Outdoor Living & Gardening
Get outside! Plant a garden! Explore nature! But before you go, prepare ahead with some reading on the great outdoors.
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Longlisted for the 2023 PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award
A kaleidoscopic journey into the world of nature's most tantalizing flower, and the lives it has inspired.
The epitome of floral beauty, orchids have long fostered works of art, tales of adventure, and scientific discovery. Tenacious plant hunters have traversed continents to collect rare specimens; naturalists and shoguns have marveled at orchids' seductive architecture; royalty and the smart set have adorned themselves with their allure. In Orchid Muse, historian and home grower Erica Hannickel gathers these bold tales of the orchid-smitten throughout history, while providing tips on cultivating the extraordinary flowers she features. Consider Empress Eugenie and Queen Victoria, the two most powerful women in nineteenth-century Europe, who shared a passion for Coelogyne cristata, with its cascading, fragrant white blooms. John Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge, cultivated thousands of orchids and introduced captivating hybrids. Edmond Albius, an enslaved youth on an island off the coast of Madagascar, was the first person to hand-pollinate Vanilla planifolia, leading to vanilla's global boom. Artist Frida Kahlo was drawn to the lavender petals of Cattleya gigas and immortalized the flower's wilting form in a harrowing self-portrait, while more recently Margaret Mee painted the orchids she discovered in the Amazon to advocate for their conservation. The story of orchidomania is one that spans the globe, transporting readers from the glories of the palace gardens of Chinese Empress Cixi to a seedy dime museum in Gilded Age New York's Tenderloin, from hazardous jungles to the greenhouses and bookshelves of Victorian collectors. Lush and inviting, with radiant full-color illustrations throughout, Orchid Muse is the ultimate celebration of our enduring fascination with these beguiling flowers.
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Trees seen like never before--a world expert presents a stunning compendium, illuminating science, conservation, and art.
Trees provoke deep affection, spirituality, and creativity. They cover about a third of the world's land and play a crucial role in our environmental systems--influencing the water, carbon, and nutrient cycles and the global climate. This puts trees at the forefront of research into mitigating our climate emergency; we cannot understate their importance in shaping our daily lives and our planet's future.
In these lavish pages, ecologist Paul Smith celebrates all that trees have inspired across nearly every human culture throughout history. Generously illustrated with over 450 images and organized according to tree life cycle--from seeds and leaves to wood, flowers, and fruit--this book celebrates the great diversity and beauty of the 60,000 tree species that inhabit our planet. Surprising photography and infographics will inspire readers, illustrating intricate bark and leaf patterns, intertwined ecosystems, colorful flower displays, archaic wooden wheels, and timber houses. In this lavishly illustrated book, Smith presents the science, art, and culture of trees. As we discover the fundamental and fragile nature of trees and their interdependence, we more deeply understand the forest without losing sight of the magnificent trees.
The Prairie Garden
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As gardeners, we care. We care for our bountiful vegetable gardens. We care for our beautiful perennial flower beds and the aromatic herbs that we grow. We care about the fruit bushes and trees in our realm; along with the birds, and other creatures that share our garden space. That essential element of care in us also extends into caring for the Earth, which is particularly important in this time of climate change. So how can gardeners help care for the planet? The first step is to be informed. We need to ask ourselves what exactly is climate change? How will this affect my gardening practices? As our guest editor for this year, we invited Dr. Danny Blair to join us. Dr. Blair is a co-director of the Prairie Climate Centre and is a professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg where his area of expertise is climatology. His research looks at climate change with a particular focus on the Prairie Provinces. Dr. Blair and a number of his colleagues as well as several of our other authors provide information that will help you understand climate change, how it is affecting us now and how it will continue to affect our practices in home gardening in the future. Once we know what climate change is all about, step two is how can we help? There is much that home gardeners can do to adapt their gardening practices in the face of the changing climate. Read about the use of native and drought-resistant plants, water management; composting, and the importance of healthy soil. Discover how to reduce your carbon footprint by using less plastic, planting more trees and using mulch. And, as always, whether you are a newcomer or a veteran gardener, there are also articles of general interest to all who garden in our short-season planting zones.
The Secret Network of Nature
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"As you read these pages you will understand why I so admire [Peter Wohlleben] and am so in love with his work."
Nature is full of surprises: deciduous trees affect the rotation of the Earth, cranes sabotage the production of Iberian ham, and coniferous forests can make it rain. But what are the processes that drive these incredible phenomena? And why do they matter?
In The Secret Network of Nature, master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world's most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world around us with completely new eyes.
Published in Partnership with the David Suzuki Institute.
A Life on Our Planet
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In this scientifically informed account of the changes in nature over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian David Attenborough shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.
*Goodreads Choice Award Winner for Best Science & Technology Book of the Year*
See the world. Then make it better.
I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.
As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day -- the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity.
I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake -- and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.
We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited.
All we need is the will to do so.
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ONE OF THE NEW YORKER'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR (SO FAR)
A profound exploration of the spiritual power of nature--and an urgent call to reclaim that power in everyday life.
Since the beginning of time, humankind has looked upon nature and seen the divine. In the writings of the great thinkers across religions, the natural world inspires everything from fear to awe to tranquil contemplation; God, or however one defined the sublime, was present in everything. Yet today, even as we admire a tree or take in a striking landscape, we rarely see nature as sacred.
In this deeply powerful book, the bestselling historian of religion Karen Armstrong re-sacralizes nature for modern times. Drawing on her vast knowledge of the world's religious traditions, she vividly describes nature's central place in spirituality across the centuries: from the Book of Job to St. Thomas Aquinas, from Lao Tzu to Wordsworth, and from the Stoics to Jainism and beyond. Throughout, she reveals how we have lost our sense of the divine, and how we can get it back.
Armstrong explores the power of silence and solitude, the nature of personal sacrifice and the need to reconnect with sorrow and compassion--and how greater contact with and appreciation for nature can help us in unexpected ways. In bringing this age-old wisdom to life, Armstrong shows modern readers how to rediscover nature's potency and form a connection to something greater than ourselves.
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A Pulitzer Prize-winning correspondent and a former private investigator dive deep into the murky waters of the international salmon farming industry, exposing the unappetizing truth about a fish that is not as good for you as you have been told.
A decade ago, farmed Atlantic salmon replaced tuna as the most popular fish on North America's dinner tables. We are told salmon is healthy and environmentally friendly. The reality is disturbingly different.
In Salmon Wars, investigative journalists Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins bring readers to massive ocean feedlots where millions of salmon are crammed into parasite-plagued cages and fed a chemical-laced diet. The authors reveal the conditions inside hatcheries, where young salmon are treated like garbage, and at the farms that threaten our fragile coasts. They draw colorful portraits of characters, such as the big salmon farmer who poisoned his own backyard, the fly-fishing activist who risked everything to ban salmon farms in Puget Sound, and the American researcher driven out of Norway for raising the alarm about dangerous contaminants in the fish. Frantz and Collins document how the industrialization of Atlantic salmon threatens this keystone species, endangers our health and environment, and lines the pockets of our generation's version of Big Tobacco. And they show how it doesn't need to be this way.
Just as Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation forced a reckoning with the Big Mac, the vivid stories, scientific research, and high-stakes finance at the heart of Salmon Wars will inspire readers to make choices that protect our health and our planet.
A Daytripper's Guide To Manitoba
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Sandwiched between North Dakota and Nunavut, Manitoba has never been the busiest chunk of tourism real estate in North America. To independent travellers, this is a good thing: Canada's undiscovered province offers uncrowded beaches, innumerable lakes and unlikely cultural attractions, especially in the gritty/cool capital, Winnipeg. A Daytripper's Guide to Manitoba is the only comprehensive travel handbook to the -province and an indispensable tool for visitors from abroad, Canadians passing through and Manitobans who want to get to know their own backyard. This fourth edition is packed with new attractions such as Winnipeg's Inuit Art Gallery and cool new accommodations from Wasagaming to Winnipeg Beach. And since you've been cooped up a little more than usual as of late, this new edition has even more information about hiking, paddling and camping. Get the straight goods on cities, towns and natural attractions in every corner of the province and northwestern Ontario, compiled by one of Manitoba's most tenacious independent travellers, journalist Bartley Kives. Stuff your face with a fat boy, Winnipeg's famous burger. Eyeball turn-of-the-last-century architecture. Commune with nature in wild areas that still feel wild. And forget what you think you know about the Canadian prairies - the only thing flat about Manitoba is the Trans-Canada Highway.
What a Mushroom Lives For
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How the prized matsutake mushroom is remaking human communities in China--and providing new ways to understand human and more-than-human worlds
What a Mushroom Lives For pushes today's mushroom renaissance in compelling new directions. For centuries, Western science has promoted a human- and animal-centric framework of what counts as action, agency, movement, and behavior. But, as Michael Hathaway shows, the world-making capacities of mushrooms radically challenge this orthodoxy by revealing the lively dynamism of all forms of life.
The book tells the fascinating story of one particularly prized species, the matsutake, and the astonishing ways it is silently yet powerfully shaping worlds, from the Tibetan plateau to the mushrooms' final destination in Japan. Many Tibetan and Yi people have dedicated their lives to picking and selling this mushroom--a delicacy that drives a multibillion-dollar global trade network and that still grows only in the wild, despite scientists' intensive efforts to cultivate it in urban labs. But this is far from a simple story of humans exploiting a passive, edible commodity. Rather, the book reveals the complex, symbiotic ways that mushrooms, plants, humans, and other animals interact. It explores how the world looks to the mushrooms, as well as to the people who have grown rich harvesting them.
A surprise-filled journey into science and human culture, this exciting and provocative book shows how fungi shape our planet and our lives in strange, diverse, and often unimaginable ways.
An Immense World
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
A "thrilling" (The New York Times), "dazzling" (The Wall Street Journal) tour of the radically different ways that animals perceive the world that will fill you with wonder and forever alter your perspective, by Pulitzer Prize-winning science journalist Ed Yong
"One of this year's finest works of narrative nonfiction."--Oprah Daily
ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Time, People, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Slate, Reader's Digest, Publishers Weekly, BookPage
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Globe and Mail, The New Yorker, Oprah Daily, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine, Kirkus Reviews, Library Journal
The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. In An Immense World, Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses to encounter beetles that are drawn to fires, turtles that can track the Earth's magnetic fields, fish that fill rivers with electrical messages, and even humans who wield sonar like bats. We discover that a crocodile's scaly face is as sensitive as a lover's fingertips, that the eyes of a giant squid evolved to see sparkling whales, that plants thrum with the inaudible songs of courting bugs, and that even simple scallops have complex vision. We learn what bees see in flowers, what songbirds hear in their tunes, and what dogs smell on the street. We listen to stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, while looking ahead at the many mysteries that remain unsolved.
Funny, rigorous, and suffused with the joy of discovery, An Immense World takes us on what Marcel Proust called "the only true voyage . . . not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes."
Finding the Mother Tree
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INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
*WINNER of the 2021 Banff Mountain Book Prize in Mountain Environment and Natural History*
*WINNER of the National Outdoor Book Award for Natural History Literature*
*WINNER of the 2022 BC and Yukon Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award*
*SHORTLISTED for the 2022 BC and Yukon Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Book Prize*
*SHORTLISTED for the 2021 Science Writers and Communicators of Canada Book Award*
A world-leading expert shares her amazing story of discovering the communication that exists between trees, and shares her own story of family and grief.
Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she's been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her work has influenced filmmakers (the Tree of Souls in James Cameron's Avatar), and her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.
Now, in her first book, Simard brings us into her world, the intimate world of the trees, in which she brilliantly illuminates the fascinating and vital truths--that trees are not simply the source of timber or pulp but are a complicated, interdependent circle of life; that forests are social, cooperative creatures connected through underground networks by which trees communicate their vitality and vulnerabilities with communal lives not that different from our own.
Simard describes up close--in revealing and accessible ways--how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved; how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about their future; how they elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication: characteristics previously ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies. And, at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.Simard, born and raised in the rain forests of British Columbia, spent her days as a child cataloging the trees from the forest; she came to love and respect them and embarked on a journey of discovery and struggle. Her powerful story is one of love and loss, of observation and change, of risk and reward. And it is a testament to how deeply human scientific inquiry exists beyond data and technology: it's about understanding who we are and our place in the world.
In her book, as in her groundbreaking research, Simard proves the true connectedness of the Mother Tree to the forest, nurturing it in the profound ways that families and humansocieties nurture one another, and how these inseparable bonds enable all our survival.
Canadian Outdoor Survival Guide
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This book is straightforward, practical guide for taking care of yourself (and others) in a survival situation with crucial, basic survival skills required for an emergency situation during all four seasons in all wilderness areas of Canada. Objectives: o Understanding the importance of being prepared o Learning basic short-term bushcraft skills o Types and use of tools, equipment, strategies and techniques required for successful survival (and rescue) in the wilderness. Readers will learn essential wilderness survival skills for each region of Canada and learn about environmental hazards such as; weather, predators and regional terrain, emergency first aid, search and rescue. Filled with useful illustrations and diagrams, the Canadian Survival Guide will provide instruction on such outdoor survival techniques as shelter construction/location, fire making, water requirements and acquisition, signaling, hunting and trapping techniques, animal signs and identification, fishing, gathering, foraging for berries and wild edibles and plant identification. Whether you find yourself stranded in the dense rainforests of British Columbia or on the tundra of Northern Canada, the Canadian Survival Guide will get you out in one piece.
Field Notes on Listening
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When Kit Dobson's daughter looked at the field of stars on the screen at the beginning of a new Star Wars movie in the theatre and remarked to her father, "Yeah, right. There's not that many stars," Dobson suddenly realized his daughter had never truly seen the night sky. From then on Dobson began to think seriously about how little we, as humans, interact with the natural world and how that has changed our place within it. Field Notes on Listening is a response to our lack of connection to the land we call home, the difficult history of how many of us came to be here and what we could discover if we listened deeply to the world around us. Written in brief, elegant sections, Field Notes on Listening starts at Dobson's kitchen table, a family heirloom, and wends through time and space, looking at his family's lost farm, the slow violence of climate change, loss of habitat, the tensions of living in late-stage capitalism and through careful listening strives to find a way through it all, returning, in the end, to home and the same table.
Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World
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NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE o A "lyrical" (Chicago Tribune) final work of nonfiction from the National Book Award-winning author of Arctic Dreams and Horizon, a literary icon whose writing, fieldwork, and mentorship inspired generations of writers and activists.
"Mesmerizing . . . a master observer . . . whose insight and moral clarity have earned comparisons to Henry David Thoreau."--The Wall Street Journal
ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Outside
ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times
An ardent steward of the land, fearless traveler, and unrivaled observer of nature and culture, Barry Lopez died after a long illness on Christmas Day 2020. The previous summer, a wildfire had consumed much of what was dear to him in his home place and the community around it--a tragic reminder of the climate change of which he'd long warned.
At once a cri de coeur and a memoir of both pain and wonder, this remarkable collection of essays adds indelibly to Lopez's legacy, and includes previously unpublished works, some written in the months before his death. They unspool memories both personal and political, among them tender, sometimes painful stories of his childhood in New York City and California, reports from expeditions to study animals and sea life, recollections of travels to Antarctica and other extraordinary places on earth, and meditations on finding oneself amid vast, dramatic landscapes. He reflects on those who taught him, including Indigenous elders and scientific mentors who sharpened his eye for the natural world. We witness poignant returns from his travels to the sanctuary of his Oregon backyard, adjacent to the McKenzie River. And in prose of searing candor, he reckons with the cycle of life, including his own, and--as he has done throughout his career--with the dangers the earth and its people are facing.
With an introduction by Rebecca Solnit that speaks to Lopez's keen attention to the world, including its spiritual dimensions, Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World opens our minds and souls to the importance of being wholly present for the beauty and complexity of life.
"This posthumously published collection of essays by nature writer Barry Lopez reveals an exceptional life and mind . . . While certainly a testament to his legacy and an ephemeral reprieve from his death in 2020, this book is more than a memorial: it offers a clear-eyed praxis of hope in what Lopez calls this 'Era of Emergencies.'"--Scientific American
The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi
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"Fans of Merlin Sheldrake's Entangled Life and Suzanne Simard's Finding the Mother Tree will enjoy Seifert's latest... A perspective-shifting guide to our microfungal matrix."--Kirkus
Even though we can't always see them, fungi exist all around us. From forests and farms to food and medicine--and even our homes and bodies--fungal connections shape how we live. In this illuminating book, readers will "discover how these marvels of nature enrich (and sometimes threaten) our lives."(Peter Wohlleben, New York Times-bestselling author of The Hidden Life of Trees).
Esteemed career mycologist Keith Seifert reveals the important role that microscopic fungi, including yeasts, molds, and slimes, play in our lives, all while remaining invisible to the naked eye. Divided into sections, each one exploring a different environment where fungi thrive, The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi introduces readers to the fascinating world of mycology, with information on:
How fungi are at the heart of life-changing medical breakthroughs, including the development of antibiotics such as penicillin and organ transplant drugs. Where fungi live in our homes and how they influence our health, from our gut to our scalps. How fungi add important vitamins to our diet and make our favorite foods and drinks possible, including wine, cheese, chocolate, and beer. The essential role fungi are playing in innovative technologies, such as creating alternative energy sources, reducing plastic pollution, cleaning up toxins from oil spills, and even building architecture for a Mars colony.Despite their many benefits, we hold a precarious relationship with fungi: fungal diseases lead to over 1 million deaths each year, and they have played a destructive role in disasters ranging from the Irish Potato Famine to possibly even the extinction of the dinosaurs. The Hidden Kingdom of Fungi urges us to better understand our relationship with fungi--and to plan our future with them in mind--while revealing their world in all its beautiful complexity.