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The Strangler Fig and Other Tales : Field Notes of a Conservationist - Mary A. Hood

The Strangler Fig and Other Tales

Field Notes of a Conservationist

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Hood's travel memoir is a lyrical journey to places of great natural beauty and biological importance. As a poet and a scientist, she uses the language of both to recapture our human connection to nature. Her stories of tropical rain forests, deserts and prairies reveal the vulnerability of natural places and the consequences of unsustainable exploitation and urbanization. These essays are an act of conservation, to preserve places encountered and cared about, as part of our biological and historical heritage. This inspiring and informative work will be valuable for those interested in nature or travel memoirs, creative writing, ethnographic writing, and for all who are concerned with our broader sense of place in the global environment.

This is a delightful natural history of some of the most enticing places in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling to these destinations and viewing the magic of the flora and fauna of these locales through the eyes of an accomplished scientist and naturalist. -- Mary Swander, Iowa State University Part travel memoir, part nature guide, part social justice musings, this book is a beautifully written journey through some of the last wild (and not so wild) places on earth. As a microbiologist and ecologist, Mary Hood is eminently qualified to observethe natural world, from the penguins of Antarctica to the towering trees and tiny limpets of the Pacific Northwest and the plants and birds of her own Florida backyard. As a poet, Hood is wonderfully adept at translating her observations into lyrical, readable prose. Throughout the book, Hood uses the notion of a 'sense of place' to connect her stories together. She argues that until humans develop a more encompassing sense of their place within the world's ecosystems, we will continue to lose habitat andbiodiversity at alarming rates. A useful tool for naturalists is Hood's inclusion of scientific as well as common names for most of the flora and fauna she encounters. Another bonus is her bibliography of well over 100 items by naturalists, nature lovers, birders, scientists, poets, and travel writers. This book is a lovely read?I recommend it to anyone with an interest in beautiful descriptions of the natural world and humanity's place in it. -- Ann Hibner Koblitz, Arizona State University The Strangler Fig and Other Tales hugs the reader from beginning to end while providing continuous enchantment. Mary Hood shows us what it means, both aesthetically and ethically, to care about 'nature' and its wonders. Hers is a welcoming tale that offers a spacious place for the least as well as the most ecologically minded readers. By taking us with her on journeys to several American regions-the south, the midwest, the northeast-as well as to South America, Central America, and Mexico, Hood's rich narrative draws dense, moving connections between our own well-being and that of the world we share with other life forms. -- Mary Rogers, University of West Florida Mary Hood's book is entertaining, factual, and philosophical. The travelogue slant to the book is appealing, particularly for places that I had traveled myself, especially Tierra del Fuego. I readily recommend the book to those who enjoy nature and travel-there is much to entertain both the amateur and the expert. -- Rita R. Colwell, Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Part travel memoir, part nature guide, part social justice musings, this book is a beautifully written journey through some of the last wild (and not so wild) places on earth. As a microbiologist and ecologist, Mary Hood is eminently qualified to observe the natural world, from the penguins of Antarctica to the towering trees and tiny limpets of the Pacific Northwest and the plants and birds of her own Florida backyard. As a poet, Hood is wonderfully adept at translating her observations into lyrical, readable prose. Throughout the book, Hood uses the notion of a 'sense of place' to connect her stories together. She argues that until humans develop a more encompassing sense of their place within the world's ecosystems, we will continue to lose habitat and biodiversity at alarming rates. A useful tool for naturalists is Hood's inclusion of scientific as well as common names for most of the flora and fauna she encounters. Another bonus is her bibliography of well over 100 items by naturalists, nature lovers, birders, scientists, poets, and travel writers. This book is a lovely read-I recommend it to anyone with an interest in beautiful descriptions of the natural world and humanity's place in it. -- Ann Hibner Koblitz, Arizona State University

Prefacep. xi
The Beginnings of an Ecological Ethics
Louisiana: The Bargep. 3
Some Last Great Places South America: Introductionp. 11
A Wilderness: Patagoniap. 13
Highlands: Patagonia Revisitedp. 31
Drylands: The Atacama Desertp. 41
Central America and Mexico: Introductionp. 55
Tropical Places: Costa Rica, the Yucatan, and Panamap. 57
Nature as Connection
Kinship with the Natural World: Mitchellsville Gorge Trail, New Yorkp. 77
Social Connections: Osprey Nature Trail, Iowap. 82
Belonging to Place: Life Birds, Vermontp. 85
Sanctuaries
Private Lands: Vicksburg, Mississippip. 91
National Refuges: A Festival of Cranes, New Mexicop. 97
Preserves: Prairies of Iowa and Louisianap. 101
Eco-Myths
South Sea Island Paradise: Bali and Lombok, Indonesiap. 109
Survival of the Fittest: Survival Camp in New Jerseyp. 117
Africa as Wilderness: Kenya and Tanzaniap. 121
The Legacy of Corporatization
Sprawl: Ft. McDowell in Arizonap. 133
Impoverishment: Hudson Bay, Canadap. 136
Extinction: In Praise of Trees, Washingtonp. 139
More Extinction: A Pygmy Owl in Texasp. 148
Bioregionalism: The Ethics of "It All Begins and Ends at Home"
Home as Region: A Southern Fringe, The Gulf Coastp. 153
Home as Personal: The Home Place, Floridap. 173
Bibliographyp. 177
Indexp. 183
About the Authorp. 193
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780759106772
ISBN-10: 0759106770
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 208
Published: 1st January 2004
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.7 x 15.7  x 1.3
Weight (kg): 0.33