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The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature (edition 2012)

by David George Haskell

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1173103,116 (4.29)8
Member:skyrad43
Title:The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature
Authors:David George Haskell
Info:Viking Adult (2012), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
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The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by David George Haskell

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A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of forest

Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Biologist David George Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Beginning with simple observations--a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter, the first blossom of spring wildflowers--Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology, ecology, and poetry, explaining the science binding together ecosystems that have cycled for thousands--sometimes millions--of years. ( )
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  MarkBeronte | Apr 18, 2014 |
Letter I wrote to the author:
I’ve just finished reading The Forest Unseen. I have slowly savored your book over many weeks, reading one day’s entry, at most two, at one sitting. I have never read anyone who combined a meditative consciousness with a scientist’s mind so beautifully. You presented the theme of the interconnectedness of all things so delightfully in so many amazing forms: bird’s eggs, vultures, lichen, and the roothair-fungus relationship all come easily to mind as examples.
Long ago I learned to walk in the woods without a goal. I live in western North Carolina and for many years lived on a gravel road surrounded by national forests. I carved my own hiking trails to special places—a rock outcropping, a particular tree, a springhead flowing over a small rock cliff—and would walk to those places and then sit and observe.
Now I live in Asheville, in a mountain cove with a lawn that is mostly Prunella vulgaris. Four or five afternoons a week (I work at home) I spend time in a little patch of this lawn with my cat, sitting and observing the ants, spiders, and other creatures crawling over the vegetation. You’ve inspired me to see this suburban patch as my own mandala and look even close than before.
You’ve created a book that I know I will enjoy reading many times in my life. I already plan on having my husband read this aloud to me, so we can savor it together.
( )
  KatieBrugger | Jun 6, 2013 |
This is the story of a biologist from the University of the South in Tennessee who spends some time each week in a mandala, a 12'x12' piece of old-growth forest, near to his university, mostly just observing. Each short chapter deals with a different aspect of the living community in the mandala, whether it be plant or animal life. This story would not work if the author didn't have such a rich background in the sciences or such a gift with words. Somehow he was able to transport me to this small world and make it utterly fascinating, week after week. I learned how plants and trees prepare themselves for the winter, why vultures are the purifiers of the forest, what forms of life live underground, why forests are saving us from the full-out effects of climate change, and the evolutionary kinship we humans have with the forest. A peaceful read, and an enlightening book. ( )
  peggybr | Feb 17, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 067002337X, Hardcover)



Winner of the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature.

A biologist reveals the secret world hidden in a single square meter of forest

In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.

Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home.

Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:01 -0400)

In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Each short chapter begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands--sometimes millions--of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home. Written with grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity.--From publisher description.… (more)

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