'The oak is the wooden tie between heaven and earth. It is the lynch pin of the British landscape.' The oak is our most beloved and most common tree. It has roots that stretch back to all the old European cultures but Britain has more ancient oaks than all the other European countries put together. More than half the ancient oaks in the world are in Britain. Many of our ancestors - the Angles, the Saxons, the Norse - came to the British Isles in longships made of oak. For centuries the oak touched every part of a Briton's life - from cradle to coffin It was oak that made the 'wooden walls' of Nelson's navy, and the navy that allowed Britain to rule the world. Even in the digital Apple age, the real oak has resonance - the word speaks of fortitude, antiquity, pastoralism. The Glorious Life of the Oak explores our long relationship with this iconic tree; it considers the life-cycle of the oak, the flora and fauna that depend on the oak, the oak as medicine, food and drink, where Britain's mightiest oaks can be found, and it tells of oak stories from folklore, myth and legend.
The Times and Irish Independent: BEST NATURE BOOKS OF THE YEAR Great nature writing needs to be informative, detailed, accurate, lyrical, and, above all, to instil a sense of gratitude and wonder. John Lewis-Stempel succeeds in all these things triumphantly. From amorous toads to the eye-popping mating habits of water boatmen, a magical celebration of pond life by one of our finest, most evocative nature writers.' Daily Mail Ponds: small bodies of water, both naturally formed and artificial, home to wondrous, multitudinous life-forms. Ponds define our childhood: frogspawn, goldfish, feeding the ducks, but also our village life, our farms, our landscape. And they are multi-layered - from carp circling the bottom to water boatmen, coot, and birds dragonflies overhead. In Still Water, John immerses himself in the murky depths, both literarily and figuratively, to explore the still waters of the British countryside through each month of the year.
Small Creatures and Ordinary Places reveals to us the beauty and value of hornets, bats, katydids, mice, cicadas, and other tiny dwellers in our own backyards. Young, a renowned expert on butterflies and cicadas of the American tropics, records in these charming essays his keen observations of the natural world as he walks through an urban woods near the Lake Michigan shore, or sits on his deck facing his backyard, or gazes at a field of corn stubble in autumn. He invites us to venture into our own yards, neighborhood parks, fields, and forests and pause there . . . to look and to listen. Small creatures have unique and interesting stories to tell us, Young points out. Their brief life cycles illustrate the intricate workings of a bigger clock driving the seasons, and they dominate the larger web of life in which humans are but a strand. Far too often they are ignored, taken for granted, reviled, or misunderstood. Even now, Young writes, as we move into a new millennium as a species and the technological pace of our existence further quickens, we can gain much from appreciating nature close at hand, despite how steadily it is being pushed aside.
Sequel to My Only Friend is Darkness, this new offering of Barbara Dent's writings brings together articles already published elsewhere and forty-one previously unpublished poems. The New Zealand author's intensely personal, experiential style gives "flesh and bones" to the notion of the "dark night of the soul" in this new book. Barbara Dent goes beyond merely generic expositions of that key concept of Carmelite spirituality to craft her own vivid witness, one that speaks always in tones of our times. This she does as a mother, writer, poustinik, and Carmelite secular order member. As she identifies the major events of her adult life in biographical pieces, both by prose and in poetry, she reveals how adept a guide she is to managing the darkness of physical suffering and spiritual progress. The reader will appreciate all the attention she pays, in line with modern renewal movements, to the resurrection as an integral part of spiritual development.
'Tongues in trees' by Kim Taplin celebrates the woods, trees and meadows in a collection of stunning poems, prose and essays. Taplin believes that reverence for nature is vital to healthy spirituality and imagination. The continuing destruction of our forests is a sign of the short-sighted greed that is despoiling our world. Throughout the book Taplin considers how writers such as Keats, Ruskin, Hardy, J.R.R. Tolkien and Frances Horovitz celebrated the Greenwood and responded to its erosion. This eloquent study of trees in the English literary imagination will inspire all those who are concerned about out environment. 'Poetry affirms the underlying unity between the natural and spiritual worlds. That is why all true poets are poets of the Greenwood.'
Our culture trains us to prepare for almost everything but death. Fear and denial are common human responses to the subject, What awaits us beyond this life? It is a journey into the unknown, or a glorious, spiritual pilgrimage to eagerly anticipate? In Death and the Life After, Billy Graham answers these questions and more, addressing such complex modern day issues as euthanasia, suicide, and living wills. Dr. Graham objectively and compassionately: Shares biblical secrets to finding peace and vicotry in the midst of suffering Presents real life testimonies of courageous men and women facing death Answers questions about the process of dying Teaches practical, loving ways to comfort those facing death Gives practial advice on preparing a will and planning a funeral Find peace, assurance, triumph, and even humor in a subject which is important to everyone.
Eloquent descriptions by a middle-aged Englishwoman — traveling alone in the Colorado Rockies during 1873 — of flora and fauna, isolated settlers, vigilance committees, lynchings, and other fascinating subjects.
T he story of Marie Cameron and Jim Kelly whose lives are lived in the beautiful village of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia. Marie, a lawyer, lives a quality and privilege life. Jim, a carpenter, lives a plain and simple life. Th eir combined stories make for an unforgettable tale that spans 40 years.