Friday, October 25, 2013

Midwest Nature Quote of the Week

In many tallgrass prairies, the break between forest and grassland was shockingly abrupt. A man would walk through forest among many of the same flowers and trees that he had known in Pennsylvania…. He would break through a narrow belt of sunflowers, and then out into an open world of limitless sky and distance. At his back were the familiar trees and flowers of the Old States; out front were prairie coneflowers and compass-plants, and a vast sea of grasses in an entirely new plant association. In ten strides he had passed from one world to another, across what was probably the sharpest, clearest boundary between any of the major floristic provinces of the New World.

Hope for Things with Feathers

Review of The Raptors of Iowa illustrated by James F. Landenberger

One state's efforts to save birds of prey provides case studies for conservationists everywhere, in a small but richly illustrated package.

To see the full review found in the Scientists' Bookshelf, please click here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Salamanders: A Closer Look

A new study from Clemson University has found that the examination of the anatomy of the mudskipper fish and tiger salamanders may help explain why fins eventually evolved into limbs.

In Salamanders in Your Pocket: A Guide to Caudates of the Upper Midwest, Terry VanDeWalle provides a complete description of about twenty-five species of salamanders found in the Upper Midwest, as well as distinguishing characteristics for twenty-one subspecies. With stunning photographs by Suzanne L. Collins, this new guide is the perfect companion for outdoor expeditions in all kinds of moist environments. Look for Salamanders in Your Pocket to be released this fall as a Bur Oak guide.

Douglas Bauer at the Concord Festival of Authors

Douglas Bauer will be participating in the Concord Festival of Authors tomorrow in Concord, MA. Don't miss this opportunity to hear him read from his new book, What Happens Next? Matters of Life and Death.

Reading at the Concord Festival of Authors
Date: Thursday, October 24
Time: 7:30 P.M.
Location: 659 Elm St., Concord, MA

If you're planning to attend, make sure to join our Facebook event page! We hope to see you there!

Praise for What Happens Next?
"A literate, thoughtful memoir/essay collection from the heartland."—Kirkus

Monday, October 21, 2013

Excerpt from Esther's Town

Despite all the faults I can discover in the new, I like much of it. Life is more comfortable. I enjoy its conveniences. I could not have imagined as a boy that the average American would ever have it so deluxe. Dependable automobiles, household appliances, calculators, tools, typewriters, mechanical equipment, and furnishings abound. Homes, offices, stores, and industrial plants are well lighted, ventilated, heated, and cooled, and they are attractively appointed. Even though I still prefer fresh air over refrigerated air (which plugs my sinuses), I know this all sums up to progress.

What I am less sure of is that Americans are wisely using all their advantages and resources. I am encouraged that Estherville and the nation are developing awareness of the country's improvidence and wastefulness, but a happy mix of imposing environmental control and meeting needs of the economy has not been achieved.

Esther's Town by Deemer Lee