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A Natural History of What Trees Are, How They Live, and Why They Matter
Author: Colin Tudge
Publisher: Broadway Books
A blend of history, science, philosophy, and environmentalism, The Tree is an engaging and elegant look at the life of the tree and what modern research tells us about their future. There are redwoods in California that were ancient by the time Columbus first landed, and pines still alive that germinated around the time humans invented writing. There are Douglas firs as tall as skyscrapers, and a banyan tree in Calcutta as big as a football field. From the tallest to the smallest, trees inspire wonder in all of us, and in The Tree, Colin Tudge travels around the world—throughout the United States, the Costa Rican rain forest, Panama and Brazil, India, New Zealand, China, and most of Europe—bringing to life stories and facts about the trees around us: how they grow old, how they eat and reproduce, how they talk to one another (and they do), and why they came to exist in the first place. He considers the pitfalls of being tall; the things that trees produce, from nuts and rubber to wood; and even the complicated debt that we as humans owe them. Tudge takes us to the Amazon in flood, when the water is deep enough to submerge the forest entirely and fish feed on fruit while river dolphins race through the canopy. He explains the “memory” of a tree: how those that have been shaken by wind grow thicker and sturdier, while those attacked by pests grow smaller leaves the following year; and reveals how it is that the same trees found in the United States are also native to China (but not Europe). From tiny saplings to centuries-old redwoods and desert palms, from the backyards of the American heartland to the rain forests of the Amazon and the bamboo forests, Colin Tudge takes the reader on a journey through history and illuminates our ever-present but often ignored companions.
'Everyone interested in the natural world will enjoy The Secret Life of Trees. I found myself reading out whole chunks to friends' The Times, Books of the Year What is a tree? As this celebration of the trees shows, they are our countryside; our ancestors descended from them; they gave us air to breathe. Yet while the stories of trees are as plentiful as leaves in a forest, they are rarely told. Here, Colin Tudge travels from his own back garden round the world to explore the beauty, variety and ingenuity of trees everywhere: from how they live so long to how they talk to each other and why they came to exist in the first place. Lyrical and evocative, this book will make everyone fall in love with the trees around them.
From the bestselling author of Crow Planet, a compelling journey into the secret lives of the wild animals at our back door. In THE URBAN BESTIARY, acclaimed nature writer Lyanda Lynn Haupt journeys into the heart of the everyday wild, where coyotes, raccoons, chickens, hawks, and humans live in closer proximity than ever before. Haupt's observations bring compelling new questions to light: Whose "home" is this? Where does the wild end and the city begin? And what difference does it make to us as humans living our everyday lives? In this wholly original blend of science, story, myth, and memoir, Haupt draws us into the secret world of the wild creatures that dwell among us in our urban neighborhoods, whether we are aware of them or not. With beautiful illustrations and practical sidebars on everything from animal tracking to opossum removal, THE URBAN BESTIARY is a lyrical book that awakens wonder, delight, and respect for the urban wild, and our place within it.
From roots to canopy, a lush, verdant history of the making of California. California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It’s the work of history. In the years after the Gold Rush, American settlers remade the California landscape, harnessing nature to their vision of the good life. Horticulturists, boosters, and civic reformers began to "improve" the bare, brown countryside, planting millions of trees to create groves, wooded suburbs, and landscaped cities. They imported the blue-green eucalypts whose tangy fragrance was thought to cure malaria. They built the lucrative "Orange Empire" on the sweet juice and thick skin of the Washington navel, an industrial fruit. They lined their streets with graceful palms to announce that they were not in the Midwest anymore. To the north the majestic coastal redwoods inspired awe and invited exploitation. A resource in the state, the durable heartwood of these timeless giants became infrastructure, transformed by the saw teeth of American enterprise. By 1900 timber firms owned the entire redwood forest; by 1950 they had clear-cut almost all of the old-growth trees. In time California’s new landscape proved to be no paradise: the eucalypts in the Berkeley hills exploded in fire; the orange groves near Riverside froze on cold nights; Los Angeles’s palms harbored rats and dropped heavy fronds on the streets below. Disease, infestation, and development all spelled decline for these nonnative evergreens. In the north, however, a new forest of second-growth redwood took root, nurtured by protective laws and sustainable harvesting. Today there are more California redwoods than there were a century ago. Rich in character and story, Trees in Paradise is a dazzling narrative that offers an insightful, new perspective on the history of the Golden State and the American West.
In his bestselling book Emergence, Derek Rydall helps you throw aside the self-help books and recognize one simple, radical truth: the answer is already in you. The harder we try to change, the deeper in the hole we get. We find a new partner but have the same old fights. We strive for an ever-bigger paycheck but end up broke at a higher income bracket. This is what happens when the basic principle of life—the Law of Emergence—is disrupted, stopping you from knowing that you are the perfect you. Like an acorn is a perfect acorn that becomes a perfect oak tree, there is not a part of you from beginning to end that isn't exactly what you should be. The Law of Emergence provides the foundation to re-engage with this ancient principle. In this seven-stage framework, spiritual life coach Derek Rydall shows that we aren’t lacking anything; everything we need to fulfill our full potential is already inside us. Backed by an ancient truth that has largely been lost, Rydall changes the conversation around how to achieve your potential by showing you how to activate the genius already in you and empower your purpose in life. If you are struggling to improve something about yourself—your health, your mindset, your relationships, then Emergence is the book and Derek is the teacher you have been waiting for.
In Last Animals at the Zoo, Colin Tudge argues that zoos have become an essential part of modern conservation strategy, and that the only real hope for saving many endangered species is through creative use of zoos in combination with restoration of natural habitats. From the genetics of captive breeding to techniques of behavioral enrichment, Tudge examines all aspects of zoo conservation programs and explains how the precarious existence of so many animals can best be protected.