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Life In The Soil

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226568539
Size: 53.78 MB
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Leonardo da Vinci once mused that “we know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot,” an observation that is as apt today as it was five hundred years ago. The biological world under our toes is often unexplored and unappreciated, yet it teems with life. In one square meter of earth, there lives trillions of bacteria, millions of nematodes, hundreds of thousands of mites, thousands of insects and worms, and hundreds of snails and slugs. But because of their location and size, many of these creatures are as unfamiliar and bizarre to us as anything found at the bottom of the ocean. Lavishly illustrated with nearly three hundred color illustrations and masterfully-rendered black and white drawings throughout, Life in the Soil invites naturalists and gardeners alike to dig in and discover the diverse community of creatures living in the dirt below us. Biologist and acclaimed natural history artist James B. Nardibegins with an introduction to soil ecosystems, revealing the unseen labors of underground organisms maintaining the rich fertility of the earth as they recycle nutrients between the living and mineral worlds. He then introduces readers to a dazzling array of creatures: wolf spiders with glowing red eyes, snails with 120 rows of teeth, and 10,000-year-old fungi, among others. Organized by taxon, Life in the Soil covers everything from slime molds and roundworms to woodlice and dung beetles, as well as vertebrates from salamanders to shrews. The book ultimately explores the crucial role of soil ecosystems in conserving the worlds above and below ground. A unique and illustrative introduction to the many unheralded creatures that inhabit our soils and shape our environment aboveground, Life in the Soil will inform and enrich the naturalist in all of us.

Organic Gardening

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Size: 76.24 MB
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Organic Gardening magazine inspires and empowers readers with trusted information about how to grow the freshest, most healthful food, create a beautiful, safe haven around their homes, use our natural resources wisely, and care for the environment in all aspects of their lives.

Chesapeake Gardening And Landscaping

Author: Barbara W. Ellis
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469620987
Size: 56.32 MB
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What if, one step at a time, we could make our gardens and landscapes more eco-friendly? Barbara W. Ellis's colorful, comprehensive guide shows homeowners, gardeners, garden designers, and landscapers how to do just that for the large and beautiful Chesapeake Bay watershed region. This area includes Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and part of West Virginia (translating to portions of USDA Zones 6, 7, and 8). Here, mid-Atlantic gardeners, from beginners to advanced, will find the essential tools for taking steps to make their gardens part of the solution through long-term planning and planting. The guide is built from the ground up around six simple but powerful principles that anyone can use: * Reduce lawn * Build plant diversity * Grow native plants * Manage water runoff * Welcome wildlife * Garden wisely Included are detailed instructions for assessing and designing your particular garden or landscape site; choosing and caring for trees, shrubs, vines, ground covers, and flowers; and succeeding with such conditions as shade or poor soil. From rain gardens to woodland gardens, meadow gardens to wildlife gardens, and much more, this indispensable guide features more than 300 color photographs.

Discoveries In The Garden

Author: James B. Nardi
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022653183X
Size: 22.92 MB
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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.

The Legacy

Author: David Suzuki
Publisher: Greystone Books
ISBN: 1553656458
Size: 39.24 MB
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In this expanded version of an inspiring speech delivered in December 2009, David Suzuki reflects on how we got where we are today and presents his vision for a better future. In his living memory, Suzuki has witnessed cataclysmic changes in society and our relationship with the planet: the doubling of the world’s population, our increased ecological footprint, and massive technological growth. Today we are in a state of crisis, and we must join together to respond to that crisis. If we do so, Suzuki envisions a future in which we understand that we are the Earth and live accordingly. All it takes is imagination and a determination to live within our, and the planet's, means. This book is the culmination of David Suzuki’s amazing life and all of his knowledge, experience, and passion — it is his legacy.

Under Ground

Author: Yvonne Baskin
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 9781597269384
Size: 25.69 MB
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In childhood, the backyard, the flowerbed, the beach, puddles, lakes, and streams are infinitely fascinating. It is a mistake to leave that "childish" fascination with mud behind. The soils of the Earth, whether underneath our feet or pressurized beneath tons of ocean water, hold life in abundance. A handful of garden dirt may harbor more species than the entire aboveground Amazon. The robotic rovers Spirit and Opportunity made headlines as they searched the Martian landscape for signs of life. But while our eyes have been turned toward the skies, teeming beneath us and largely unexplored lies what Science magazine recently called the true "final frontier." A growing array of scientists is exploring life in soils and sediments, uncovering a living world alien to our own senses--and yet one whose integrity turns out to be crucial to life above ground. Yvonne Baskin takes the reader from the polar desert of Antarctica to the coastal rain forests of Canada, from the rangelands of Yellowstone National Park to the vanishing wetlands of the Mississippi River basin, from Dutch pastures to English sounds, and beyond. She introduces exotic underground creatures and shows us what scientists are learning about their contribution to sustaining a healthy world above ground. She also explores the alarming ways in which air pollution, trawl fishing, timber cutting, introductions of invasive species, wetland destruction, and the like threaten this underground diversity and how their loss, in turn, affects our own well being. Two-thirds of the world's biological diversity exists in soils and underwater sediments, and yet most of us remain unaware of these tiny multitudes that run the planet beneath the scenes. In Under Ground, Baskin reveals the startling ways in which that life, whether in our own back yards, in fields and forests, or in the furthest reaches of the Earth, is more significant and fascinating than we once imagined.