The Songs of Trees

The Songs of Trees Author David George Haskell
ISBN-10 9780698176508
Year 2017-04-04
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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The author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Forest Unseen visits with nature’s most magnificent networkers — trees "At once lyrical and informative, filled with beauty." – Elizabeth Kolbert, author of The Sixth Extinction David Haskell’s award-winning The Forest Unseen won acclaim for eloquent writing and deep engagement with the natural world. Now, Haskell brings his powers of observation to the biological networks that surround all species, including humans. Haskell repeatedly visits a dozen trees around the world, exploring the trees’ connections with webs of fungi, bacterial communities, cooperative and destructive animals, and other plants. An Amazonian ceibo tree reveals the rich ecological turmoil of the tropical forest, along with threats from expanding oil fields. Thousands of miles away, the roots of a balsam fir in Canada survive in poor soil only with the help of fungal partners. These links are nearly two billion years old: the fir’s roots cling to rocks containing fossils of the first networked cells. By unearthing charcoal left by Ice Age humans and petrified redwoods in the Rocky Mountains, Haskell shows how the Earth’s climate has emerged from exchanges among trees, soil communities, and the atmosphere. Now humans have transformed these networks, powering our societies with wood, tending some forests, but destroying others. Haskell also attends to trees in places where humans seem to have subdued “nature” – a pear tree on a Manhattan sidewalk, an olive tree in Jerusalem, a Japanese bonsai– demonstrating that wildness permeates every location. Every living being is not only sustained by biological connections, but is made from these relationships. Haskell shows that this networked view of life enriches our understanding of biology, human nature, and ethics. When we listen to trees, nature’s great connectors, we learn how to inhabit the relationships that give life its source, substance, and beauty.

The Forest Unseen

The Forest Unseen Author David George Haskell
ISBN-10 9781101561065
Year 2012-03-15
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of old-growth forest--a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award 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.

Teaching the Trees Lessons from the Forest

Teaching the Trees  Lessons from the Forest Author Joan Maloof
ISBN-10 9780820335988
Year 2010-09-15
Pages 176
Language en
Publisher University of Georgia Press
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In this collection of natural-history essays, biologist Joan Maloof embarks on a series of lively, fact-filled expeditions into forests of the eastern United States. Through Maloof’s engaging, conversational style, each essay offers a lesson in stewardship as it explores the interwoven connections between a tree species and the animals and insects whose lives depend on it--and who, in turn, work to ensure the tree’s survival. Never really at home in a laboratory, Maloof took to the woods early in her career. Her enthusiasm for firsthand observation in the wild spills over into her writing, whether the subject is the composition of forest air, the eagle’s preference for nesting in loblolly pines, the growth rings of the bald cypress, or the gray squirrel’s fondness for weevil-infested acorns. With a storyteller’s instinct for intriguing particulars, Maloof expands our notions about what a tree “is” through her many asides--about the six species of leafhoppers who eat only sycamore leaves or the midges who live inside holly berries and somehow prevent them from turning red. As a scientist, Maloof accepts that trees have a spiritual dimension that cannot be quantified. As an unrepentant tree hugger, she finds support in the scientific case for biodiversity. As an activist, she can’t help but wonder how much time is left for our forests.

The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining

The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining Author David Haskell
ISBN-10 9781613125649
Year 2013-10-22
Pages 224
Language en
Publisher Abrams
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A new generation of urban bootleggers is distilling whiskey at home, and cocktail enthusiasts have embraced the nuances of brown liquors. Written by the founders of Kings County Distillery, New York City’s first distillery since Prohibition, this spirited illustrated book explores America’s age-old love affair with whiskey. It begins with chapters on whiskey’s history and culture from 1640 to today, when the DIY trend and the classic cocktail craze have conspired to make it the next big thing. For those thirsty for practical information, the book next provides a detailed, easy-to-follow guide to safe home distilling, complete with a list of supplies, step-by-step instructions, and helpful pictures, anecdotes, and tips. The final section focuses on the contemporary whiskey scene, featuring a list of microdistillers, cocktail and food recipes from the country’s hottest mixologists and chefs, and an opinionated guide to building your own whiskey collection. Praise for The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: “The moonshining world is notoriously full of orally-perpetuated misinformation and the legitimate whiskey industry is full of marketing lies and half-truths; Spoelman and Haskell have thankfully defied those traditions and released an educational book of honesty and transparency.” —Serious Eats

Nature s Body

Nature s Body Author Londa L. Schiebinger
ISBN-10 081353531X
Year 1993
Pages 289
Language en
Publisher Rutgers University Press
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Winner of the Ludwik Fleck Book Prize, Society for Social Studies of Science, 1995 "Schiebinger lays bare the cultural narratives that mix so easily with science. They are at the same time hilarious and eerie, silly and profoundly disturbing. Schiebinger is brilliant in showing how tales of gender and race are told in other guises."--Thomas Laqueur, author of Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud "[Nature's Body] is so wonderfully humorous and is done with such careful attention to detail, the reader cannot help but see the profound implications of the history of science for modern science. Indispensable for all anthropologists, historians, philosophers, and practitioners of science."--Emily Martin, author of The Woman in the Body Eighteenth-century natural historians created a peculiar, and peculiarly durable, vision of nature--one that embodied the sexual and racial tensions of that era. When plants were found to reproduce sexually, eighteenth-century botanists ascribed to them passionate relations, polyandrous marriages, and suicidal incest, and accounts of steamy plant sex began to infiltrate the botanical literature of the day. Naturalists also turned their attention to the great apes just becoming known to eighteenth-century Europeans, clothing the females in silk vestments and training them to sip tea with the modest demeanor of English matrons, while imagining the males of the species fully capable of ravishing women. Written with humor and meticulous detail, Nature's Body draws on these and other examples to uncover the ways in which assumptions about gender, sex, and race have shaped scientific explanations of nature. Schiebinger offers a rich cultural history of science and a timely and passionate argument that science must be restructured in order to get it right.

Nature s Temples

Nature s Temples Author Joan Maloof
ISBN-10 9781604697766
Year 2016-11-16
Pages 200
Language en
Publisher Timber Press
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“Maloof eloquently urges us to cherish the wildness of what little old-growth woodlands we have left. . . . Not only are they home to the richest diversity of creatures, but they work hard for humans too.” —New York Times Book Review An old-growth forest is one that has formed naturally over a long period of time with little or no disturbance from humankind. They are increasingly rare and largely misunderstood. In Nature’s Temples, Joan Maloof, the director of the Old-Growth Forest Network, makes a heartfelt and passionate case for their importance. This evocative and accessible narrative defines old-growth and provides a brief history of forests. It offers a rare view into how the life-forms in an ancient, undisturbed forest—including not only its majestic trees but also its insects, plant life, fungi, and mammals—differ from the life-forms in a forest manipulated by humans. What emerges is a portrait of a beautiful, intricate, and fragile ecosystem that now exists only in scattered fragments. Black-and-white illustrations by Andrew Joslin help clarify scientific concepts and capture the beauty of ancient trees.

Thoreau and the Language of Trees

Thoreau and the Language of Trees Author Richard Higgins
ISBN-10 9780520294042
Year 2017-04-04
Pages 248
Language en
Publisher Univ of California Press
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Trees were central to Henry David Thoreau’s creativity as a writer, his work as a naturalist, his thought, and his inner life. His portraits of them were so perfect, it was as if he could see the sap flowing beneath their bark. When Thoreau wrote that the poet loves the pine tree as his own shadow in the air, he was speaking about himself. In short, he spoke their language. In this original book, Richard Higgins explores Thoreau’s deep connections to trees: his keen perception of them, the joy they gave him, the poetry he saw in them, his philosophical view of them, and how they fed his soul. His lively essays show that trees were a thread connecting all parts of Thoreau’s being—heart, mind, and spirit. Included are one hundred excerpts from Thoreau’s writings about trees, paired with over sixty of the author’s photographs. Thoreau’s words are as vivid now as they were in 1890, when an English naturalist wrote that he was unusually able to “to preserve the flashing forest colors in unfading light.” Thoreau and the Language of Trees shows that Thoreau, with uncanny foresight, believed trees were essential to the preservation of the world.

The Nature Fix Why Nature Makes Us Happier Healthier and More Creative

The Nature Fix  Why Nature Makes Us Happier  Healthier  and More Creative Author Florence Williams
ISBN-10 9780393242720
Year 2017-02-07
Pages 288
Language en
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
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An intrepid investigation into nature’s restorative benefits by a prize-winning author. For centuries, poets and philosophers extolled the benefits of a walk in the woods: Beethoven drew inspiration from rocks and trees; Wordsworth composed while tromping over the heath; and Nikola Tesla conceived the electric motor while visiting a park. Intrigued by our storied renewal in the natural world, Florence Williams set out to uncover the science behind nature’s positive effects on the brain. In this informative and entertaining account, Williams investigates cutting-edge research as she travels to fragrant cypress forests in Korea to meet the rangers who administer “forest healing programs,” to the green hills of Scotland and its “ecotherapeutic” approach to caring for the mentally ill, to a river trip in Idaho with Iraqi vets suffering from PTSD, to the West Virginia mountains where she discovers how being outside helps children with ADHD. The Nature Fix demonstrates that our connection to nature is much more important to our cognition than we think and that even small amounts of exposure to the living world can improve our creativity and enhance our mood. In prose that is incisive, witty, and urgent, Williams shows how time in nature is not a luxury but is in fact essential to our humanity. As our modern lives shift dramatically indoors, these ideas—and the answers they yield—are more urgent than ever.

The Wood for the Trees

The Wood for the Trees Author Richard Fortey
ISBN-10 1101911565
Year 2017-11-14
Pages 336
Language en
Publisher Vintage
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Award-winning scientist Richard Fortey, upon his retirement, purchased four acres of ancient woodland in the Chiltern Hills of Oxfordshire, England. The Wood for the Trees is the joyful, lyrical portrait of what he found there. Fortey leads us through the seasons over the course of a year, as he fells trees in winter, admires bluebells in spring, and hunts moths in June and mushrooms in September. Along the way he reconstructs the geology and history of the area, tracing the rich variety of plants, animals, and people who have shaped it, from Neolithic hunters to Tudor gentry to present-day Russian oligarchs. The result is evocative and illuminating: an exuberant biography of a small patch of land and the miraculous web of life that it sustains.

How Forests Think

How Forests Think Author Eduardo Kohn
ISBN-10 9780520276109
Year 2013-08-10
Pages 267
Language en
Publisher Univ of California Press
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Can forests think? Do dogs dream? In this astonishing book, Eduardo Kohn challenges the very foundations of anthropology, calling into question our central assumptions about what it means to be human—and thus distinct from all other life forms. Based on four years of fieldwork among the Runa of Ecuador’s Upper Amazon, Eduardo Kohn draws on his rich ethnography to explore how Amazonians interact with the many creatures that inhabit one of the world’s most complex ecosystems. Whether or not we recognize it, our anthropological tools hinge on those capacities that make us distinctly human. However, when we turn our ethnographic attention to how we relate to other kinds of beings, these tools (which have the effect of divorcing us from the rest of the world) break down. How Forests Think seizes on this breakdown as an opportunity. Avoiding reductionistic solutions, and without losing sight of how our lives and those of others are caught up in the moral webs we humans spin, this book skillfully fashions new kinds of conceptual tools from the strange and unexpected properties of the living world itself. In this groundbreaking work, Kohn takes anthropology in a new and exciting direction–one that offers a more capacious way to think about the world we share with other kinds of beings.

Witness Tree

Witness Tree Author Lynda V. Mapes
ISBN-10 9781632862549
Year 2017-04-11
Pages 240
Language en
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing USA
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An intimate look at one majestic hundred-year-old oak tree through four seasons--and the reality of global climate change it reveals. In the life of this one grand oak, we can see for ourselves the results of one hundred years of rapid environmental change. It's leafing out earlier, and dropping its leaves later as the climate warms. Even the inner workings of individual leaves have changed to accommodate more CO2 in our atmosphere. Climate science can seem dense, remote, and abstract. But through the lens of this one tree, it becomes immediate and intimate. In Witness Tree, environmental reporter Lynda V. Mapes takes us through her year living with one red oak at the Harvard Forest. We learn about carbon cycles and leaf physiology, but also experience the seasons as people have for centuries, watching for each new bud, and listening for each new bird and frog call in spring. We savor the cadence of falling autumn leaves, and glory of snow and starry winter nights. Lynda takes us along as she climbs high into the oak's swaying boughs, and scientists core deep into the oak's heartwood, dig into its roots and probe the teeming life of the soil. She brings us eye-level with garter snakes and newts, and alongside the squirrels and jays devouring the oak's acorns. Season by season she reveals the secrets of trees, how they work, and sustain a vast community of lives, including our own. The oak is a living timeline and witness to climate change. While stark in its implications, Witness Tree is a beautiful and lyrical read, rich in detail, sweeps of weather, history, people, and animals. It is a story rooted in hope, beauty, wonder, and the possibility of renewal in people's connection to nature.

Deep Roots

Deep Roots Author Nikki Tate
ISBN-10 9781459805842
Year 2016-02-09
Pages 48
Language en
Publisher Orca Book Publishers
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Most of us see trees every day, and too often we take them for granted. Trees provide us with everything from food, fuel and shelter to oxygen and filtered water. Deep Roots celebrates the central role trees play in our lives, no matter where we live. Each chapter in Deep Roots focuses on a basic element, water, air, fire and earth, and explores the many ways in which we need trees to keep our planet healthy and livable. From making rain to producing fruit to feeding fish, trees play an integral role in maintaining vibrant ecosystems all over the world. Facts about trees and hands-on activities throughout help readers discover ways to get to know our giant neighbors better.

Brilliant Green

Brilliant Green Author Stefano Mancuso
ISBN-10 9781610916035
Year 2015-03-12
Pages 189
Language en
Publisher Island Press
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In this book, a leading plant scientist offers a new understanding of the botanical world and a passionate argument for intelligent plant life. Are plants intelligent? Can they solve problems, communicate, and navigate their surroundings? For centuries, philosophers and scientists have argued that plants are unthinking and inert, yet discoveries over the past fifty years have challenged this idea, shedding new light on the complex interior lives of plants. In Brilliant Green, leading scientist Stefano Mancuso presents a new paradigm in our understanding of the vegetal world. He argues that plants process information, sleep, remember, and signal to one another-showing that, far from passive machines, plants are intelligent and aware. Part botany lesson, part manifesto, Brilliant Green is an engaging and passionate examination of the inner workings of the plant kingdom.