The Singing Wilderness is Sigurd Olson's first and best-selling book, with over 70,000 copies sold in hardcover since its release in 1956. Now available in paperback for the first time, this volume established Olson as a major writer renowned for the beauty of his prose and the clarity of his vision.
"The singing wilderness has to do with the calling of the loons, northern lights, and the great silences of a land lying northwest of Lake Superior", Olson writes. "It is concerned with the simple joys, the timelessness and perspective found in a way of life that is close to the past. I have heard the singing in many places, but I seem to hear it best in the wilderness".
Olson tells his story through descriptions of the simple events in nature that bring meaning to his life: picking berries, looking for pine knots, fly-fishing, hiking through the forest, paddling a canoe. "The movement of a canoe is like a reed in the wind", he writes. "Silence is part of it, and the sounds of lapping water, bird songs, and wind in the trees. It is part of the medium through which it floats, the sky, the water, the shores".
These astonishing portraits of the natural world explore the breathtaking diversity of the unspoiled American landscape--the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. Conjuring up one extraordinary vision after another, Aldo Leopold takes readers with him on the road and through the seasons on a fantastic tour of our priceless natural resources, explaining the destructive effects humankind has had on the land and issuing a bold challenge to protect the world we love.
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.
Time was, a man had to know certain things in this life. He had to use his callused hands and the knowledge passed down through the generations to carve a homestead from the wilderness and to feed his family by hunting and trapping animals or coaxing crops from the earth. But today, as men trade hammer and ax for computer and fax, and a cabin in the woods for a place in the burbs, these manly skills are in danger of disappearing forever.
To the rescue comes Denis Boyles, columnist for Men's Health magazine, with a priceless treasury of forgotten lore and dozens of projects designed to rekindle that dying ember of machismo. Culled from U.S. government pamphlets, turn-of-the-century publications and old scouting manuals, this guide to lost lore contains projects on camping, hunting and fishing, farming and much more. Such skills as sending smoke signals, tracking a bobcat or moose, turning a bike into a steam-powered motorcycle and building a cozy log cabin are all included. In a world full of mama's boys, The Lost Lore of a Man's Life is the ultimate guide to reclaiming a man's lost heritage.
Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world's preeminent biologists, has revolutionized scientific thinking with his vision of a living, developing universe--one with its own inherent memory. In The Rebirth of Nature, Sheldrake urges us to move beyond the centuries-old mechanistic view of nature, explaining why we can no longer regard the world as inanimate and purposeless. Sheldrake shows how recent developments in science itself have brought us to the threshold of a new synthesis in which traditional wisdom, intuitive experience, and scientific insight can be mutually enriching.
In 1543, Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus challenged the view that the Sun revolved around the Earth, arguing instead that the Earth revolved around the Sun. His paper led to a revolution in thinking to a new worldview. "Eco-Economy" discusses the need today for a similar shift in our worldview. The issue now is whether the environment is part of the economy or the economy is part of the environment. Lester R. Brown argues the latter, pointing out that treating the environment as part of the economy has produced an economy that is destroying its natural support systems. Brown notes that if China were to have a car in every garage, American style, it would need 80 million barrels of oil a day more than the world currently produces. If paper consumption per person in China were to reach the U.S. level, China would need more paper than the world produces. There go the world's forests. If the fossil fuel-based, automobile-centered, throwaway economic model will not work for China, it will not work for the other 3 billion people in the developing world and it will not work for the rest of the world. But Brown is optimistic as he describes how to restructure the global economy to make it compatible with the Earth's ecosystem so that economic progress can continue. In the new economy, wind farms replace coal mines, hydrogen-powered fuel cells replace internal combustion engines, and cities are designed for people, not cars. Glimpses of the new economy can be seen in the wind farms of Denmark, the solar rooftops of Japan, and the bicycle network of the Netherlands. "Eco-Economy" is a road map of how to get from here to there."
The Klamath Basin is a land of teeming wildlife, expansive marshes, blue-ribbon trout streams, tremendous stretches of forests, and large ranches in southern Oregon and northern California. Known to waterfowl, songbirds, and shorebirds, the Klamath Basin's marshlands are a mecca for birds along the Pacific Flyway. This gorgeously illustrated book is a paean to the beauty of the Klamath Basin and at the same time a sophisticated environmental case study of an endangered region whose story parallels that of watershed development throughout the west.A collaboration between two photographers and a writer, Balancing Water tells the story in words and pictures of the complex relationship between the human and natural history of this region. Spectacular images by Tupper Ansel Blake depict resident species of the area, migratory birds, and dramatic landscapes. Madeleine Graham Blake has contributed portraits of local residents, while archival photographs document the history of the area. William Kittredge's essay on the conjunction of conflicting interests in this wildlands paradise is by turns lyrically personal and brimming with historical and scientific facts. He traces the water flowing through the Klamath Basin, the human history of the watershed, and the land-use conflicts that all touch on the availability of water. Ranchers, loggers, town settlers, Native Americans, tourists, and environmentalists are all represented in the narrative, and their diverse perspectives form a complicated web like that of the interactions among organisms in the ecosystem. Kittredge finds hope in the endangered Klamath Basin, both in successful restoration projects recently begun there, and in the community involvement he sees as necessary for watershed restoration and biodiversity preservation. Emphasizing that we must take care of both human economies and the natural environment, he shows how the two are ultimately interconnected. The Klamath Basin can be a model for watershed restoration elsewhere in the west, as we search for creative ways of solving our intertwined ecological and social problems.
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.
From Alberta and Saskatchewan to Texas and Illinois, a collection of stories, essays, poems, and songs brings to life the vibrant heritage of the North American Prairie. Teacher's Guide available.