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.
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.
The Control of Nature is John McPhee's bestselling account of places where people are locked in combat with nature. Taking us deep into these contested territories, McPhee details the strageties and tactics through which people attempt to control nature. Most striking is his depiction of the main contestants: nature in complex and awesome guises, and those attempting to wrest control from her - stubborn, sometimes foolhardy, more often ingenious, and always arresting characters.
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.
The acclaimed author of Refuge here weaves together a resonant and often rhapsodic manifesto on behalf of the landscapes she loves, combining the power of her observations in the field with her personal experience--as a woman, a Mormon, and a Westerner. Through the grace of her stories we come to see how a lack of intimacy with the natural world has initiated a lack of intimacy with each other.Williams shadows lions on the Serengeti and spots night herons in the Bronx. She pays homage to the rogue spirits of Edward Abbey and Georgia O'Keeffe, contemplates the unfathomable wildness of bears, and directs us to a politics of place. The result is an utterly persuasive book--one that has the power to change the way we live upon the earth.
Two thirds of the essays in the new edition of this widely used collection of essays in environmental economics are new. They range from seminal articles on the cost and the benefits of environmental protection to the goals and the means of environmental policy. Topical pieces probe critical issues such as global climate change and ecological values. Environmental policy options are explored in depth and the fundamental principles for assessing their benefits and costs are developed and illustrated.
Many people have a special place where they go to experience nature. Perhaps it is a cabin, or a campsite, or a favorite hiking trail. For Sigurd Olson it was a bare glaciated spit of rock in the magnificent Quetico-Superior country of northern Minnesota. He called it his Listening Point, and it is at the center of his book of the same name.
Listening Point is Olson's second book, with over 40,000 copies sold in hardcover. Strikingly illustrated with drawings by Francis Lee Jaques, this book tells the story of Olson's Listening Point from his first night sleeping there under the stars to the eventual building of a cabin. "From this one place I would explore the entire north and all life, including my own", he writes. "For me it would be a listening-post from which I might even hear the music of the spheres".
Through deeply personal stories, Olson brings life in the woods alive. He traces the history of a fallen leaf, explains the power of a canoe paddle cutting through the water, and the magic of listening to the rain pour on his tent flaps.
"Listening Point is dedicated to recapturing this almost forgotten sense of wonder and learning from rocks and trees and all the life that is found there, truths that can encompass all", he writes. "Through a vein of rose quartz at its tip can be read the geological history of the planet, from an old pine stump the ecological succession of the plant kingdom, from an Indian legend the story of the dreams of all mankind".
Considered by some to contain Olson's most vivid and moving passages, Listening Point is the nature lover's companion for hearing the depth and beauty of the great outdoors.
"With a poet's lyric voice, a guide's authorityand a warrior's commitment to his beloved canoe country wilderness, Sig Olson became the 'Voice of the North' to a generation of readers. He stands comfortably among the pantheon of great American nature writers -- Thoreau and Muir, Burroughs and Krutch, Leopold, Eiseley and Teale; but like one of his great sentinel pines, he also stands alone". Douglas Wood, author of Old Turtle
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.
First published in 1972, The Foxfire Book was a surprise bestseller that brought Appalachia's philosophy of simple living to hundreds of thousands of readers. Whether you wanted to hunt game, bake the old-fashioned way, or learn the art of successful moonshining, The Foxfire Museum and Heritage Center had a contact who could teach you how with clear, step-by-step instructions.Volume six of the Foxfire series covers shoemaking, crafting toys and games, carving gourd banjos, song bows and wooden locks, creating a water-powered sawmill, and other fascinating topics.