A selection of 26 of Quammen's most durable and engaging essays from his monthly column in Outside magazine, written between 1981 to 1996. Topics include rattlesnake handlers, eel mythology and arachnophobia.
When Ben Hewitt and his wife bought a sprawling acreage of field and forest in northern Vermont, they were eager to start a self-sustaining family farm. But over the years, the land became so much more than a building site; it became the birthplace of their two sons, the main source of family income and food, and even a classroom for their children. Through self-directed play, exploration, and experimentation on their farm, Hewitt's children learned how to play and read, test boundaries and challenge themselves, fail and recover. Best of all, this environment allowed their personalities to flourish, fueling further growth. In Home Grown, Hewitt shows us how small, mindful decisions about day-to-day life can lead to greater awareness of the world in our backyards and beyond. In telling the story of his sons' unconventional education in the fields and forests surrounding his family's farm, he demonstrates that the sparks of learning are all around us, just waiting to be discovered. Learning is a lifelong process--and the best education is never confined to a classroom.
The dawn chorus: a single voice cutting through the morning mist soon develops into a symphony of different songs hailing the new day. Many of these songbirds are familiar and iconic features of wildlife, and yet much about their lives remains mysterious, even to scientists. There is a simple pleasure in listening to birdsong, but curiosity on this enchanting phenomena will soon see you asking questions about every aspect of these birds lives from courting a potential mate and defending a territory, to mimicry and migration.
The bestselling author of The Accidental Billionaires and The 37th Parallel tells the fascinating Jurassic Park--like story of the genetic restoration of an extinct species--the woolly mammoth. "Paced like a thriller...Woolly reanimates history and breathes new life into the narrative of nature" (NPR).With his "unparalleled" (Booklist, starred review) writing, Ben Mezrich takes us on an exhilarating and true adventure story from the icy terrain of Siberia to the cutting-edge genetic labs of Harvard University. A group of scientists work to make fantasy reality by splicing DNA from frozen woolly mammoth into the DNA of a modern elephant. Will they be able to turn the hybrid cells into a functional embryo and potentially bring the extinct creatures to our modern world? Along with this team of brilliant scientists, a millionaire plans to build the world's first Pleistocene Park and populate a huge tract of the Siberian tundra with ancient herbivores as a hedge against an environmental ticking time bomb that is hidden deep within the permafrost. More than a story of genetics, this is a thriller illuminating the real-life race against global warming, of the incredible power of modern technology, of the brave fossil hunters who battle polar bears and extreme weather conditions, and the ethical quandary of cloning extinct animals. This "rollercoaster quest for the past and future" (Christian Science Monitor) asks us if we can right the wrongs of our ancestors who hunted the woolly mammoth to extinction and at what cost?
Hailed by The New York Times as "a passionately felt, deeply poetic book," the moving autobiographical work of Edward Abbey, considered the Thoreau of the American West, and his passion for the southwestern wilderness.Desert Solitaire is a collection of vignettes about life in the wilderness and the nature of the desert itself by park ranger and conservationist, Edward Abbey. The book details the unique adventures and conflicts the author faces, from dealing with the damage caused by development of the land or excessive tourism, to discovering a dead body. However Desert Solitaire is not just a collection of one man's stories, the book is also a philosophical memoir, full of Abbey's reflections on the desert as a paradox, at once beautiful and liberating, but also isolating and cruel. Often compared to Thoreau's Walden, Desert Solitaire is a powerful discussion of life's mysteries set against the stirring backdrop of the American southwestern wilderness.
An illustrated guide to the natural habitats and rich diversity of wildlife in the greater Minneapolis and St. Paul metro area
Though the Twin Cities and environs have proven a fine habitat for one particular species, the three million humans who call the area home share these 3,000 square miles with myriad animals and plants, all in a mosaic of various ecosystems. While most of the region's wildlife has lost its original habitat to agriculture and urban development, a significant patchwork of native and restored habitat remains--prairies, woods, and wetlands, along with pockets in the parks and open spaces throughout the cities and suburbs. This easy-to-use guide gives novice and long-time naturalists alike the tools to find and explore these natural places in the metropolitan Twin Cities, some within the city limits and all within an hour's drive of downtown Minneapolis.
John J. Moriarty is a congenial expert on the remarkable diversity of plants and animals in the region's habitats, from prairies and savannas to woods and wetlands such as swamps and marshes, to fens and bogs, lakes and rivers, and urban and suburban spots. Featuring Siah L. St. Clair's remarkable photographs, maps, and commentary on natural history, this field guide invites readers to investigate the Twin Cities' wildlife--familiar and obscure, sun-loving or nocturnal, shy or easily observed. Here are snapping turtles, otters, and Cooper's hawks, the wild lupines, white water lilies, and sprawling white oaks, among hundreds of species found in the wild, the park, or even the backyard. Including notes on invasive species and a list of references and organizations, this book is a perfect companion and an unparalleled resource for anyone interested in discovering the rich natural world of the Twin Cities.
Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street Journal), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In Underland, he delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth's underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself.
In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller The Old Ways, Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through "deep time"--the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present--he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk "hiding place" where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlane's own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls "the awful darkness within the world."
Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, Underland speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: "Are we being good ancestors to the future Earth?" Underland marks a new turn in Macfarlane's long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.
2017 Finalist - Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment Creative Book Award
2017 Finalist - Evans Biography and Handcart Award Combining natural history, humor, and personal narrative, Raising Wild is an intimate exploration of Nevada's Great Basin Desert, the wild and extreme land of high desert caliche and juniper, of pronghorn antelope and mountain lions, where wildfires and snowstorms threaten in equal measure. Michael Branch "earned his whiskers" in the Great Basin Desert of northwestern Nevada, in the wild and extreme landscape where he lives off the grid with his wife and two curious little girls. Shifting between pastoral passages on the beauty found in the desert and humorous tales of the humility of being a father, Raising Wild offers an intimate portrait of a landscape where mountain lions and ground squirrels can threaten in equal measure. With Branch's distinct lyricism and wit, this exceedingly barren landscape becomes a place resonant with the rattle of snakes, the plod of pronghorn antelope, and the rustle of juniper trees, a place that is teeming with energy, surprise, and an endless web of connections. Part memoir, part homage to an environment all-to-often brushed aside as inhospitable, Raising Wild offers an intergenerational approach to nature, family, and the forgotten language of wildness.
Amidst the "lost" holidays of the equinoxes, May Day, Hallowmas, and Yule, we learn the life stories of her beloved animals and crops--chicken, pig, lamb, apples, basil, tomatoes. May apple blossoms are sweet fruit for rambunctious sheep in June. And come September, the harvest draws together neighbors for cider making under the waning summer sun. The living beings she is tending fuel one another--and the community--day to day, season by season.
By examining what eating seasonally really means, the "ancient" reclaimed calendar becomes a source of wisdom. How do we set down roots and break new ground in spring? How to best nourish body and soul in the heat of deep summer? And what can we learn by simply paying more attention to weather patterns than to our social network feeds? Cold Antler Farm encourages us to eat and live well with respect to for the natural rhythm of the seasons. In turn we learn what it means to be truly connected, not super-networked.