Search results for: gods-wasps-and-stranglers

Gods Wasps and Stranglers

Author : Mike Shanahan
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They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers ... rainforest royalty ... more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilization. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence – fig trees are special. They evolved when giant dinosaurs still roamed and have been shaping our world ever since. These trees intrigued Aristotle and amazed Alexander the Great. They were instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence and helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption. Egypt’s Pharaohs hoped to meet fig trees in the afterlife and Queen Elizabeth II was asleep in one when she ascended the throne. And all because 80 million years ago these trees cut a curious deal with some tiny wasps. Thanks to this deal, figs sustain more species of birds and mammals than any other trees, making them vital to rainforests. In a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, their story offers hope. Ultimately, it’s a story about humanity’s relationship with nature. The story of the fig trees stretches back tens of millions of years, but it is as relevant to our future as it is to our past.

Gods Wasps and Stranglers

Author : Mike Shanahan
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Eco Art History in East and Southeast Asia

Author : De-nin D. Lee
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The essays in this anthology examine artwork and sites in East and Southeast Asia through the lens of eco–art history. In these regions, significant anthropogenic changes to terrain, watercourses, and ecosystems date back millennia, as do artwork and artefacts that both conceptualize and modify the natural world. The rising interest in earth-conscious modes of analysis, or “eco–art history,” informs this anthology, which explores the mutual impact of artistic expressions and local environments in East and Southeast Asia. Moreover, conceptual tools and case studies focused on these regions impart important insights bearing on the development of eco–art history. The book includes case studies examining the impact of the Little Ice Age on court painting and systems of representing marine life in the Joseon period in Korea. Other contributors consider contemporary artistic strategies, such as developing a “sustainability aesthetics” and focusing attention to non-human agents, to respond to environmental damage and climate change in the present. Additional essays analyse the complicated art historical ecology of heritage sites and question the underlying anthropocentrism in art historical priorities and practices. As a whole, this anthology argues for the importance of ecological considerations in art history.

Treasury of Folklore Woodlands and Forests

Author : Dee Dee Chainey
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An entertaining and enthralling collection of myths, tales and traditions surrounding our trees, woodlands and forests from around the world. From the dark, gnarled woodlands of the north, to the humid jungles of the southern lands, trees have captured humanity’s imagination for millennia. Filled with primal gods and goddesses, dryads and the fairy tales of old, the forests still beckon to us, offering sanctuary, mystery and more than a little mischievous trickery. From insatiable cannibalistic children hewn from logs, to lumberjack lore, and the spine-chilling legend of Bloody Mary, there is much to be found between the branches. Come into the trees; witches, seductive spirits and big, bad wolves await you. With this book, Folklore Thursday aim to encourage a sense of belonging across all cultures by showing how much we all have in common.

Salted and Cured

Author : Jeffrey Roberts
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From country ham to coppa, bacon to bresaola Prosciutto. Andouille. Country ham. The extraordinary rise in popularity of cured meats in recent years often overlooks the fact that the ancient practice of meat preservation through the use of salt, time, and smoke began as a survival technique. All over the world, various cultures developed ways to extend the viability of the hunt—and later the harvest—according to their unique climates and environments, resulting in the astonishing diversity of preserved meats that we celebrate and enjoy today everywhere from corner delis to white-tablecloth restaurants. In Salted and Cured, author Jeffrey P. Roberts traces the origins of today’s American charcuterie, salumi, and other delights, and connects them to a current renaissance that begins to rival those of artisan cheese and craft beer. In doing so, Roberts highlights the incredible stories of immigrant butchers, breeders, chefs, entrepreneurs, and other craftspeople who withstood the modern era’s push for bland, industrial food to produce not only delicious but culturally significant cured meats. By rejecting the industry-led push for “the other white meat” and reinvigorating the breeding and production of heritage hog breeds while finding novel ways to utilize the entire animal—snout to tail—today’s charcutiers and salumieri not only produce everything from country ham to violino di capra but create more sustainable businesses for farmers and chefs. Weaving together agriculture, animal welfare and health, food safety and science, economics, history, a deep sense of place, and amazing preserved foods, Salted and Cured is a literary feast, a celebration of both innovation and time-honored knowledge, and an expertly guided tour of America’s culinary treasures, both old and new.

Tamed and Untamed

Author : Sy Montgomery
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Extraordinary new insights into the minds and lives of our fellow creatures from two of the world’s top animal authors, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Sy Montgomery. A Mail on Sunday “Critic's Pick” Best Read of the Year "In their writing and in their lives and in their remarkable friendship, Liz and Sy break down false barriers and carry us closer to our fellow creatures.”—from the foreword by Vicki Constantine Croke, author of Elephant Company Tamed and Untamed―a collection of essays penned by two of the world's most celebrated animal writers, Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas―explores the minds, lives, and mysteries of animals as diverse as snails, house cats, hawks, sharks, dogs, lions, and even octopuses. Drawing on stories of animals both wild and domestic, the two authors, also best friends, created this book to put humans back into the animal world. The more we learn about what other animals think and do, they explain, the more we understand ourselves as animals, too. Writes Montgomery, “The list of attributes once thought to be unique to our species―from using tools to waging war―is not only rapidly shrinking, but starting to sound less and less impressive when we compare them with other animals’ powers.” With humor, empathy, and introspection, Montgomery and Thomas look into the lives of all kinds of creatures―from man’s best friend to the great white shark―and examine the ways we connect with our fellow species. Both authors have devoted their lives to sharing the animal kingdom’s magic with others, and their combined wisdom is an indispensable contribution to the field of animal literature. The book contains a foreword by Vicki Constantine Croke, author of the bestseller Elephant Company.

Mesquite

Author : Gary Paul Nabhan
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In his latest book, Mesquite, Gary Paul Nabhan employs humor and contemplative reflection to convince readers that they have never really glimpsed the essence of what he calls “arboreality.” As a Franciscan brother and ethnobotanist who has often mixed mirth with earth, laughter with landscape, food with frolic, Nabhan now takes on a large, many-branched question: What does it means to be a tree, or, accordingly, to be in a deep and intimate relationship with one? To answer this question, Nabhan does not disappear into a forest but exposes himself to some of the most austere hyper-arid terrain on the planet—the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts along the US/Mexico border—where even the most ancient perennial plants are not tall and thin, but stunted and squat. There, in desert regions that cover more than a third of our continent, mesquite trees have become the staff of life, not just for indigenous cultures, but for myriad creatures, many of which respond to these “nurse plants” in wildly intelligent and symbiotic ways. In this landscape, where Nabhan claims that nearly every surviving being either sticks, stinks, stings, or sings, he finds more lives thriving than you could ever shake a stick at. As he weaves his arid yarns, we suddenly realize that our normal view of the world has been turned on its head: where we once saw scarcity, there is abundance; where we once perceived severity, there is whimsy. Desert cultures that we once assumed lived in “food deserts” are secretly savoring a most delicious world. Drawing on his half-century of immersion in desert ethnobotany, ecology, linguistics, agroforestry, and eco-gastronomy, Nabhan opens up for us a hidden world that we had never glimpsed before. Along the way, he explores the sensuous reality surrounding this most useful and generous tree. Mesquite is a book that will delight mystics and foresters, naturalists and foodies. It combines cutting-edge science with a generous sprinkling of humor and folk wisdom, even including traditional recipes for cooking with mesquite.

The Fruit Forager s Companion

Author : Sara Bir
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From apples and oranges to pawpaws and persimmons Half of the fruit that grows in yards and public spaces is never picked or eaten. Citrus trees are burdened with misshapen lemons, berries grow in tangled thickets on the roadside, and the crooked rows of abandoned orchards fill with fallen apples. At the same time, people yearn for an emotional connection that's lacking in bland grocery store bananas and tasteless melons. The Fruit Forager's Companion is a how-to guide with recipes, devoted to the secret, sweet bounty just outside our front doors and ripe for the taking, from familiar apples and oranges to lesser-known pawpaws and mayhaws. It will tell readers where and when to find them, and how to gather and cook them--everything from pontack, an elderberry-based condiment, to caramel apple clafoutis. Written by a seasoned chef, curious gardener, and foraging convert in a witty, welcoming style, it's a must-have for seekers of both flavor and fun.

Eager

Author : Ben Goldfarb
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In Eager, environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb reveals that our modern idea of what a healthy landscape looks like and how it functions is wrong, distorted by the fur trade that once trapped out millions of beavers from North America's lakes and rivers. The consequences of losing beavers were profound: streams eroded, wetlands dried up, and species from salmon to swans lost vital habitat. Today, a growing coalition of "Beaver Believers"--including scientists, ranchers, and passionate citizens--recognizes that ecosystems with beavers are far healthier, for humans and non-humans alike, than those without them. From the Nevada deserts to the Scottish highlands, Believers are now hard at work restoring these industrious rodents to their former haunts. Eager is a powerful story about one of the world's most influential species, how North America was colonized, how our landscapes have changed over the centuries, and how beavers can help us fight drought, flooding, wildfire, extinction, and the ravages of climate change. Ultimately, it's about how we can learn to coexist, harmoniously and even beneficially, with our fellow travelers on this planet.

Trees of Power

Author : Akiva Silver
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The organic grower's guide to planting, propagation, culture, and ecology Trees are our allies in healing the world. Partnering with trees allows us to build soil, enhance biodiversity, increase wildlife populations, grow food and medicine, and pull carbon out of the atmosphere, sequestering it in the soil. Trees of Power explains how we can work with these arboreal allies, specifically focusing on propagation, planting, and individual species. Author Akiva Silver is an enthusiastic tree grower with years of experience running his own commercial nursery. In this book he clearly explains the most important concepts necessary for success with perennial woody plants. It’s broken down into two parts: the first covering concepts and horticultural skills and the second with in-depth information on individual species. You’ll learn different ways to propagate trees: by seed, grafting, layering, or with cuttings. These time-honored techniques make it easy for anyone to increase their stock of trees, simply and inexpensively. Ten chapters focus on the specific ecology, culture, and uses of different trees, ones that are common to North America and in other temperate parts of the world: Chestnut: The Bread Tree Apples: The Magnetic Center Poplar: The Homemaker Ash: Maker of Wood Mulberry: The Giving Tree Elderberry: The Caretaker Hickory: Pillars of Life Hazelnut: The Provider Black Locust: The Restoration Tree Beech: The Root Runner Trees of Power fills an urgent need for up-to-date information on some of our most important tree species, those that have multiple benefits for humans, animals, and nature. It also provides inspiration for new generations of tree stewards and caretakers who will not only benefit themselves, but leave a lasting legacy for future generations. Trees of Power is for everyone who wants to connect with trees. It is for the survivalist, the gardener, the homesteader, the forager, the permaculturist, the environmentalist, the parent, the schoolteacher, the farmer, and anyone who feels a deep kinship with these magnificent beings.

The Green Cure

Author : Alice Peck
File Size : 62.2 MB
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Discover how going outdoors and spending time in nature, from forest bathing to a walk in the park, provides a simple and powerful way to improve your health and wellbeing. What we all know on an intuitive level is a scientific truth: the simple act of going outside is good for us – really good for us. It has been shown to have a positive effect on a huge number of health conditions and issues, from diabetes to depression, anxiety to arteriolosclerosis. Down-to-earth and relevant, The Green Cure shows you that you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or holidays to heal your body and mind. An afternoon stroll among trees in the park, a dip in the ocean or sinking your bare feet in the mud might change your life! Each chapter combines anecdotes and literature alongside recent medical and scientific discoveries to show how nature can heal us. The book also includes ‘prescriptions’ for how to use the information in realistic, easy ways, so you, too, can enjoy the beneficial shift within that simply going outdoors can bring you.

The Island of Missing Trees

Author : Elif Shafak
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A rich, magical new novel from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World - available for pre-order now It is 1974 on the island of Cyprus. Two teenagers, from opposite sides of a divided land, meet at a tavern in the city they both call home. The tavern is the only place that Kostas, who is Greek and Christian, and Defne, who is Turkish and Muslim, can meet, in secret, hidden beneath the blackened beams from which hang garlands of garlic, chilli peppers and wild herbs. This is where one can find the best food in town, the best music, the best wine. But there is something else to the place: it makes one forget, even if for just a few hours, the world outside and its immoderate sorrows. In the centre of the tavern, growing through a cavity in the roof, is a fig tree. This tree will witness their hushed, happy meetings, their silent, surreptitious departures; and the tree will be there when the war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to rubble, when the teenagers vanish and break apart. Decades later in north London, sixteen-year-old Ada Kazantzakis has never visited the island where her parents were born. Desperate for answers, she seeks to untangle years of secrets, separation and silence. The only connection she has to the land of her ancestors is a Ficus Carica growing in the back garden of their home. In The Island of Missing Trees, prizewinning author Elif Shafak brings us a rich, magical tale of belonging and identity, love and trauma, memory and amnesia, human-induced destruction of nature, and, finally, renewal. 'A brilliant novel -- one that rings with Shafak's characteristic compassion for the overlooked and the under-loved, for those whom history has exiled, excluded or separated. I know it will move many readers around the world, as it moved me' Robert Macfarlane 'A wonderfully transporting and magical novel that is, at the same time, revelatory about recent history and the natural world and quietly profound' William Boyd 'This is an enchanting, compassionate and wise novel and storytelling at its most sublime' Polly Samson 'A wise novel of love and grief, roots and branches, displacement and home, faith and belief. THE ISLAND OF MISSING TREES is balm for our bruised times' David Mitchell 'An outstanding work of breathtaking beauty' Lemn Sissay 'A writer of important, beautiful, painful, truthful novels' Marian Keyes 'Lovely heartbreaker of a novel centered on dark secrets of civil wars & evils of extremism: Cyprus, star-crossed lovers, killed beloveds, damaged kids. Uprootings. (One narrator is a fig tree!)' Margaret Atwood on Twitter

Awesome possum 4

Author : Angela Boyle
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Thirty-nine creators explore the natural world, the plants and animals that surround us, are hidden from view, and call to us from afar. You'll explore: Rafflesia, or the corpse flower, the largest stinkiest flower in the worl with Shing Yin Khor The komodo dragon and Stephen R. Bissette's (Swamp Thing, Tyrant) first experience seeing them, as drawn by Ross Wood Studlar. The ecology of ' y Ch (Slim's River) in Alaska with Rachel Ford. This volume includes cover inks by Eisner-nominated Tillie Walden, creator of Spinning (First Second, 2017) and foreword by Jon Chad, creator of Volcanoes: Fire and Life (First Second, 2016). Praise for Volume 4 "The delightful drawings and clever storytelling work with subjects from the familiar to the charmingly obscure, to offer an enjoyable learning for everyone." -Dr. Ben Rowson, codiscoverer of the ghost slug; taxonomist at the National Museum Wales "After twenty-one years of teaching entomology, I find Awesome 'Possum to be one of the most educative, graphically accurate, and fun natural history series around. I recommend it up front to my students, whether for term paper ideas or escape reading at bed time " -Evan A. Sugden, PhD, entomology professor, University of Washington "I have been finding that the snippets of wisdom I get out of illustrations actually stick as if someone had told me about them. That's because everything is so visual and is delivered in a way that is easy to digest." -Anupum Pant, writer, Awesci "Awesome 'Possum's 200-plus pages are filled with comic strips whose eclectic styles mirror the variety of life they portray. On these pages dwell ghost slugs and bad-luck lemurs, parasitic plants and a bird with a shoe for a bill. It's biology broken down into bite-size stories packed with fascinating facts-ideal for kids and adults alike." -Mike Shanahan, author of Gods, Wasps and Stranglers "You'll witness love of the natural world with every story, and your own love for it will grow with every page. You'll learn stuff, too, and learning stuff is awesome." -Jim Ottaviani, author of The Imitation Game

Ladders to Heaven

Author : Mike Shanahan
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They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers ... rainforest royalty ... more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Ladders to Heaven tells their amazing story. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence - fig trees are special. They evolved when giant dinosaurs still roamed and have been shaping our world ever since. These trees intrigued Aristotle and amazed Alexander the Great. They were instrumental in Kenya's struggle for independence and helped restore life after Krakatoa's catastrophic eruption. Egypt's Pharaohs hoped to meet fig trees in the afterlife and Queen Elizabeth II was asleep in one when she ascended the throne. And all because 80 million years ago these trees cut a curious deal with some tiny wasps. Thanks to this deal, figs sustain more species of birds and mammals than any other trees, making them vital to rainforests. In a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, their story offers hope. Ultimately, it's a story about humanity's relationship with nature. The story of the fig trees stretches back tens of millions of years, but it is as relevant to our future as it is to our past.

The Boston Stranglers

Author : Susan Kelly
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An infamous murder spree. A monstrous hoax. “This book is, quite simply, remarkable journalism, and remarkable writing” (Robert B. Parker). “DeSalvo Is the Strangler!” declared the headlines after handyman Albert DeSalvo confessed to eleven brutal rape-murders that terrorized Boston from 1962 to 1964. The repeat sex offender boasted he had raped an additional two thousand women. His depraved story became the subject of a bestselling book and major Hollywood movie. But, it turns out, DeSalvo was not the Boston Strangler. This detailed investigation exposes the true DeSalvo as a pathological liar, burglar, and rapist whose hunger for celebrity drove him to false confessions. The Boston Strangler reveals that the stranglings were actually committed by at least eight—possibly eleven—different killers. In all likelihood, DeSalvo was not among them. In an eye-opening update that explores stunning DNA findings, a shocking re-autopsy, and expert profiling evidence, journalist Susan Kelly uncovers the facts behind a savage, unsolved case that continues to haunt and fascinate. “Raises disturbing questions about one of our nation’s most notorious crime sprees.” —Gail Zimmerman, producer of 48 Hours “Taut with suspense . . . Crackles like a bestselling novel.” —Barry Reed, author of The Verdict

A Few Quiet Beers with God

Author : John Perrier
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Set in Australia in the year 2031, this story is science-fiction comedy at its best. When Dave, a hopeless but lovable 34 year old, meets Alexandra, the girl of his dreams, he feels as though his luck has finally changed. But due to his ineptness with technology, he tragically loses contact with her. Meanwhile, the lust for supremacy of two powerful Americans ignites a bitter feud. Their fight reaches around the globe and soon entwines not only Dave and Alexandra, but also a superstar football player nicknamed ‘God’. Their final meeting precipitates an event that no-one saw coming.

Specialization Speciation and Radiation

Author : Kelley Jean Tilmon
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This volume captures the state-of-the-art in the study of insect-plant interactions, and marks the transformation of the field into evolutionary biology. The contributors present integrative reviews of uniformly high quality that will inform and inspire generations of academic and applied biologists. Their presentation together provides an invaluable synthesis of perspectives that is rare in any discipline.--Brian D. Farrell, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University Tilmon has assembled a truly wonderful and rich volume, with contributions from the lion's share of fine minds in evolution and ecology of herbivorous insects. The topics comprise a fascinating and deep coverage of what has been discovered in the prolific recent decades of research with insects on plants. Fascinating chapters provide deep analyses of some of the most interesting research on these interactions. From insect plant chemistry, behavior, and host shifting to phylogenetics, co-evolution, life-history evolution, and invasive plant-insect interaction, one is hard pressed to name a substantial topic not included. This volume will launch a hundred graduate seminars and find itself on the shelf of everyone who is anyone working in this rich landscape of disciplines.--Donald R. Strong, Professor of Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis Seldom have so many excellent authors been brought together to write so many good chapters on so many important topics in organismic evolutionary biology. Tom Wood, always unassuming and inspired by living nature, would have been amazed and pleased by this tribute.--Mary Jane West-Eberhard, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

John Lloyd Stephens and Frederick Catherwood

Author : Peter O. Koch
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"John Lloyd Stephens, a New York lawyer and best-selling author, and Frederick Catherwood, a London architect and renowned topographical artist, endured many life-threatening obstacles in a determined effort that led to the discovery of nearly fifty forgotten Mayan cities buried deep in the jungles of Central America and Mexico. "--Provided by publisher.

God Thought of Everything Weird and Wacky

Author : Bonnie Bruno
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With full-color illustrations and fun facts, these devotionals featuring God's off-the-wall creations can make daily quiet time with God fun for youngsters as they demonstrate that God made all of His creatures just as they should be.

Trimmed to Death

Author : Nancy J. Cohen
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Hairstylist Marla Vail enters a bake-off competition that’s a real killer when a contestant ends up dead. Savvy hairstylist and amateur sleuth Marla Vail enters a charity bake-off contest at a fall festival sponsored by a local farm. While she waits to see if her coconut fudge pie is a winner, Marla joins a scavenger hunt where people playing character roles are the targets. Instead of scoring points with a live person, she finds a dead body planted face-down in the strawberry field. Who would want to cut short the life of food magazine publisher and fellow bake-off contestant, Francine Dodger? As she investigates, Marla learns there’s no shortage of suspects. A celebrity TV chef, food critic, olive oil importer, food truck owner, pastry chef, and cookbook author may be stirring up more than their next recipe. Can Marla unmask the killer before someone else gets trimmed from life? Recipes Included! Finalist in the American Fiction Awards! “If you enjoy cozy mysteries and female sleuths, you'll enjoy Trimmed to Death. Besides, you get some recipes!” Christa Nardi, Christa Reads and Writes