Reading the Forested Landscape A Natural History of New England

ISBN-10: 0881504203

ISBN-13: 9780881504200

Edition: N/A

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Description: An original portrait of New England's forests, tracing their evolution from precolonial days to the present through a study of the patterns we see today. Landscape is much more than scenery to be observed or even terrain to be traveled, as this fascinating and many-layered book vividly shows us. Etched into the land is the history of how we have inhabited it, the storms and fires that have shaped it, and its response to these and other changes. An intrepid sleuth and articulate tutor, Wessels teaches us to read a landscape the way we might solve a mystery. What exactly is the meaning of all those stone walls in the middle of the forest? Why do beech and birch trees have smooth bark when the bark of all other northern species is rough? How do you tell the age of a beaver pond and determine if beavers still live there? Why are pine trees dominant in one patch of forest and maples in another? What happened to the American chestnut? Turn to this book for the answers, and no walk in the woods will ever be the same. 60 black & white illustrations, index.

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Book details

List price: $21.95
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/20/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 200
Size: 8.50" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.386
Language: English

The naturalist John Muir was born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was 11 years old, he moved to the United States with his family and lived on a Wisconsin farm, where he had to work hard for long hours. He would rise as early as one o'clock in the morning in order to have time to study. At the urging of friends, he took some inventions he had made to a fair in Madison, Wisconsin. This trip resulted in his attending the University of Wisconsin. After four years in school, he began the travels that eventually took him around the world. Muir's inventing career came to an abrupt end in 1867, when he lost an eye in an accident while working on one of his mechanical inventions. Thereafter, he focused his attention on natural history, exploring the American West, especially the Yosemite region of California. Muir traveled primarily on foot carrying only a minimum amount of food and a bedroll. In 1880 Muir married Louie Strentzel, the daughter of an Austrian who began the fruit and wine industry in California. One of the first explorers to postulate the role of glaciers in forming the Yosemite Valley, Muir also discovered a glacier in Alaska that later was named for him. His lively descriptions of many of the natural areas of the United States contributed to the founding of Yosemite National Park in 1890. His urge to preserve these areas for posterity led to his founding of the Sierra Club in 1892.Naturalist, travel writer and artist Ann Zwinger has produced such books as The Nearsighted Naturalist, Women in the Wilderness (co-authored with her daughter, Susan), and Downcanyon: A Naturalist Explores the Colorado River Through the Grand Canyon (which won the Western States Book Award for Creative Nonfiction).

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