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

by David George Haskell

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298855,103 (4.15)17
  1. 00
    A Place on the Glacial Till: Time, Land, and Nature Within an American Town by Thomas Fairchild Sherman (danhammang)
    danhammang: He covers it all, the deep geological history of Ohio, Michigan and the Great Lakes, the flora, the fauna and the impact of humans along the shores, streams and fields of the southern shore of Lake Erie. His love of the land and knowledge of his subject matter is matched, perhaps excelled, by the poetry of his language. It's a great read.… (more)
  2. 00
    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard (danhammang)
    danhammang: Love of the land, celebration of the natural world written by one of the finest authors of this generation.
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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is a chronicle of activity in a very small natural area. It is one of those books that shows again, how inter-related the natural world is, and how most ever living thing in it is also interdependent. The author follows all the living things in the area for a year, telling us of the activities and the changes over the seasons that repeat each year. This can get tedious, and to me, limits its rating to a 4 star. However, the detail is probably necessary to provide the convincing proof of the complex abundant interactions that go on in all natural areas, no matter the scale of the area observed. ( )
  billsearth | Jul 22, 2018 |
A lot of my woodland photography takes place in the small sphere, often showing slices of nature that go unnoticed by most people. That’s why the title of this book appealed to me. On reading, it isn’t so much the unseen, but the unknown. I learned a lot from this book which is written with a delicacy and awe of how much we don’t know. Here’s what it taught me -

>In winter evergreen plants protect against the damage too much cellular energy can cause by making vitamin C (p 24)
>Shrews can’t breathe long above ground (p 57)
>Male moths give salt to females as a mating gift (p 79)
>Bears sweat like horses do (p 80)
>Why is the sky blue? Photons! (p 85)
>Why the ash trees in my yard leaf later than the maples - ring porous xylem - like hickories have and that’s what makes the wood so hard and dense
>Only breeding female birds have a medullary bone, but not all the time (p 114)
>Like many a lady spider, lady fireflies often nosh on hubby (p 138)
>Fuzzy caterpillars have those guard hairs to ward off ants. Ants are a caterpillar’s biggest threat. Who knew? (p 170)
>Vulture intestinal tracts routinely kill cholera and anthrax (p 177)
>Those helicoptery maple seeds are actually called samaras (p 191)
>Hepatica’s purple leaves are a shield against wintertime sun damage. I always wondered why some leaves turned reddish and some didn’t - the ones in leaf litter don’t need to. (p 207)
>Birds maintain a low body weight for flight in part by causing their reproductive organs to atrophy out of breeding season. (p 209)

And that’s just the beginning. If you love nature, woodlands or are curious to see a little deeper into how an ecosystem works, this is a great book. ( )
  Bookmarque | Jun 15, 2018 |
An excellent reflection and educational book! A few times per month the author reflects on the same section of Tennessee old growth forest. Based off his observations, he shares scientific facts and insights on different topics in well-written, poetic and readable language that both educates the reader and prompts them to wonder and marvel. Read it bits at a time, as a reference, or straight through. This one is a keeper! ( )
  LDVoorberg | Dec 3, 2017 |
Beautifully written. I completely forgot I was reading a Biology text. ( )
  Melynn1104 | Jun 28, 2017 |
Highly enjoyable book. The author is learned and insightful. I appreciate his ability of observation and reflection. I strongly recommend the book. ( )
  GlennBell | Jun 5, 2016 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:05 -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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