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STOP AND MEET SOME PORCUPINES

There's a park on the Lake Ontario shore north of Syracuse where the salmon fishermen stand practically shoulder to shoulder in season. But Selkirk Shores State Park also has quiet hiking trails where deer and other wildlife often can be spotted.

Western New York writer Deborah Williams wants to point out a few of these special sights, places that travelers may miss in their hurry to get to the next town or county. Her new book, "Natural Wonders of New York" (Country Roads Press, $9.95), visits more than 40 parks, preserves and wild places in all corners of the state.

From Montauk Point State Park on Long Island to Evangola State Park south of Buffalo, she points out deer, porcupines, geese and eagles as well as hiking trails, campsites, beaches, caves and waterfalls. She also tells us the significance of what she's showing us with brief historical and ecological rundowns.

I have a problem with some of her entries, however. For instance, Highland Park in Rochester, the Cornell Plantations in Ithaca and Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua don't seem to fit the theme of the book. They're wonders, all right, but they're not really natural.

I also wish a tiny map had been published at the beginning of each section locating the places mentioned. Sure, I could get out an atlas, but I'd rather she made it easy for me.

-- Joyce Ware

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