Nature was a form of religion for naturalist, essayist, and early environmentalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-62). In communing with the natural world, he wished to "live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and ... learn what it had to teach." Toward that end Thoreau built a cabin in the spring of 1845 on the shores of Walden Pond -- on land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson -- outside Concord, Massachusetts. There he observed nature, farmed, built fences, surveyed, and wrote in his journal.
One product of his two-year sojourn was this book -- a great classic of American letters. Interwoven with accounts of Thoreau's daily life (he received visitors and almost daily walked into Concord) are mediations on human existence, society, government, and other topics, expressed with wisdom and beauty of style.
Walden offers abundant evidence of Thoreau's ability to begin with observations on a mundane incident or the minutiae of nature and then develop these observations into profound ruminations on the most fundamental human concerns. Credited with influencing Tolstoy, Gandhi, and other thinkers, the volume remains a masterpiece of philosophical reflection.
A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Hemp, Cannabis sativa, has been called the world's most versatile plant. Materials made from hemp fiber have been discovered in tombs dating back to 7000 B.C. During the Middle Ages hemp was used to treat fevers, insomnia, and malaria. Columbus's ships had sails of hemp, and during colonial times it was universally grown because its strong fibers made superior ropes, sails, cloth, and paper. In fact, hemp was used for money in most of the Americas from 1631 until the early 1800s, and the original drafts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were written on hemp paper.As a food, the oil from hemp seeds has the highest percentage of essential fatty acids and the lowest percentage of saturated fats. Britain and Canada have recently lifted bans on growing industrial hemp and today it is reappearing in the marketplace in an amazing array of products: from lip-salve, jeans, salad oil, and cheese to paper products, composite fiberboard, and biomass fuel. This illustrated, easy-to-read guide covers all aspects of hemp: - The history of its cultivation worldwide - Its role as a source of renewable energy and as an alternative for paper manufacturing and fossil fuels - Its versatility as a fiber - Its many nutritional and medicinal uses - Examines the physiological and psychological effects of marijuana use in recreation and therapy - A comprehensive resource section includes information on organizations involved in legalizing hemp, product suppliers, and an annotated bibliography.
The bestselling author of A Natural History of the Senses now explores the allure of adultery, the appeal of aphrodisiacs, and the cult of the kiss. Enchantingly written and stunningly informed, this " audaciously brilliant romp through the world of romantic love" (Washington Post Book World) is the next best thing to love itself.
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.
For years, Tom Brown, Jr. has made a bestselling name for himself as the guru of nature, meditation, and mysticism with his extraordinary messages of hope for our earth and our inner selves. Founder of the Wilderness Survival School, Brown now shares his vision of harmony in a wilderness guide that has become a bible for both spiritualists and nature lovers.
With consummate craftsmanship, Mary Oliver has fashioned fifteen luminous prose pieces: on nature, writing, and herself and those around her. She praises Whitman, denounces cuteness, notes where to find the extraordinary, and extols solitude.
Americans love to colonize their beaches. But when storms threaten, high-ticket beachfront construction invariably takes precedence over coastal environmental concerns--we rescue the buildings, not the beaches. As Cornelia Dean explains in Against the Tide, this pattern is leading to the rapid destruction of our coast. But her eloquent account also offers sound advice for salvaging the stretches of pristine American shore that remain.The story begins with the tale of the devastating hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas, in 1900--the deadliest natural disaster in American history, which killed some six thousand people. Misguided residents constructed a wall to prevent another tragedy, but the barrier ruined the beach and ultimately destroyed the town's booming resort business. From harrowing accounts of natural disasters to lucid ecological explanations of natural coastal processes, from reports of human interference and construction on the shore to clear-eyed elucidation of public policy and conservation interests, this book illustrates in rich detail the conflicting interests, short-term responses, and long-range imperatives that have been the hallmarks of America's love affair with her coast. Intriguing observations about America's beaches, past and present, include discussions of Hurricane Andrew's assault on the Gulf Coast, the 1962 northeaster that ravaged one thousand miles of the Atlantic shore, the beleaguered beaches of New Jersey and North Carolina's rapidly vanishing Outer Banks, and the sand-starved coast of southern California. Dean provides dozens of examples of human attempts to tame the ocean--as well as a wealth of lucid descriptions of the ocean's counterattack. Readers will appreciate Against the Tide's painless course in coastal processes and new perspective on the beach.