Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species

Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN: 038554362X

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 7816

An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall) Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and the importance of preserving it. *Featuring 16 pages of color photos*
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Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species

Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241979307

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 4993

Passionate, forthright and enthusiastic, Carlos Magdalena is a world-renowned horticulturist - known both for his charisma and his conservation work. The Plant Messiah follows Carlos' dreams and disappointments; from his days as a school boy in the death throes of General Franco's Fascist dictatorship, to his advent as The Plant Messiah at the forefront of conservation, backed by the reputation and resources of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and enthused by the potential that lies beyond. The book discloses for the first time the details behind his 'codebreaking' exploits and the secret stories behind his work; his genius, lateral thinking and steadfast belief that everything is possible.
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Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species

Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Doubleday Books

ISBN: 9780385543613

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 3683

An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall) Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and the importance of preserving it. *Featuring 16 pages of color photos*
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Author: Stanley L. Bentley

Publisher: UNC Press Books

ISBN: 1469620359

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 9540

This authoritative guide showcases the unmatched beauty and diversity of the native orchids of the southern Appalachian mountains. Based on Stanley Bentley's many years of nature study, it covers the 52 species--including one discovered by Bentley and named after him--found in a region encompassing western Virginia and North Carolina and eastern West Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The entry for each orchid provides the plant's scientific and common names, a description of the flower (including color, shape, and size), and information on the time of flowering, range, and typical habitat, all in the context of the southern mountains. A range map accompanies each description, and Bentley's own superb photographs are an additional aid to identification. Using straightforward language yet incorporating the most up-to-date scientific information and nomenclature, the book will be welcomed by amateur naturalists or professional botanists looking for species in the field and by those who simply enjoy photographs of beautiful wildflowers.
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Skills and Stories from Generations of Gardeners

Author: Augustus Jenkins Farmer

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604696001

Category: Gardening

Page: 248

View: 2172

We have begun to lose some of the most important skills used by everyday gardeners to create beautiful, productive gardens. With a personality-driven, engaging narrative, Deep Rooted Wisdom teaches accessible, commonsense skills to a new generation of gardeners. Soulful gardener, Augustus Jenkins Farmer, profiles experienced and up-and-coming gardeners who use these skills in their own gardens. Enjoy this chance to get planting, propagation, and fertilizing knowledge handed down directly from the experts in the field.
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Author: Richard Conniff

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393341321

Category: Science

Page: 464

View: 2601

From the mid-eighteenth century to the dawn of the twentieth, a handful of adventurers traveled the world on a mission to discover and classify new species. These motley figures, who were often amateurs rather than trained experts, counted among their ranks a grave-robbing anatomist who became the model for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a Catholic missionary who held off bandits at gunpoint, and a British ornithologist who jammed his left arm down the throat of a charging leopard - but happily was still able to play a good game of tennis. As Conniff shows, these adventurers were part of a larger trend, as people from all corners of society - from missionaries to schoolchildren - were overtaken by the desire to understand the natural world and identify previously unknown species. Rich with surprising stories of discovery and adventure, The Species Seekers gives us a new window on an era when humankind gained a new appreciation for nature and the pantheon of species with which we share this planet.
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The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats

Author: Daniel Stone

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101990589

Category: Botanists

Page: 416

View: 3649

David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. Fairchild's finds weren't just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionised an industry, and via Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America's capital. Along the way, he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. Through him, America transformed into the most diverse food system ever created.
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Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans

Author: Mark Lynas

Publisher: National Geographic Books

ISBN: 142620891X

Category: Nature

Page: 280

View: 4929

Lynas argues that we can sustain a world of nine billion at higher living standards than today, but only if we take a more scientific approach to recognizing the real ecological limits of Earth. And that means taking a clear-eyed, rational look at a host of issues such as organic farming, genetically engineered crops, and nuclear power.
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Our Ten Years on the Front Lines of the Good Food Revolution

Author: Brent Preston

Publisher: Abrams

ISBN: 1683353021

Category: Social Science

Page: 288

View: 3871

ADVANCE PRAISE “A must-read story told with honesty, humor, and humility by a passionate farmer who reminds us what our food system can and should be about.”—Daniel Boulud “Preston uses brilliant storytelling and brutal honesty to describe what it takes to create both a viable organic farm and a more meaningful life for himself and his family. The New Farm is the kind of book that will inspire people to make positive change.”—Arianna Huffington “Both a book about the food system and a tell-all of his journey. . . . The ups, and mostly downs, he describes might have been a trial but they do make for a good read.”—The Globe and Mail After years of working at the ends of the earth in human rights and development, Brent Preston and his wife were die-hard city dwellers. But when their second child arrived, the shine came off urban living. In 2003 they bought a hundred acres and a rundown farmhouse and set out to build a real farm, one that would sustain their family, nourish their community, heal their environment, and turn a profit. The New Farm is Preston’s memoir of a decade of grinding toil and perseverance. Farming is a complex and precarious business, and they made plenty of mistakes along the way. But as they learned how to grow food, and to succeed at the business of farming, they also found that a small, sustainable, organic farm could be an engine for change, a path to a more just and sustainable food system. Today, The New Farm supplies top restaurants, supports community food banks, hosts events with leading chefs, and grows extraordinary produce. Told with humor and heart, The New Farm is a joy, a passionate book by an important new voice.
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The Tree That Time Forgot

Author: Peter Crane

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300190476

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 9079

DIVPerhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained stubbornly unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living link to the age of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but it earned its reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago. Today ginkgo is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity. This engaging book tells the full and fascinating story of a tree that people saved from extinction—a story that offers hope for other botanical biographies that are still being written./divDIV /divDIVInspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, renowned botanist Peter Crane explores the evolutionary history of the species from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees. Readers of this extraordinarily interesting book will be drawn to the nearest ginkgo, where they can experience firsthand the timeless beauty of the oldest tree on Earth./div
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An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Vascular Plants

Author: Maarten J. M. Christenhusz,Michael F. Fay,Mark W. Chase

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022653670X

Category: Nature

Page: 816

View: 4047

Plants of the World is the first book to systematically explore every vascular plant family on earth—more than four hundred and fifty of them—organized in a modern phylogenetic order. Detailed entries for each family include descriptions, distribution, evolutionary relationships, and fascinating information on economic uses of plants and etymology of their names. All entries are also copiously illustrated in full color with more than 2,500 stunning photographs. A collaboration among three celebrated botanists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Plants of the World is authoritative, comprehensive, and beautiful. Covering everything from ferns to angiosperms, it will be an essential resource for practicing botanists, horticulturists, and nascent green thumbs alike.
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Why It Matters and How It Works

Author: Timothy Walker

Publisher: Timber Press

ISBN: 1604695692

Category: Gardening

Page: 304

View: 6943

Plants’ ability to turn sunlight into energy makes them the basis for all life; without them there is no life. And they are more than just a food source—they provide us with fuel, fibers, and pharmaceuticals. Global warming and the destruction of natural habitats are a serious threat to many plants, and there are worldwide efforts to mitigate the disaster. Plant Conservation tackles this essential topic head on. Timothy Walker, as the director of the Oxford Botanical Garden, a leader in the field of plant conservation, plays a key role in this effort. He highlights what is happening now, from cataloging the world’s flora to conservation efforts like protecting plants from overcollecting. He also shows home gardeners how they can become involved, whether by growing their own food to decrease reliance on large agriculture or by making smart plant choices by growing natives and avoiding invasives. Plant Conservation treats a critical topic in an accessible and optimistic way. It is required reading for students, professionals, and anyone with a keen interest in the importance of plants.
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Life, Politics, Cinema

Author: Mrinal Sen

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780857424983

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 360

View: 5002

One of the greatest ambassadors of Indian cinema on the global stage, Mrinal Sen has always seen his life and work as part of the social and political fabric of his time. Considered the enfant terrible of Indian cinema when he broke on the scene in the 1960s and '70s, Sen today is known for his films that capture moments of truth in the ordinary lives of ordinary people. His masterfully subtle and nuanced portraits of urban class tension, leftist politics, and the city of Calcutta itself--which Sen has called his El Dorado--set his cinema apart from that of his contemporaries. Montage encapsulates half a century of filmmaking. A first-of-its-kind anthology, it includes original writings--memoirs, letters, musings on politics, literature, theater, and cinema; critiques of contemporaries such as Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak, as well as inspirations such as Charlie Chaplin and a host of international filmmakers, especially those from Latin America--and intensive interviews with scholars and critics. The result is a unique montage, revealing both the filmmaker and the man, mapping a unique creative landscape, and offering valuable insights into his acclaimed films.
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How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction

Author: Chris D. Thomas

Publisher: PublicAffairs

ISBN: 1610397282

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 6981

Human activity has irreversibly changed the natural environment. But the news isn't all bad. It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world, causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in Inheritors of the Earth, biologist Chris Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-colored comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of the technological age. This eye-opening book is a profound reexamination of the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
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An Amazonian Water Lily, The Quest to Make it Bloom, and the World it Created

Author: Tatiana Holway

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199911169

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 1071

In 1837, while charting the Amazonian country of Guiana for Great Britain, German naturalist Robert Schomburgk discovered an astounding "vegetable wonder"--a huge water lily whose leaves were five or six feet across and whose flowers were dazzlingly white. In England, a horticultural nation with a mania for gardens and flowers, news of the discovery sparked a race to bring a live specimen back, and to bring it to bloom. In this extraordinary plant, named Victoria regia for the newly crowned queen, the flower-obsessed British had found their beau ideal. In The Flower of Empire, Tatiana Holway tells the story of this magnificent lily, revealing how it touched nearly every aspect of Victorian life, art, and culture. Holway's colorful narrative captures the sensation stirred by Victoria regia in England, particularly the intense race among prominent Britons to be the first to coax the flower to bloom. We meet the great botanists of the age, from the legendary Sir Joseph Banks, to Sir William Jackson Hooker, director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, to the extravagant flower collector the Duke of Devonshire. Perhaps most important was the Duke's remarkable gardener, Joseph Paxton, who rose from garden boy to knight, and whose design of a series of ever-more astonishing glass-houses--one, the Big Stove, had a footprint the size of Grand Central Station--culminated in his design of the architectural wonder of the age, the Crystal Palace. Fittingly, Paxton based his design on a glass-house he had recently built to house Victoria regia. Indeed, the natural ribbing of the lily's leaf inspired the pattern of girders supporting the massive iron-and-glass building. From alligator-laden jungle ponds to the heights of Victorian society, The Flower of Empire unfolds the marvelous odyssey of this wonder of nature in a revealing work of cultural history.
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The Adventures of the World's Greatest Botanical Explorers

Author: Carolyn Fry

Publisher: Andre Deutsch

ISBN: 9780233005164

Category: Nature

Page: 160

View: 3546

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52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature

Author: Jennifer Ward

Publisher: Shambhala Publications

ISBN: 1590305353

Category: Family & Relationships

Page: 153

View: 7228

Provides fifty-two outdoor activities for families to help engage children in discovering and learning about nature, including observing ants, tracing stars, and cultivating a garden.
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Author: James B. Nardi

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022653183X

Category: Gardening

Page: 288

View: 5259

Every square inch of soil is rich with energy and life, and nowhere is this more evident than in the garden. At the tips of our trowels, a sun-driven world of microbes, insects, roots, and stems awaits—and it is a world no one knows better than James Nardi. A charming guide to all things green and growing, Nardi is as at home in prairies, forests, and wetlands as he is in the vegetable patch. And with Discoveries in the Garden, he shows us that these spaces aren’t as different as we might think, that nature flourishes in our backyards, schoolyards, and even indoors. To find it, we’ve only got to get down into the dirt. Leading us through the garden gate, Nardi reveals the extraordinary daily lives and life cycles of a quick-growing, widely available, and very accommodating group of study subjects: garden plants. Through close observations and simple experiments we all can replicate at home, we learn the hidden stories behind how these plants grow, flower, set seeds, and produce fruits, as well as the vital role dead and decomposing plants play in nourishing the soil. From pollinators to parasites, plant calisthenics to the wisdom of weeds, Nardi’s tale also introduces us to our fellow animal and microbial gardeners, the community of creatures both macro- and microscopic with whom we share our raised beds. Featuring a copse of original, informative illustrations that are as lush as the garden plants themselves, Discoveries in the Garden is an enlightening romp through the natural history, science, beauty, and wonder of these essential green places.
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How to survive when everything wants to eat you

Author: Dale Walters

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0191062847

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 4225

The survival of plants on our planet is nothing short of miraculous. They are virtually stationary packages of food, providing sustenance for a vast array of organisms, ranging from bacteria and fungi, through to insects, and even other plants. But plants are master survivors, having coped with changing environments and evolving predators over much of the history of life on earth. They have surveillance systems and defences that would put most modern armies to shame. They need to have a formidable armoury, because their enemies have sophisticated weaponry of their own. In this often hostile world, battles are fought daily, often to the death. These battles are not trivial - they matter, because life on this fragile planet of ours depends on plants. In this book Dale Walters takes readers on a journey through these battlefields, exploring how predators try to fool plants' surveillance systems and, if they manage to do so, how they gain access to the nourishment they require. Incredibly, successful attackers can manipulate plant function in order to suppress any attempt by the plant to mount defensive action, while at the same time ensuring a steady supply of food for their own survival. Walters shows how plants respond to such attacks, the defences they use, and how the attacked plant can communicate its plight to its neighbours. These skirmishes represent the latest stage in an unending evolutionary war between plants and organisms that feed on them. These battles might be on a micro scale, but they are every bit as fierce, complicated, and fascinating as the battles between animal predators and prey.
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Go Ahead. Love Your Planet. Just Not Too Much.

Author: Virginia Arthur

Publisher: BookBaby

ISBN: 1495117758

Category: Fiction

Page: 355

View: 8533

Set at the dawn of America's environmental consciousness, late 1970's, early '80's, in Part I, pretty Ellowyn Kelsey is a redneck girl living the pretty redneck life in rural Michigan. This includes waiting for her roofer husband to come around, maybe notice the new curtains she put up, or even the flowers in her hair. Her self-imposed lobotomy ends simply enough--she shows up at the wrong time for a church picnic and ends up with a bunch of birders. Peering through a pair of borrowed binoculars, she realizes the love between a mating pair of bluebirds is more profound than what she shares with the bonehead she's married to. Something in her breaks. She's young, naive, and despite that everyone else around her recognizes what she is going through, she doesn't--until the depth of her pain and emotion holds her captive. She doesn't understand it, the end of her empty marriage and she really did try to cuss less though hanging around with her best friend Patty didn't help. What did he want from her exactly? Did he even love her? Everyone knew her marriage to Eddie was doomed before she did. How can she be the last to know? She is indignant, hurt. She has no idea how to process the emotional sideswipe. Her loss and pain is expressed through the crazy narcissistic melodrama of youth, justified or not. Her reluctant yet unabashed accomplice is Patty. Part II finds her experiencing yet another major loss. This time, it forces her to grow up, evaluate. She finds refuge in nature, in her birds, in science, making true her mother's prediction--a chasm may form someday between her new and old life, between she and Patty. Her new life is about ecology, birding, nature, science--getting out of her rural town, maybe even going to college. As the narcissism of her youth, her "prior" life wears off, so grows the divide between the people in her town. She starts to care about something bigger than herself (God forbid!)--her ailing planet. This only serves to amuse the "rednecks and assorted white trash" of her rural town who waste no time labeling her as their own "token environmental wacko". She stays focused. She loves ecology, birds, but wait a minute, what's that strip mall doing there? She meets Kate, one of the first female biologists to be hired by the state Fish and Game Department. In addition to enduring her role as a trailblazer in a male-dominated profession (i.e. the spontaneous massages, etc.), Kate has spent her life fighting to "protect the environment". It hasn't really worked out. Kate's really angry and nobody likes Kate. Who wants to end up like Kate? Is this the price you pay for caring about something bigger than yourself? Ellie wonders if she shouldn't head back to the fart jokes, Foosball,and Budweiser; but the barbecues just aren't as much fun anymore. She meets someone at one of those infamous barbecues. He likes her. She runs like hell, and she keeps running, to the other side of country. She leaves her boring rural life in Michigan to travel "out west" where she has some very unexpected experiences: roaming spirits in the desert, accidental crusades against development at her sister's place in San Diego, geographically diverse sexual encounters that include a "real cowboy" and a "real Indian", a Miwok/Paiute BLM park ranger out of Mono Lake. Then there are those amazing sandhill cranes--and who is this guy in my tent? She can't dodge it try as she may--the inevitable grief life thrusts upon all of us, including the grief of watching nature get destroyed by her own species. And then there's the dog. Her wonderful wonderful dog. She passes through all the stages every aware person passes through, some staying in one stage, comfortably or not, while others stay stuck in despair, hopelessness...alcohol and drugs always optional. Major influences: Ed Abbey, Tom Robbins, John Irving, Rachel Carson, T.C. Boyle, J.D. Salinger, Pam Houston, Kurt Vonnegut, many others.
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