Earth Day this Saturday has us thinking about the beauty in the natural world all around us! Our #FridayReads books this week range from titles that showcase some of the best of Earth’s flora and fauna, to a book that shows the effect climate change has had on our shorelines, highlighting the need for change before it’s too late.
The East Coast of North America is a wondrous, intriguing, yet threatened coastline. It zigs and zags for more than 5,500 miles and assumes a multifaceted, jigsaw shape from the Arctic Circle and Greenland across the Canadian Maritimes, then southward into Maine, Cape Cod, New York Harbor, the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays, along the Outer Banks to Charleston Harbor and on to Cape Canaveral. It ends at the Dry Tortugas on the western tip of the Florida Keys near the Tropic of Cancer. In this companion book to “West Coast: Bering to Baja”, David Freese has once again captured a vast coastal region—one that presently faces a major peril from the rising sea brought about by global climate change and higher temperatures on land and in the ocean.
There are wonderful surprises here. The remote regions of Greenland, northern Quebec, Labrador, and Newfoundland offer breathtaking beauty that many people would not normally associate with the East Coast. As seen from the air, there are estuaries, fjords, cities, rivers, bays, wildlife refuges, parks, beaches, and islands that create stunning abstract shapes which also reveal their fragility in the face of the increasing sea-level.
Simon Winchester, always the master storyteller, provides the informative and captivating tale about the geological underpinnings and climatic history of the Atlantic seaboard, including an ominous view of what lies ahead. Jenna Butler, an award-winning Canadian author, gives a noteworthy commentary on Freese’s photographs, as she places the images in context with the expansive North American environment and explains the effects and risks of global warming to the populations of Canada and the United States.
“East Coast: Arctic to Tropic” is the perfect complement to “West Coast: Bering to Baja”, in which Freese explored the creation and dangers associated with the North American portion of the Pacific’s Ring of Fire. Together, the books provide a unique photographic and historical record of these two remarkably diverse Atlantic and Pacific Coasts at the very start of a true land-and-sea change brought about by human use of fossil fuels. In “East Coast: Arctic to Tropic”, an extraordinary sequence of photographs tells the Atlantic tale and reveals an ocean that lies in wait.
The storms that cross the Great Plains of North America each spring are some of nature’s most spectacular. They can also be some of the most dangerous. Most people who live in areas susceptible to these storms keep a close eye on the weather reports and take cover or evacuate when one is on the way. Storm chasers keep an even closer eye on the weather data, but for a different reason: they don’t run away when they see a storm approaching, they follow it!
Professional photographer and Emmy Award winner, Mike Olbinski has chased storms throughout his native Arizona, as well as even further afield, including Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. Whether he’s photographing lightning, tornadoes or even cloud formations, his remarkable images are able to convey the awesome power and beauty of nature in its most dramatic and impressive forms.
With over 100 stunning color photographs, this book brings together some of Mike’s most breathtaking images from the past five years as he describes his love of the open road and the thrill of capturing the perfect storm on film.
Baobabs of the World
A photographic masterpiece, this beautiful book is a fitting tribute to the baobab – an extraordinary and majestic tree found principally in Madagascar, and peripherally in Africa and Australia.
The first section offers a short introduction to the classification and general description of baobabs, details of their life history, bio-geography, dispersal and their role in people’s lives. The second section comprises a guide to each of the eight baobab species, including botanical description, details of their habitat, distribution and principal uses, accompanied by clear images and line drawings of the leaves, flowers, fruits and growth habit of each species.
Interesting text and lavish photographs throughout make this book irresistible for specialist botanists and lay enthusiasts alike, and it will have particular appeal for tourists too.
Mammals include some of the most intriguing creatures on the planet: the big cats of Africa, the monkeys that inhabit the trees of the Amazon basin, the whales and dolphins that roam the world’s oceans. This book profiles the mammals of the world, using an entry by entry approach. By including fascinating examples from all of the world’s major mammal families, Mammals offers a truly comprehensive overview of mammals from every continent and gives a sense of the incredible diversity of mammal types.
The entries are grouped by order, then within each order by family (and, where necessary, within each family by subfamilies); each family section contains examples of the key species, which are illustrated with beautifully detailed, full-color artworks. For easy reference, each entry includes a table of information on scientific name, order and family, features, habitats, distribution, diet and breeding.