living surrounded by nature as the guardians of the Foley Mountain Conservation Area near Westport, Ontario, Peri and Barry McQuay sought a new home for their retirement. But what could possibly compare to 800 acres of forest and wetland, the old farmhouse in which the McQuays raised their children, and the web of wildlife into which the family had so inextricably woven themselves?

Singing Meadow: The Adventure of Creating a Country Home chronicles Peri and Barry’s search for just such a home. Equal parts love story, nature study, and how-to guide, Singing Meadow is the inspirational account of how these two writers and naturalists remain true to their life-long commitment to both the wilderness and to social justice as they strive to meet the challenges of building a small energy-efficient home that will live in harmony with the rugged landscape of the Canadian Shield.

In this enthralling narrative Peri recounts the McQuay’s journey from the first days of construction and the pounding of a well-drilling rig, to the summer songs of nesting orioles; from the minor disasters of missing building materials, to the tiny miracles of meadow flowers; from the nail-biting process of hoisting roof trusses, to the limbs of the ancient burr-oak that stands sentinel over all. But through it all, Singing Meadow is an unforgettable story of one woman’s deepening understanding of what it means to be “home.”

“The McQuays’ journey is one to the heart of living. There is much to be understood from such gentle writing.” – Diana Beresford-Kroeger, author of The Sweetness of a Simple Life and The Global Forest

“The lilting prose of Peri McQuay’s enchanting new book has the feel of a conversation with an open-hearted friend.” – Charlotte Zoe Walker, editor of The Art of Seeing Things: Essays by John Burroughs

Singing Meadow: The Adventure of Creating a Country Home is available through and, at Novel Idea bookshop in Kingston, Mill Street Books in Almonte, and at other fine bookshops.

Peri McQuay is available for media interviews. 

Learn more about Singing Meadow: 

About Peri McQuay

mel-peri-cropAuthor Peri McQuay became committed to nature through the inspiration and teaching of her Canadian artist parents, Ken Phillips and Marie Cecilia Guard. For 30 years, Peri and her conservation-educator husband, Barry, lived and worked at Foley Mountain conservation area near Westport, ON. Peri now lives at Singing Meadow, near the shores of Bobs Lake, north of Kingston. She is also the author of A Wing in the Door: Life with a Red-Tailed Hawk (Milkweed Editions,1993) and The View from Foley Mountain, (Dundurn Press, 1995). In addition Peri has also written numerous essays, articles, book reviews for such publications as Country Journal, Harrowsmith, Bird Watcher’s Digest, The Snowy Egret, Seasons, The Fiddlehead, Herizons, and Brick Magazine, and a weekly column that for many years was published in the Kingston Whig-Standard Magazine.