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 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.
Award-winning nature author Jerry Dennis reveals the splendor and beauty of North America's Great Lakes in this "masterwork"* history and memoir of the essential environmental and economical region shared by the United States and Canada.No bodies of water compare to the Great Lakes. Superior is the largest lake on earth, and together all five contain a fifth of the world's supply of standing fresh water. Their ten thousand miles of shoreline border eight states and a Canadian province and are longer than the entire Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States. Their surface area of 95,000 square miles is greater than New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island combined. People who have never visited them--who have never seen a squall roar across Superior or the horizon stretch unbroken across Michigan or Huron--have no idea how big they are. They are so vast that they dominate much of the geography, climate, and history of North America, affecting the lives of tens of millions of people. The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas is the definitive book about the history, nature, and science of these remarkable lakes at the heart of North America. From the geological forces that formed them and the industrial atrocities that nearly destroyed them, to the greatest environmental success stories of our time, Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario are portrayed in all their complexity. A Michigan native, Jerry Dennis also shares his memories of a lifetime on or near the lakes, including a six-week voyage as a crewmember on a tallmasted schooner. On his travels, he collected more stories of the lakes through the eyes of biologists, fishermen, sailors, and others he befriended while hiking the area's beaches and islands. Through storms and fog, on remote shores and city waterfronts, Dennis explores the five Great Lakes in all seasons and moods and discovers that they and their connecting waters--including the Erie Canal, the Hudson River, and the East Coast from New York to Maine--offer a surprising and bountiful view of America. The result is a meditation on nature and our place in the world, a discussion and cautionary tale about the future of water resources, and a celebration of a place that is both fragile and robust, diverse, rich in history and wildlife, often misunderstood, and worthy of our attention. "This is history at its best and adventure richly described."--*Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors and 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award Winner
Winner of Best Book of 2003 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America
Brilliant, meditative, and full of surprises, wisdom, and wonder.--Ann Lamott, author of Imperfect Birds
A Kansas City Star Best Book of the Year
I am leaving you all my journals, but you must promise me you won't look at them until after I'm gone. This is what Terry Tempest Williams's mother, the matriarch of a large Mormon clan in northern Utah, told her a week before she died. It was a shock to Williams to discover that her mother had kept journals. But not as much of a shock as it was to discover that the three shelves of journals were all blank. In fifty-four short chapters, Williams recounts memories of her mother, ponders her own faith, and contemplates the notion of absence and presence art and in our world. When Women Were Birds is a carefully crafted kaleidoscope that keeps turning around the question: What does it mean to have a voice?
The future of the world's ice is at a critical juncture marked by international debate about climate change and almost daily reports about glaciers and ice shelves breaking, oceans rising, and temperatures spiking across the globe. These changing landscapes and the public discourse surrounding them are changing fast. It is science wrought with mystery, and for Beth Peterson it became personal.A few months after Peterson moved to a tiny village on the edge of Europe's largest glacier, things began to disappear. The glacier was melting at breakneck pace, and people she knew vanished: her professor went missing while summiting a volcano in Japan, and a friend wandered off a mountain trail in Norway. Finally, Peterson took a harrowing forty-foot fall while ice climbing. Peterson's effort to make sense of these losses led to travels across Scandinavia, Italy, England and back to the United States. She visited a cryonics institute, an ice core lab, a wunderkammer, Wittgenstein's cabin, and other museums and libraries. She spoke with historians, guides, and scientists in search of answers. Her search for a noted glacier museum in Norway led to news that the renowned building had set on fire in the middle of the night before and burned to the ground. Dispatches from the End of Ice is part science, part lyric essay, and part research reportage--all structured around a series of found artifacts (a map, a museum, an inventory, a book) in an attempt to understand the idea of disappearance. It is a brilliant synthesis of science, storytelling, and research in the spirit of essayists like Robert Macfarlane, John McPhee, and Joni Tevis. Peterson's work veers into numerous terrains, orbiting the idea of vanishing and the taxonomies of loss both in an unstable world and in our individual lives.
In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace, resulting in a work that has become a classic.
Written in the last years of his life, Reflections from the North Country is often considered Sigurd Olson's most intellectually significant work. In an account alive with anecdote and insight, Olson outlines the wilderness philosophy he developed while working as an outspoken advocate for the conservation of America's natural heritage.
Based on speeches delivered at town meetings and government hearings, this book joins The Singing Wilderness and Listening Point as the core of Olson's work. Upon its initial publication in 1976, Reflections from the North Country, with Olson's unique combination of lyrical nature writing and activism, became an inspiration to the burgeoning environmental movement, selling over 46,000 copies in hardcover.
In this wide-ranging work, Olson evokes the soaring grace of raven, osprey, and eagle, the call of the loon, and the song of the hermit thrush. He challenges the reader to loosen the grasp of technology and the rush of contemporary life and make room for a sense of wonder heightened by being in nature. From evolution to the meaning and power of solitude, Olson meditates on the human condition, offering eloquent testimony to the joys and truths he discovered in his beloved north-country wilderness.
Wait, young Douglas's grandfather says as the bobber twitches on the surface of Little Lake. Be patient. And so begins an encounter with the promise and wonder of nature that will last a lifetime. Deep Woods, Wild Waters traces the winding path that carried Douglas Wood from one wonder to the next, through a landscape of rocks, woods, and waters, with stops along the way for questions and reflections that link human nature to the larger mysteries of the natural world.
Like life itself, the author's way is not linear. One landmark leads back to a favorite campsite, another prompts him to consider the "gospel of rocks," another launches him into the wilderness beyond the stars--a contemplation of time and space and humanity's place in all of it. The creator of thirty-four books, including the classic Old Turtle, and an expert woodsman and wilderness canoe guide, Wood brings all his storytelling and bushwhacking skills to bear as he takes us hurtling down wild rapids, crossing stormy lakes, or simply navigating the treacherous currents and twisty trails of everyday life.
A warm, generous, and knowing guide, Wood maps a journey that, as he says, "anyone can take, through a landscape anyone can know." Turning the pages, hiking the portages, running the rapids, or scanning the wild country from high promontory, he invites us to say, in a soul-satisfying moment of recognition, "I know that place."
America has more than 250,000 rivers, coursing over more than 3 million miles, connecting the disparate regions of the United States. On a map they can look like the veins, arteries, and capillaries of a continent-wide circulatory system, and in a way they are. Over the course of this nation's history rivers have served as integral trade routes, borders, passageways, sewers, and sinks. Over the years, based on our shifting needs and values, we have harnessed their power with waterwheels and dams, straightened them for ships, drained them with irrigation canals, set them on fire, and even attempted to restore them.
In this fresh and powerful work of environmental history, Martin Doyle tells the epic story of America and its rivers, from the U.S. Constitution's roots in interstate river navigation, the origins of the Army Corps of Engineers, the discovery of gold in 1848, and the construction of the Hoover Dam and the TVA during the New Deal, to the failure of the levees in Hurricane Katrina and the water wars in the west. Along the way, he explores how rivers have often been the source of arguments at the heart of the American experiment--over federalism, sovereignty and property rights, taxation, regulation, conservation, and development.
Through his encounters with experts all over the country--a Mississippi River tugboat captain, an Erie Canal lock operator, a dendrochronologist who can predict the future based on the story trees tell about the past, a western rancher fighting for water rights--Doyle reveals the central role rivers have played in American history--and how vital they are to its future.