On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men to fight the fires, but no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan recreates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force, and the larger story of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, that follows is equally resonant. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by every citizen. Even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by his rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service in ways we can still witness today.
This e-book includes a sample chapter of SHORT NIGHTS OF THE SHADOW CATCHER.
Drawing on groundbreaking new discoveries, Wohlleben presents the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities; he describes how these discoveries have informed his own practices in the forest around him. As he says, a happy forest is a healthy forest, and he believes that eco-friendly practices not only are economically sustainable but also benefit the health of our planet and the mental and physical health of all who live on Earth.
For more than a decade, Dr. Plotkin has raced against time to harvest and record new plants before the rain forests' fragile ecosystems succumb to overdevelopment—and before the Indians abandon their own culture and learning for the seductive appeal of Western material culture. Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice relates nine of the author's quests, taking the reader along on a wild odyssey as he participates in healing rituals; discovers the secret of curare, the lethal arrow poison that kills in minutes; tries the hallucinogenic snuff epena that enables the Indians to speak with their spirit world; and earns the respect and fellowship of the mysterious shamans as he proves that he shares both their endurance and their reverence for the rain forest. Mark Plotkin combines the Darwinian spirit of the great writer-explorers of the nineteenth century—curious, discursive, and rigorously scientific—with a very modern concern for the erosion of our environment and the vanishing culture of native peoples.
Among the historical moments revisited here, a revolutionary nation arises from its environment and struggles to reconcile the diversity of its people with the claim that nature is the source of liberty. Abraham Lincoln, an unlettered citizen from the countryside, steers the Union through a moment of extreme peril, guided by his clear-eyed vision of nature's capacity for improvement. In Topeka, Kansas, transformations of land and life prompt a lawsuit that culminates in the momentous civil rights case of Brown v. Board of Education.
By focusing on materials and processes intrinsic to all things and by highlighting the nature of the United States, Fiege recovers the forgotten and overlooked ground on which so much history has unfolded. In these pages, the nation's birth and development, pain and sorrow, ideals and enduring promise come to life as never before, making a once-familiar past seem new. The Republic of Nature points to a startlingly different version of history that calls on readers to reconnect with fundamental forces that shaped the American experience.
On June 28, 2013, a single bolt of lightning sparked an inferno that devoured more than eight thousand acres in northern Arizona. Twenty elite firefighters—the Granite Mountain Hotshots—walked together into the blaze, tools in their hands and emergency fire shelters on their hips. Only one of them walked out.
Dickman brings to the story a professional firefighter’s understanding of how wildfires ignite, how they spread, and how they are fought. He understands hotshots and their culture: the pain and glory of a rough and vital job, the brotherly bonds born of dangerous work. Drawing on dozens of interviews with officials, families of the fallen, and the lone survivor, he describes in vivid detail what it’s like to stand inside a raging fire—and shows how the increased population and decreased water supply of the American West guarantee that many more young men will step into harm’s way in the coming years.
Praise for On the Burning Edge
“What makes this book a tear-jerking classic is the seamless manner in which Dickman weaves a century of fire-management history into the fully realized stories of the men’s lives—the sweat, the adrenaline, the orange glow of fire within their aluminum shelters, and the chewing gum that hotshot Scott Norris left in the shower before telling his girlfriend, Heather, ‘I’ll take care of it later. I promise.’”—Outside
“Dickman offers a riveting account of a dangerous occupation and acts of nature most violent—and those who face both down.”—Library Journal
From the Hardcover edition.
To the north the majestic coastal redwoods inspired awe and invited exploitation. A resource in the state, the durable heartwood of these timeless giants became infrastructure, transformed by the saw teeth of American enterprise. By 1900 timber firms owned the entire redwood forest; by 1950 they had clear-cut almost all of the old-growth trees.
In time California’s new landscape proved to be no paradise: the eucalypts in the Berkeley hills exploded in fire; the orange groves near Riverside froze on cold nights; Los Angeles’s palms harbored rats and dropped heavy fronds on the streets below. Disease, infestation, and development all spelled decline for these nonnative evergreens. In the north, however, a new forest of second-growth redwood took root, nurtured by protective laws and sustainable harvesting. Today there are more California redwoods than there were a century ago.
Rich in character and story, Trees in Paradise is a dazzling narrative that offers an insightful, new perspective on the history of the Golden State and the American West.
The invaluable introductory chapters discuss tree diversity in Central America and the basics of tree identification. Family and species accounts are treated alphabetically and describe family size, number of genera and species, floral characteristics, and relative abundance. Color distribution maps supplement the useful species descriptions, and facing-page photographic plates detail bark, leaf, flower, or fruit of the species featured. Helpful appendices contain a full glossary, a comprehensive guide to leaf forms, and a list of families not covered.The only tree guide to cover both Panama and Costa Rica together Covers almost 500 species 438 high-resolution color photos 480 color distribution maps and two general maps Concise and jargon-free descriptions of key characteristics for every species Full glossary and guide to leaf forms included
Well-illustrated with new examples, case studies and abundant photos, this eighth edition describes the importance and history of forests, evolution of policy, North American distribution of forests, and moves on to describe forest health strategies to combat insects, disease, damage from mammals, and fire. Ecological principles are explained as basis for forest management, with chapters on management of the associated resources of wildlife, watersheds and streams, range resources, outdoor recreation and wilderness. Market concerns and technology are embraced in chapters on economics, measurement and analysis, harvesting, and forest products. Concluding chapters describe management of forests and renewable resources by the federal government, by states, by private land owners, and in urban areas and communities. For forestry, natural resource, and environmental science students, involved citizens and resource users and professionals, this book is your reference and guide to forests and renewable resources.
Wildlife and Woodlot Management offers expert tips on such topics as:
Choosing the right piece of land for your needsMaintenance and management practicesImproving natural vegetationAttracting bucks, wild turkey, waterfowl, and small gameHow to love working and helping your land
With over 330 pages crammed full of information and chapters covering topics ranging from timber stands to trespassers, Wildlife and Woodlot Management includes all the know-how you need to make your land into a hunting destination. Packed with pertinent details and accurate, easy-to-follow advice, this is a book no land-owning outdoorsman should miss.
Each state in this region maintains a Big Tree program that honors the largest individual tree of each species. Champion trees are determined by adding together measurements of trunk circumference, height, and canopy spread. Rosburg identifies the trees with the largest diameter and the tallest trees among the champion trees in the Upper Midwest by their county and state. Together his superb photographs and key information make this guide the perfect companion for enjoying the diversity of trees in all kinds of environments.
Published in 2002, Deforesting the Earth was a landmark study of the history and geography of deforestation. Now available as an abridgment, this edition retains the breadth of the original while rendering its arguments accessible to a general readership.
Deforestation—the thinning, changing, and wholesale clearing of forests for fuel, shelter, and agriculture—is among the most important ways humans have transformed the environment. Surveying ten thousand years to trace human-induced deforestation’s effect on economies, societies, and landscapes around the world, Deforesting the Earth is the preeminent history of this process and its consequences.
Beginning with the return of the forests after the ice age to Europe, North America, and the tropics, Michael Williams traces the impact of human-set fires for gathering and hunting, land clearing for agriculture, and other activities from the Paleolithic age through the classical world and the medieval period. He then focuses on forest clearing both within Europe and by European imperialists and industrialists abroad, from the 1500s to the early 1900s, in such places as the New World, India, and Latin America, and considers indigenous clearing in India, China, and Japan. Finally, he covers the current alarming escalation of deforestation, with our ever-increasing human population placing a potentially unsupportable burden on the world’s forests.
The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants, Mushrooms, Fruits, and Nuts provides everything one needs to know about the most commonly found wild foods—going beyond a field guide's basic description to provide folklore and mouth-watering recipes for each entry, such as wild asparagus pizza, fiddlehead soup, blackberry mousse, and elderberry pie. This fully illustrated guide is the perfect companion for hikers, campers, and anyone who enjoys eating the good food of the earth. With it in hand, nature lovers will never take another hike without casting their eyes about with dinner in mind.
In Driven Wild, Paul Sutter traces the intellectual and cultural roots of the modern wilderness movement from about 1910 through the 1930s, with tightly drawn portraits of four Wilderness Society founders--Aldo Leopold, Robert Sterling Yard, Benton MacKaye, and Bob Marshall. Each man brought a different background and perspective to the advocacy for wilderness preservation, yet each was spurred by a fear of what growing numbers of automobiles, aggressive road building, and the meteoric increase in Americans turning to nature for their leisure would do to the country�s wild places. As Sutter discovered, the founders of the Wilderness Society were "driven wild"--pushed by a rapidly changing country to construct a new preservationist ideal.
Sutter demonstrates that the birth of the movement to protect wilderness areas reflected a growing belief among an important group of conservationists that the modern forces of capitalism, industrialism, urbanism, and mass consumer culture were gradually eroding not just the ecology of North America, but crucial American values as well. For them, wilderness stood for something deeply sacred that was in danger of being lost, so that the movement to protect it was about saving not just wild nature, but ourselves as well.
“When is the best time to plant a tree? Twenty years ago. The second best time? Today.”—Chinese proverb
Twenty years ago, David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world—the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change—and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees—among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.
When New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about trees: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival.
Praise for The Man Who Planted Trees
“This is a story of miracles and obsession and love and survival. Told with Jim Robbins’s signature clarity and eye for telling detail, The Man Who Planted Trees is also the most hopeful book I’ve read in years. I kept thinking of the end of Saint Francis’s wonderful prayer, ‘And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done.’ ”—Alexandra Fuller, author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight
“Absorbing, eloquent, and loving . . . While Robbins’s tone is urgent, it doesn’t compromise his crystal-clear science. . . . Even the smallest details here are fascinating.”—Dominique Browning, The New York Times Book Review
“The great poet W. S. Merwin once wrote, ‘On the last day of the world I would want to plant a tree.’ It’s good to see, in this lovely volume, that some folks are getting a head start!”—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
“Inspiring . . . Robbins lucidly summarizes the importance and value of trees to planet Earth and all humanity.”—The Ecologist
“ ‘Imagine a world without trees,’ writes journalist Jim Robbins. It’s nearly impossible after reading The Man Who Planted Trees, in which Robbins weaves science and spirituality as he explores the bounty these plants offer the planet.”—Audubon
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The book's comprehensive coverage of the major role forests have played in human life--told with grace, fluency, imagination, and humor—gained it recognition as a Harvard Classic in Science and World History and as one of Harvard's "One-Hundred Great Books." Others receiving the honor include such luminaries as Stephen Jay Gould and E. O. Wilson. This new paperback edition will add a prologue and an epilogue to reflect the current situation in which forests have become imperative for humanity's survival.
Learn about the bamboo plant types, growing bamboo plants, bamboo care, indoor bamboo, growing bamboo indoors, clumping bamboo, transplanting bamboo, bamboo seeds, and even popular bamboo crafts such as flooring, fencing, blinds and much more.
If you have ever wanted to grow this beautiful and useful plant yourself, you really need to purchase this Book which tells you everything you need to know about its uses and benefits, as well as how to grow and care for it. It has been described by many as the Bible of Bamboo Plant Care.
Some additional topics covered in the book are as follows:How to choose the right Bamboo type The difference between running and clumping bamboo and their benefit How and when to plant the different species of bamboo! Best propagation method for different types of bamboo plants!How to grow bamboo indoors! What the various parts of the bamboo plant can be used for!How to care for bamboo plants! How bamboo can benefit you! How to use bamboo for decorative purposes like landscape gardening How to easily create a windbreaker or privacy hedge using bamboo!The benefits of bamboo to the environment!The best types of indoor bamboo to grow in offices and homesWhen to prune your bamboo plant!What heights the various varieties of bamboo grow to!
The Bamboo Plant Care Book gently guides you through the process of where to buy the plant, the advantages of the different ways of growing it; from growing to seeds to splitting the culms, and even the advantages and disadvantages of using running versus clumping bamboo.
Then you learn exactly how to plant the bamboo. Many people feel worried about how much water to give it, but The Bamboo Plant Care Book reassures you and guides you through the entire process so that all your worries and questions are addressed!
Many people ask how on earth they can choose the perfect bamboo for them, given how many varieties there are. The Bamboo Plant Care Book has all the information you need, regardless of what you want to do with your bamboo!
A common misconception is that bamboo will only grow in wet areas but this myth is exploded by this book which shows you that Bamboo will, in fact, grow anywhere - even in a bucket inside your house!
People have long feared that Bamboo is simply too difficult to grow in areas where it is not found naturally, but The Bamboo Plant Care Book will show you how you can grow Bamboo in most areas, whether naturally dry or wet.
The book won't leave a single stone unturned!
THE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO WILD EDIBLE PLANTS describes the physical characteristics, habitat and distribution, and edible parts of wild plants. With color photography throughout, this guide facilitates the identification of these plants.
Originally intended for Army use, this book serves as a survival aid for civilians as well. Anyone interested in the outdoors, botany, or even in unusual sources of nutrition will find this an indispensable resource.
At the same time, many of us are removed from the world where wood is shaped and celebrated every day. That world is inhabited by a unique assortment of eccentric craftsmen and passionate enthusiasts who have created some of the world's most beloved musical instruments, feared weapons, dazzling architecture, sacred relics, and bizarre forms of transportation. In A Splintered History of Wood, Spike Carlsen has uncovered the most outlandish characters and examples, from world-champion chainsaw carvers to blind woodworkers, the Miraculous Staircase to the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and many more, in a passionate and personal exploration of nature's greatest gift.
This book, a major revision and expansion of Peter H. Pearse's 1990 classic, provides this grounding. Updated and enhanced with advanced empirical presentation of materials, it covers the basic economic principles and concepts and their application to modern forest management and policy issues.Forest Economics draws on the strengths of two of the field's leading practitioners who have more than fifty years of combined experience in teaching forest economics in the United States and Canada. Its comprehensive and systematic analysis of forest issues makes it an indispensable resource for students and practitioners of forest management, natural resource conservation, and environmental studies.
This book is the basic introduction to the field, showing how botany, anthropology, ecology, economics and linguistics are all employed in the techniques and methods involved. It explains data collection and hypothesis testing and provides practical ideas on fieldwork ethics and the application of results to conservation and community development. Case studies illustrate the explanations, demonstrating the importance of collaboration in achieving results.
Published with WWF, UNESCO and Royal Botanic Gardens Kew.
Picture boxwoods trimmed into whimsical Russian nesting dolls, hedges inscribed with words, and a tree snipped to resemble the toppling tiers of a wedding cake. These are just a few of the unusual ideas featured in the beautifully photographed pages. All the practical considerations are here as well, including pruning to improve a view, remedial pruning to fix problems, and pruning fruit trees to increase yield.
Featured trees include the American Beech, Ginkgo, Red Maple, Southern Magnolia, Tulip Poplar, White Oak, White Pine, American Sycamore, Black Walnut and Eastern Red Cedar.
In this lavishly illustrated volume, the trees that have enriched our lives finally get their full due, through a focus on the humble leaves that serve, in a sense, as their public face. The Book of Leaves offers a visually stunning and scientifically engaging guide to six hundred of the most impressive and beautiful leaves from around the world. Each leaf is reproduced here at its actual size, in full color, and is accompanied by an explanation of the range, distribution, abundance, and habitat of the tree on which it’s found. Brief scientific and historical accounts of each tree and related species include fun-filled facts and anecdotes that broaden its portrait.
The Henry’s Maple, for instance, found in China and named for an Irish doctor who collected leaves there, bears little initial resemblance to the statuesque maples of North America, from its diminutive stature to its unusual trifoliolate leaves. Or the Mediterranean Olive, which has been known to live for more than 1,500 years and whose short, narrow leaves only fall after two or three years, pushed out in stages by the emergence of younger leaves.
From the familiar friends of our backyards to the giants of deep woods, The Book of Leaves brings the forest to life—and to our living rooms—as never before.
Focusing on widely grown trees, this captivating book describes the rewards of careful and regular tree viewing, outlines strategies for improving your observations, and describes some of the most visually interesting tree structures, including leaves, flowers, buds, leaf scars, twigs, and bark. In-depth profiles of ten familiar species—including such beloved trees as white oak, southern magnolia, white pine, and tulip poplar—show you how to recognize and understand many of their most compelling (but usually overlooked) physical features.
Under the editorial guidance of agroecology experts Martha Rosemeyer and the internationally renowned Dr. Stephen R. Gliessman, The Conversion to Sustainable Agriculture: Principles, Processes, and Practices establishes a framework for how this conversion can be accomplished and presents case studies from around the world that illustrate how the process is already underway. The book provides a four-stage transition process for achieving sustainability and an in-depth analysis of the global efforts to make farms more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
An international team of chapter contributors explores ways to lessen dependency on fossil fuels and pesticides, and examines each step in the conversion process. They also describe the process of monitoring change toward sustainable agriculture while integrating social and economic analysis within scientific practices. Serving as both a core textbook for students and a comprehensive reference for agricultural practitioners, this volume is a valuable resource for the change that is needed in our food system now and in the future.
As vividly as John Krakauer puts readers on Everest, John Vaillant takes us into the heart of North America's last great forest.
• Field-tested by forestry experts
Identify trees in any season, not just when they are in full leaf. This field-tested guide features color photos showing bark; branching patterns; fruits, flowers, or nuts; and overall appearance; as well as leaf color and shape—all chosen specifically to illustrate trees in spring, summer, winter, and fall. Accompanying text describes common locations and identifying characteristics. Created for in-the-field or at-home use, this guide includes an easy-to-use key that will help you put a name to any tree by flipping only a few pages. Covers every common tree in eastern North America.
Out of all the trees in the world, the ash is most closely bound up with who we are: the tree we have made the greatest and most varied use of over the course of human history. One frigid winter morning, Robert Penn lovingly selected an ash tree and cut it down. He wanted to see how many beautiful, handmade objects could be made from it.
Thus begins an adventure of craftsmanship and discovery. Penn visits the shops of modern-day woodworkers—whose expertise has been handed down through generations—and finds that ancient woodworking techniques are far from dead. He introduces artisans who create a flawless axe handle, a rugged and true wagon wheel, a deadly bow and arrow, an Olympic-grade toboggan, and many other handmade objects using their knowledge of ash’s unique properties. Penn connects our daily lives back to the natural woodlands that once dominated our landscapes.
Throughout his travels—from his home in Wales, across Europe, and America—Penn makes a case for the continued and better use of the ash tree as a sustainable resource and reveals some of the dire threats to our ash trees. The emerald ash borer, a voracious and destructive beetle, has killed tens of millions of ash trees across North America since 2002. Unless we are prepared to act now and better value our trees, Penn argues, the ash tree and its many magnificent contributions to mankind will become a thing of the past. This exuberant tale of nature, human ingenuity, and the pleasure of making things by hand chronicles how the urge to understand and appreciate trees still runs through us all like grain through wood.
Part of a new generation of natural history guides, Trees is packed full of stunning images that reveal intricate details and unique characteristics of the specimens featured. Expertly written and including examples from across the globe, these guides will give you knowledge of the natural world at your fingertips.
With a detailed introduction on the evolution of trees, tree classification and the types of forests and habitats that can be found across the world, Nature Guide Trees is the ideal tree identification guide.
In O'Nights, Cecily Parks constructs stunning manifestations of a modern Thoreauvian wilderness, investigating how the natural world gives shape to the self, body, and emotions. These lyrical, transcendental poems study the duality of nature's feminine and masculine identities, and in its simplicity, offers a space where humankind truly belongs.
This progress, as in the wind-scalloped snowmeadow
pretending to be moon. This love that sets us scrambling
over the map's last ridge, our red hoods bright
in shrunken sky. This metallic weather in which we
are the ore. This alder. These crimson-tipped willows
reverberating next to a river of turquoise ice. This
following the deep tracks of one coyote stepping
where another has stepped. This wilderness
that we trespass, burning like berries in the juniper
and becoming the air in the belfry.
Cecily Parks is the author of the chapbook Cold Work (Poetry Society of America, 2005) and the collection Field Folly Snow (University of Georgia Press, 2008), which was a finalist for the Norma Farber First Book Award and the Glasgow/Shenandoah Prize for Emerging Writers. Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, Kenyon Review, Orion, Tin House, Virginia Quarterly Review, the Yale Review, and elsewhere. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
‘One of the publishing sensations of the year ... For anyone who has ever felt a little overwhelmed in a big city, or wanted to step out of the rat race for an hour or two, Jack Cooke will be something of an inspiration.’ – Robert Hardman, Daily Mail
A wonderful cocktail of engaging writing, beautiful illustration and heartfelt appreciation for the natural world. An essential oddity for any book collection.
In this charming, witty and exquisitely illustrated companion, Jack Cooke explores the city through its canopy; teetering on the edge of an oak’s branches, scurrying up a Scots pine, spying views from the treetops that few have ever had the chance to see. He takes us through the parks, over the canals and rivers and into secret gardens on his journey sometimes only ten foot above the street.
Part guidebook, part meditation on the consolations of nature, The Tree Climber’s Guide is as uniquely odd, alluring and motley as the trees themselves. It is a journey into the tangle of bark and branches that surround us all and a welcome reminder that the best things in life are free – they just sometimes require a step in the right direction.
It is compact enough to fit in the pocket, yet packed with essential information for the natural history enthusiast.
Renowned natural history artists including Cy Baker, David Daly, Colin Emberson and Lyn Wells painted the illustrations.
This book gives detailed information, based on new and original scientfic findings, on the examination and effects of the most important species of fungi associated with failure of infected urban trees. In addition, new ways are presented for predicting the advance of decay in the living tree. The subject is illustrated and made easily accessible by numerous colored photos of fungus fruit bodies, defect symptoms, and macroscopic and microscopic pictures of wood decay. A detailed introduction to the fundamentals of wood pathology provides a way into the subjects of applied mycology and tree care for readers without previous special knowledge. Francis W.M.R. Schwarze, National Diploma of Arboriculture at Merrist Wood College, UK (1991), Master of Science in Pure, Applied Plant and Fungal Taxonomy, University of Reading, UK (1992), doctorate at Freiburg University (1995), since 1996 assistant at the Institute for Forest Botany and Tree Physiology at Freiburg University, concentrating on research into wood-destroying fungi and host-fungus interactions.
Julia Engels, Diploma Forester at Freiburg University (1995), doctorate on root fungi at Freiburg University (1998). Since 1998 active in tree care and mycology in Luxembourg.
Claus Mattheck, born 1947, doctorate in theoretical physics (1973), qualified as lecturer on damage studies at Karlsruhe University (1985), and now teaches there as Professor. Since 1991 he has been an officially appointed and attested expert on tree mechanics and fracture behaviour. Has been awarded numerous prizes for research and publication. Head of the Biomechanics Department at the Karlsruhe Research Centre.
There are redwoods in California that were ancient by the time Columbus first landed, and pines still alive that germinated around the time humans invented writing. There are Douglas firs as tall as skyscrapers, and a banyan tree in Calcutta as big as a football field.
From the tallest to the smallest, trees inspire wonder in all of us, and in The Tree, Colin Tudge travels around the world—throughout the United States, the Costa Rican rain forest, Panama and Brazil, India, New Zealand, China, and most of Europe—bringing to life stories and facts about the trees around us: how they grow old, how they eat and reproduce, how they talk to one another (and they do), and why they came to exist in the first place. He considers the pitfalls of being tall; the things that trees produce, from nuts and rubber to wood; and even the complicated debt that we as humans owe them.
Tudge takes us to the Amazon in flood, when the water is deep enough to submerge the forest entirely and fish feed on fruit while river dolphins race through the canopy. He explains the “memory” of a tree: how those that have been shaken by wind grow thicker and sturdier, while those attacked by pests grow smaller leaves the following year; and reveals how it is that the same trees found in the United States are also native to China (but not Europe).
From tiny saplings to centuries-old redwoods and desert palms, from the backyards of the American heartland to the rain forests of the Amazon and the bamboo forests, Colin Tudge takes the reader on a journey through history and illuminates our ever-present but often ignored companions.
Meuninck moves the user from simple and familiar plants toward less common plants more difficult to identify. Each of the 122 plants has a color photograph, plant description, and location. Identification of plants are grouped from common to rare in the environment and where they are found: prairies, woodlands, mountains, deserts, and wetlands.
Relevant facts about each plant such as toxicity, historical uses, modern uses, as well as wildlife/veterinary uses are also listed. Additional information included in this extraordinary field guide: explanations of how each plant affects the human body; cultural and ethnic uses of medicinal herbs and cooking spices; others creatures who consume the plants; a list of most recommended garden herbs; web site resources, and much more.
The Author's Notes provide personal experiences and novel skills honed from over forty years of experience. They include: gardening tips, recipes, formulations, humor, successful experiences, and more.
There is no field guide as all-encompassing and detailed as this one, yet it's portable and easy to understand.
Next he travels to Arica Chile where there have been fourteen consecutive years without a drop of rain and so fog is people's only source of water. Going from the driest to the wettest, he visits Mawsynram in India which annually competes for the title with its neighbour Cherrapunji. However, Nick discovers even here, that during the dry season, there is water shortage and one entrepreneur has started selling it bottled.
Finally his journey takes him to Dalol in Ethiopia known as the 'hell hole of creation' where the temperature remains at 94 degrees year round. Here Nick will join miners who work all day with no shade, limited water and no protective clothing.
The book and series consider how and why people lives in these harsh environments. How does Nick's body react to these contrasting extremes? He looks at the geographical and meteorological conditions. He meets local characters and discovers the history of these settlements to find out how they ever became populated. He looks at the way both the population, and the flora and fauna, have adapted physically to the climate, and also considers the psychological impact of living under such conditions.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
The beetle didn't act alone. Misguided science, out-of-control logging, bad public policy, and a hundred years of fire suppression created a volatile geography that released the world's oldest forest manager from all natural constraints. Like most human empires, the beetles exploded wildly and then crashed, leaving in their wake grieving landowners, humbled scientists, hungry animals, and altered watersheds. Although climate change triggered this complex event, human arrogance assuredly set the table. With little warning, an ancient insect pointedly exposed the frailty of seemingly stable manmade landscapes.
Drawing on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents, award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, investigates this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds.
Look out for David Haskell's new book, The Songs of Tree: Stories From Nature's Great Connectors, coming in April of 2017
In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.
Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home.
Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards.
From the Hardcover edition.