Nineteenth-century Americans celebrated nature through many artistic forms, including natural-history writing, landscape painting, landscape design theory, and transcendental philosophy. Although we tend to associate these movements with the nation's dawning environmental consciousness, Passions for Nature demonstrates that they instead alienated Americans from the physical environment even as they seemed to draw people to it. Rather than see these expressions of passion for nature as initiating environmental awareness, this study reveals how they contributed to a culture that remains startlingly ignorant of the details of the material world. Using as a touchstone the writings of nineteenth-century philanthropist Susan Fenimore Cooper (the daughter of famed author James Fenimore Cooper), Passions for Nature reveals that while a generalized passion for nature was intense and widespread in her era, cultural attention to the "real" physical world was quite limited. Popular artistic forms represented the natural world through specific metaphors for the American experience, cultivating a national tradition of valuing nature in terms of humanity.
Johnson crosses disciplinary boundaries to demonstrate that anthropocentric understandings of the natural world result not only from the growing gulf between science and imagination that C. P. Snow located in the early twentieth century but also--and surprisingly--from cultural productions traditionally viewed as positive engagements with the environment. By uncovering the roots of a cultural alienation from nature, Passions for Nature explains how the United States came to be a nation that simultaneously reveres the natural world and yet remains dangerously distant from it.
Small farms once occupied the heights that John Elder calls home, but now only a few cellar holes and tumbled stone walls remain among the dense stands of maple, beech, and hemlocks on these Vermont hills. Reading the Mountains of Homeis a journey into these verdant reaches where in the last century humans tried their hand and where bear and moose now find shelter. As John Elder is our guide, so Robert Frost is Elder's companion, his great poem "Directive" seeing us through a landscape in which nature and literature, loss and recovery, are inextricably joined.
Over the course of a year, Elder takes us on his hikes through the forested uplands between South Mountain and North Mountain, reflecting on the forces of nature, from the descent of the glaciers to the rush of the New Haven River, that shaped a plateau for his village of Bristol; and on the human will that denuded and farmed and abandoned the mountains so many years ago. His forays wind through the flinty relics of nineteenth-century homesteads and Abenaki settlements, leading to meditations on both human failure and the possibility for deeper communion with the land and others.
An exploration of the body and soul of a place, an interpretive map of its natural and literary life, Reading the Mountains of Home strikes a moving balance between the pressures of civilization and the attraction of wilderness. It is a beautiful work of nature writing in which human nature finds its place, where the reader is invited to follow the last line of Frost's "Directive," to "Drink and be whole again beyond confusion."
Nature and the English Diaspora: Environment and History in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Studies in Environment and History)
On December 18, 1999, Julia Butterfly Hill's feet touched the ground for the first time in over two years, as she descended from "Luna," a thousandyear-old redwood in Humboldt County, California.
Hill had climbed 180 feet up into the tree high on a mountain on December 10, 1997, for what she thought would be a two- to three-week-long "tree-sit." The action was intended to stop Pacific Lumber, a division of the Maxxam Corporation, from the environmentally destructive process of clear-cutting the ancient redwood and the trees around it. The area immediately next to Luna had already been stripped and, because, as many believed, nothing was left to hold the soil to the mountain, a huge part of the hill had slid into the town of Stafford, wiping out many homes.
Over the course of what turned into an historic civil action, Hill endured El Nino storms, helicopter harassment, a ten-day siege by company security guards, and the tremendous sorrow brought about by an old-growth forest's destruction. This story--written while she lived on a tiny platform eighteen stories off the ground--is one that only she can tell.
Twenty-five-year-old Julia Butterfly Hill never planned to become what some have called her--the Rosa Parks of the environmental movement. Shenever expected to be honored as one of Good Housekeeping's "Most Admired Women of 1998" and George magazine's "20 Most Interesting Women in Politics," to be featured in People magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of the Year" issue, or to receive hundreds of letters weekly from young people around the world. Indeed, when she first climbed into Luna, she had no way of knowing the harrowing weather conditions and the attacks on her and her cause. She had no idea of the loneliness she would face or that her feet wouldn't touch ground for more than two years. She couldn't predict the pain of being an eyewitness to the attempted destruction of one of the last ancient redwood forests in the world, nor could she anticipate the immeasurable strength she would gain or the life lessons she would learn from Luna. Although her brave vigil and indomitable spirit have made her a heroine in the eyes of many, Julia's story is a simple, heartening tale of love, conviction, and the profound courage she has summoned to fight for our earth's legacy.
In Candid Creatures, the first major book to reveal the secret lives of animals through motion-sensitive game cameras, biologist Roland Kays has assembled over 600 remarkable photographs. Drawing from archives of millions of color and night-vision photographs collected by hundreds of researchers, Kays has selected images that show the unique perspectives of wildlife from throughout the world. Using these photos, he tells the stories of scientific discoveries that camera traps have enabled, such as living proof of species thought to have been extinct and details of predator-prey interactions.
Each image captures a moment frozen in the camera's flash as animals move through their wild habitats. Kays also discusses how scientists use camera traps to address conservation issues, creating solutions that allow humans and wild animals to coexist. More than just a collection of amazing animal pictures, the book's text, maps, and illustrations work together to describe the latest findings in the fast-moving field of wildlife research.Candid Creatures is a testament to how the explosion of game cameras around the world has revolutionized the study of animal ecology. The powerful combination of pictures and stories of discovery will fascinate anyone interested in science, nature, wildlife biology, or photography.
In Landscape and Memory Schama ranges over continents and centuries to reveal the psychic claims that human beings have made on nature. He tells of the Nazi cult of the primeval German forest; the play of Christian and pagan myth in Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers; and the duel between a monumental sculptor and a feminist gadfly on the slopes of Mount Rushmore. The result is a triumphant work of history, naturalism, mythology, and art.
"A work of great ambition and enormous intellectual scope...consistently provocative and revealing."--New York Times
"Extraordinary...a summary cannot convey the riches of this book. It will absorb, instruct, and fascinate."--New York Review of Books
The Battenkill : An Intimate Portrait of a Great Trout River- Its History, People, and Fishing Possibilities
The Natures of John and William Bartram: Two Pioneering Naturalists, Father and Son, in the Wilderness of Eighteenth-Cen tury America
The description for this book, A Field Guide to Birds of Russia and Adjacent Territories, will be forthcoming.
* Wildflowers from New Mexico up through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana and Alberta.
* Excellent descriptions by horticulturist Jim Ells The Rocky Mountains, from northern New Mexico through southern Alberta are collectively referred to as the "spine of the continent." Along the flanks of this spine you will find a starting array of stunningly beautiful wildflowers in the life zones from the foothills at 5,000 feet to alpine zone at 11,000 feet. Rocky Mountain Wildflowers is the author's selection of the 150 most "showy," beautiful, colorful, and striking wildflowers based on years of observation. The range of wildflowers runs from the deep red Plains Prickly Pear to pink Showy Milkweed in the foothills to delicate purple Fairy Slippers and the pink Woodland Pinedrops in deep moist subalpine forests and to the Alpine Buttercups and Yellow Avalanche Lillys at treeline. Every great Rocky Mountain wildflower is included. Each plant is described by its common name, its scientific name and then by the appearance of the stem, leaves and flower and the most likely plant life zones where the flower may be found.
Discover how this transitional season can reveal both the abundance and the limitations of our everyday lives.
Autumn, with all its traditional images of colorful trees, frost-covered pumpkins, and piles of wood stored up against winter's cold, can be a season filled with anticipation. The harvest, the imminent onset of cold and snow, the resumption of old routines, and the beginning of the school year all require preparation and planning. If summer has been something of a pause, autumn helps us to see the passage of time more clearly.
Autumn is a season of fruition and reaping, of thanksgiving and celebration of abundance and goodness of the earth. But it is also a season that starkly and realistically encourages us to see our own limitations.
Warm and stirring pieces by E. B. White, Anne Lamott, P. D. James, Julian of Norwich, May Sarton, Kimiko Hahn, and many others in this beautiful book rejoice in autumn as a time of preparation and reflection, when the results of hard labor are ripe for harvest.