Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. Robin Wall Kimmerer's book is not an identification guide, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather, it is a series of linked personal essays that will lead general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings, from salmon and hummingbirds to redwoods and rednecks. Kimmerer clearly and artfully explains the biology of mosses, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her diverse experiences as a scientist, mother, teacher, and writer of Native American heritage, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world. Gathering Moss will appeal to a wide range of readers, from bryologists to those interested in natural history and the environment, Native Americans, and contemporary nature and science writing.
As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on “a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Drawing on her life as an indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings—asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass—offer us gifts and lessons, even if we've forgotten how to hear their voices. In reflections that range from the creation of Turtle Island to the forces that threaten its flourishing today, she circles toward a central argument: that the awakening of ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings will we be capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learn to give our own gifts in return.
“This is a fascinating books for anyone wanting to truly broaden the range of plants they grow.” —Gardens Illustrated Moss is an extraordinary plant—it grows without roots, flowers, or stems. Despite being overlooked, in many ways, moss is perfect: it provides year-round color, excels in difficult climates, prevents soil erosion, and resists pests and disease. In The Magical World of Moss Gardening, bryophyte expert Annie Martin reveals how moss can be used in stunning, eco-friendly spaces. The beautifully illustrated guide includes basics on designing and planting a moss garden, as an inspiring tour of the most magical public and private moss gardens throughout the country.
Forty poems portraying the moods, sensations, and experiences of childhood.
From the best-selling, award-winning author of Landmarks and The Old Ways, a haunting voyage into the planet’s past and future. 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.
'Fowler's moving memoir charts her experience of coming out as a gay woman, alongside her journey through Birmingham's canal networks, mapping both the waterways and the travails of her heart.' Observer 'An emotional and compelling memoir, that left me inspired, both by her bravery in transforming her life, and by the unexpected beauty she finds along the way' Countryfile Magazine 'Fowler beautifully exposes her emotional fragility while also celebrating the unloved nature of buddleia, herons and even the water rats who take refuge among the locks.' i paper 'Fowler captures the beauty of the canal's dishevelled, neglected condition...' Times Literary Supplement 'Thoughtful and heartbreakingly honest ...Beautiful' Press Association 'An astounding memoir' Gay Star News 'Hidden Nature is one of the most thrilling things I've read in a long time' Waterways World 'She writes wonderfully about the species that have carved out a place for themselves amid the discarded shopping trolleys, condom packets and industrial waste' Guardian 'This candid book is as much about mapping the heart as it is about mapping the paths of waterways. Lovely.' Simple Things 'A beautiful memoir' Good Housekeeping 'Gentle, brave and acutely observant' Woman's Weekly Leaving her garden to the mercy of the slugs, the Guardian's award-winning writer Alys Fowler set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham's canal network, full of little-used waterways where huge pike skulk and kingfishers dart. Her book is about noticing the wild everywhere and what it means to see beauty where you least expect it. What happens when someone who has learned to observe her external world in such detail decides to examine her internal world with the same care? Beautifully written, honest and very moving, Hidden Nature is also the story of Alys Fowler's emotional journey and her coming out as a gay woman: above all, this book is about losing and finding, exploring familiar places and discovering unknown horizons.
A tribute to nature’s influence on the creative process, Bog Tender is a stunning memoir that explores nature and the act of writing, and where the two intersect. Accomplished fiction author George Szanto lives and writes on a bog that cuts his property in two. Rather than filling in the wetland, he has embraced it as a site of inspiration. Pieced together in 12 chapters—one for each month of the year—this enchanting narrative explores how Szanto’s writing process is affected by the bog’s transformations throughout the seasons. Through each chapter, the author searches for the moments of greatest consequence to him, from his parents’ escape from Hitler’s Vienna to his time spent studying in Germany, and from meeting his future wife and becoming a parent, to his adventures in Mexico. Set in a place where city is left behind for rural space, Bog Tender is about home and the intricate connections that evolve under and above the water.
In this extensively revised and enlarged edition of his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on the increasingly radical changes in nature and science — from global warming to the science behind mother/baby interactions — and examines what they mean for humankind’s place in the world. The book begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts of air, water, soil, and sun energy. The author explains how people are genetically programmed to crave the company of other species, and how people suffer enormously when they fail to live in harmony with them. Suzuki analyzes those deep spiritual needs, rooted in nature, that are a crucial component of a loving world. Drawing on his own experiences and those of others who have put their beliefs into action, The Sacred Balance is a powerful, passionate book with concrete suggestions for creating an ecologically sustainable, satisfying, and fair future by rediscovering and addressing humanity’s basic needs.
Central Appalachia is the system of linear ridges, intervening valleys, and deeply dissected plateaus that make up the rugged terrain found in western and southwestern Virginia, eastern and central West Virginia, western Maryland, and a portion of south central and southwestern Pennsylvania. Through its concise and accessible approach, A Natural History of the Central Appalachians thoroughly examines the biology and ecology of the plants, animals, and other organisms of this region of eastern North America. With over 120 images, this text provides an overview of the landscape of this region, including the major changes that have taken place over the past 300 million years; describes the different types of forests and other plant communities currently present in Central Appalachia; and examines living systems ranging from microorganisms and fungi to birds and mammals. Through a consideration of the history of humans in the region, beginning with the arrival of the first Native Americans, A Natural History of the Central Appalachians also discusses the past, present, and future influences of human activity upon this geographic area.