A Sand County Almanac; with essays on conservation from by Aldo Leopold

By Aldo Leopold

We will position this e-book at the shelf that holds the writings of Thoreau and John Muir. San Francisco ChronicleThese stunning pix of the wildlife discover the breathtaking variety of the unspoiled American panorama -- the mountains and the prairies, the deserts and the coastlines. a gorgeous tribute to our land and a daring problem to guard the realm we adore.

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05 foot-candles. Do not be late, and sit quietly, lest he fly away in a huff. The stage props, like the opening hour, reflect the temperamental demands of the performer. The stage must be an open amphitheater in woods or brush, and in its center there must be a mossy spot, a streak of sterile sand, a bare outcrop of rock, or a bare roadway. Why the male woodcock should be such a stickler for a bare dance floor puzzled me at first, but I now think it is a matter of legs. The woodcock’s legs are short, and his struttings cannot be executed to advantage in dense grass or weeds, nor could his lady see them there.

At one period it advanced so far southward that spruce and other ‘rear guard’ species grew to and beyond the southern border of Wisconsin; spruce pollen appears at a certain level in all peat bogs of the region. But the average battle line between prairie and forest was about where it is now, and the net outcome of the battle was a draw. One reason for this was that there were allies that threw their support first to one side, then to the other. Thus rabbits and mice mowed down the prairie herbs in summer, and in winter girdled any oak seedlings that survived the fires.

The autobiography of an old board is a kind of literature not yet taught on campuses, but any riverbank farm is a library where he who hammers or saws may read at will. Come high water, there is always an accession of new books. There are degrees and kinds of solitude. An island in a lake has one kind; but lakes have boats, and there is always the chance that one might land to pay you a visit. A peak in the clouds has another kind; but most peaks have trails, and trails have tourists. I know of no solitude so secure as one guarded by a spring flood; nor do the geese, who have seen more kinds and degrees of aloneness than I have.

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