The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature

David Haskell, Author
David George Haskell. Viking, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-0-670-02337-0
Paperback - 270 pages - 978-0-14-312294-4
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-4751-7
Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-55765-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-4526-6751-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-4526-1751-0
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-101-56106-5
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Over the course of a year, University of the South biology professor Haskell makes frequent pilgrimages to a meter-wide spot along a slope in an old-growth Tennessee forest. During his visits, he peeks beneath the leaf litter, shivers at the howls of coyotes, and watches the light change as he gazes up at the green canopy of July or November’s bare twigs. Turning the patch of forest into his own natural laboratory, he reveals the science behind these moments of beauty, delighting in the resourcefulness of spring wildflowers and musing on the ecological partnerships that sustain lichens and other creatures. Throughout, Haskell shows the complexity and interdependence of the natural world, in which even the golf balls thwacked from a nearby green play a role. The Buddhist art of the mandala becomes a central reference point for the project, which contemplates the importance of close observation of the world around us. In the end, Haskell finds that even this tiny scrap of woods contains a teeming soup of life beyond the comprehension of our limited human senses. Yet for him, this awareness of his own “ignorance” is a joyful one, the web of life for him transcendentally tangled. This informative and inspiring meditation will give curious readers a few new things to pay attention to when walking through the woods. Agent: Alice Martell, the Martell Agency. (Mar.)
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