Friday, September 26, 2014

A peak into The Forest Unseen

I have just spent the past week frantically working on a conference abstract that was due today.  I think my brains have leaked out of my ears at this point.

Since last week was fiction, here is a nice fiction book that has absolutely nothing to do with clay mineralogy or recalcitrant instruments ...

The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature by David George Haskell (which strikes me as three first names - told you my brains have leaked out.)

For Book Beginnings on Friday, hosted by Rose City Reader it starts ...

The New Year starts with a thaw, and the fat, wet smell of the woods fills my nose. Moisture has plumped the mat of fallen leaves that covers the forest floor, and the air is suffused with succulent leafy aromas. I leave the foot of the trail that winds down the forest slope and scramble around a house-sized piece of mossy, eroded rock. Across a shallow bowl on the mountainside I see my landmark: a long boulder, cresting out of the leaf litter like a small whale. The block of sandstone defines one edge of the mandala. 

For The Friday 56 hosted at Freda's Voice something from page of The Forest Unseen ...

The bright burning lives of the ephemerals ignite the rest of the forest. Their growing roots reinvigorating the dark life of the soil, absorbing and holding the nutrients that would otherwise be flushed out of the forest by the spring rains. Each root secretes a nutritious gel, creating a sheath of life around its hairy tip. Bacteria, fungi, and protists are a hundred times more abundant in this narrow halo, and these single-celled creatures provide food for nematodes, mites, and microscopic insects. The grazers are preyed upon by even larger soil-dwellers such as the bright orange centipede that shimmers back and forth over the mandala as I sit watching. 

 Okay - I stand corrected, or sit corrected rather, we have gotten perilously close to clay minerals - I have been processing soil samples all week. I am glad he is looking at the biological stuff instead.  Right now, though, picture books might be more my speed.

The author has some beautiful photographs up at

Photo by David George Haskell - from his website.


  1. Sounds like a very interesting book for any one.
    Happy weekend!

  2. Not my cup of tea but I like the cover. Does that count for something? My Friday Quotes at HEADFULLOFBOOKS

  3. That opening was nice. I could actually smell and feel it.
    Here is my 56 -

  4. You're a soil scientist too?!?!?!?! SAY WHAT!


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