after a long day of
cruising through lakes, running rapids, and making portages, his bodily
wants satisfied, with nothing ahead but rest and peace under the stars,
the full realization comes to him, and then he understands why men go
modern man the music seems to have changed, he still listens to the
rhythms. His are the old fears as well as the basic satisfactions, and
because of them there is a powerful nostalgia for the wild. While the
silences are now shattered by the roar of jets, the cities he has built
vibrating with noise, natural smells replaced by those of combustion
industry, senses bombarded with new and violent impressions, he is
attuned to woods and fields and waters. He has come a log way from the
primitive, but not far enough to forget. Were it not for a nature
in a racial experience that knew nothing of these things, his
might be swift, but adaptations take eons of time, and mental and
processes that have been maturing slowly for a million years cannot be
ignored at will. Man of the Atomic Age and its conflicting technologies
is still part of the past."
was ironic that before being
captured I'd seen three orchids in flower, a pathetic amount, but now I
was a prisoner I was finding them everywhere. I suppose that's the
if you want to find the best stuff, get taken hostage."
night, the boundaries of
our bodies fade into darkness, and we become pure feeling extended into
space. The substance of the world fades, too, leaving only sense
-- the sweetness of the trees, the dampness of the air. Lying in the
I am perception and speculation linked by moving air to the
bats in older forest stands."
have a long history as the
premiere useful and sacred tree in much of Europe. Within the great oak
forests that once covered much of the continent, ancient peoples used
wood, subsisted on acorns, worshipped in their shade, and buried their
dead in hollow oak logs."
may be the best word
available to characterize these relationships with charismatic trees
many other species). It implies an interdependence between two species,
each giving something of value to the other. Mutualism, like
involves two active participants, rather than one who acts, and one who
is acted upon. The best outcome for both is to continue the
indefinitely, through changes and difficult times."
Breeding Atlases Kentucky
to Breeding Bird Atlas sites
success story of modern wildlife
management, this species was nearly extirpated from Oklahoma by 1920.
have been reintroduced into many areas, where they are now fairly
The male, or gobbler, gobbles in the early morning to call the hens.
turkey flies strongly for only short distances and prefers to avoid
many common names, including
the following: aspic, brown water snake, moccasin, pied-bellied water
southern water snake, water moccasin, water pilot, and water rattle (or
rattler). Few outside the fields of scientific or amateur herpetology
to N. taxispilota as the brown watersnake.
Taxispilota are found
throughout the Coastal Plain and into the Piedmont along major rivers
eastern Alabama to eastern Virginia and have been reported from
and brackish waters... Whether the range of this species is expanding
contracting in certain areas remains uncertain and is in need of
of the North: The Quotable Sigurd F. Olson, edited by David
180 pp. University of Minnesota Press, 2004.
from the speeches, letters, journals, articles and books of the famous
wilderness advocate, Sigurd Olson's biographer has compiled a selection
of quotations that give voice to the life and beliefs of the man in a
to give a sense of his development over time as a person, a writer, a
and a wilderness philosopher," David Backes explains.
quotes are arranged in chapters by topic -- "A Strange and Violent
"Wilderness," "The Power of Wonder," etc. -- and presented
within the chapter to show the evolution of the Olson's ideas. Backes
each chapter with a preamble that provides some historical context for
the quotes that follow.
Olson believed humans have a biological attachment to nature formed
the course of our evolution," Backes points out in foreword to 'The
of Wonder' chapter. "The psychological and spiritual restlessness so
in modern society is due in part to the instinctual longing we still
for the intimate connection to the earth that our species once enjoyed.
He call this longing 'racial memory,' and it formed the biological
to his later ideas about wilderness as a key component of mankind's
Cloud Garden: A True Story of Adventure, Survival, and
by Tom Hart Dyke and Paul Winder. 336 pp. The
Lyons Press, 2004.
crossed the river and were ordered to kneel on the floor opposite each
other. Paul's face was sheet white. Then I saw a series of rectangular
beds of overgrown plants and vegetation. They looked like graves. In
there were about a dozen. That confirmed it: we were going to be shot."
And so begins British botanist Tom Hart Dyke's account of a Central
orchid-collecting expedition gone terribly awry. For nine months Dyke
an intrepid explorer, Paul Winder, were held hostage by revolutionaries
and survived through a combination of gutsy endurance, ingenuity, and
felt jealous of the early pioneers and explorers: they had an uncharted
world to investigate," explains Winder, a young investment banker whose
accounts of the adventure alternate with Dyke's. "I wanted to get off
beaten track, too. Nowadays it is far more difficult."
and Winder met for the first time in northern Mexico shortly before
off through the infamous Darien Gap cloud forest along the
border, a lawless place that even armies avoid, and it's little wonder
that they were captured. How they survived and what they discovered
themselves and the cloud forest during the ordeal makes the tale a
Pine Island Paradox, by Kathleen Dean Moore. 251 pp. Milkweed
collection of short personal essays, linked by the island as a metaphor
for nature and the human condition, confronts the dissonance of our
divisions and finds renewed faith in nature's interconnected harmonies.
this book, I want to take the measure of three insulae, three
drawn onto the worldviews of the Western world," Kathleen Dean Moore
"The first is the claim that human beings are separate from, and
to, nature." The other two separations are the divides between what is
near in time and space and what is far away (near/far) and the split
the mundane and the sacred ("the idea that we live in a material world
that has only instrumental value, apart from the sacred, the
valuable, which exists on a different plane, if it exists at all").
while Moore's intent is scholarly, the style of her essays is
down-to-earth, finding bridges for the divides in stories about
the mating dance of grouse on the high desert, discovering nature at
rather than far away, recognizing redemption in the charred embers of a
Culture, and Big Old Trees: Live Oaks and Ceibas in the
of Louisiana and Guatemala, by Kit Anderson. 192 pp.
of Texas Press, 2004.
of a three-year study of live oaks in Louisiana and ceibas in
this work of cultural geography examines the roles of the two
species in their natural environments and how they have rooted
in the lives of the humans around them.
that in interactions with trees, Homo sapiens' closest counterparts in
the plant kingdom, humans express fundamental relationships with the
that help define who we are. The dividing line between humans and trees
can become thin," author Kit Anderson explains. "People have married
condemned them for murder, and given them legal standing. Trees in
literature love to give advice."
live oak is an icon of the American South, appearing on postcards and
movies surrounding plantation homes or lining walks and lanes. The tree
is common to Louisiana community centers and gathering places like
and parks. The ceiba occupies a similar role in the cultures of Latin
Known as the "World Tree of the Maya," it is the official national tree
book shows how these trees sprouted and thrived in the midst of human
and intertwined their histories with people that have come to cherish
Breeding Bird Atlas, by Dan L. Reinking. 519 pp. University
has now joined some 40 other states in compiling a Bird Breeding Atlas
with thick and impressive volume that describes, illustrates and
the distribution of 212 species of breeding birds within its borders.
information, combined with similar records from other states, not only
improves ornithological understanding of species distribution but also
provides an invaluable reference for birders and others interested in
Reinking, a lifelong birder and professional ornithologist, edited the
results of a five-year inventory of Oklahoma's nesting birds by more
100 volunteers and researchers. Thirty-four separate authors, many of
volunteer birders as well, contributed to the 212 two-page species
that comprise the bulk of the atlas.
inventory covers the entire state of Oklahoma, from its panhandle to
Arkansas border. Organizers divided the state into 573 10-square-mile
of land and assigned staff and volunteers to monitor and keep records
species sighted and nesting in each block. The results are tabulated
a map for each species designating confirmed, probable and possible
locations across the state.
can utilize this atlas to plan birdwatching expeditions to proven or
locations in Oklahoma that will add to their species lists.
American Watersnakes: A Natural History, by J. Whitfield
Michael E. Dorcas. 438 pp. University of Oklahoma Press, 2004.
impressive reference covers much of what is currently known about the
history of the genera Nerodia, Regina and Seminatrix in North America
collectively referred to as "watersnakes" because of their common
It does not include semiaquatic snakes found near or in water that are
not dependent on wetland habitat for food and protection.
maps down to the county level are provided for each species covered in
the text, including sources of distribution records. The
range for the three genera includes 38 U.S. states, one Candian
Cuba and 11 Mexican states.
from their own studies and nearly 1,800 references, authors J.
Gibbons and Michael E. Dorcas cover every aspect of watersnake natural
history, from evolution and fossil records to reproduction, predation,
captive maintenance and conservation efforts. They also discuss
questions, hypotheses and opportunities associated with each species.
is a professor of Ecology at the University of Georgia's Savannah River
Ecology Lab and author of Their Blood Runs Cold: Adventures With
and Amphibians. Dorcas is an associate professor of biology at Davidson
College in North Carolina.