The most famous long-distance hiking trail in North America, the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail—the longest hiking-only footpath in the world—runs along the Appalachian mountain range from Georgia to Maine. Every year about 2,000 individuals attempt to “thru-hike” the entire trail, a feat equivalent to hiking Mount Everest sixteen times. In Walking on the Wild Side, sociologist Kristi M. Fondren traces the stories of forty-six men and women who, for their own personal reasons, set out to conquer America’s most well known, and arguably most social, long-distance hiking trail.
In this fascinating in-depth study, Fondren shows how, once out on the trail, this unique subculture of hikers lives mostly in isolation, with their own way of acting, talking, and thinking; their own vocabulary; their own activities and interests; and their own conception of what is significant in life. They tend to be self-disciplined, have an unwavering trust in complete strangers, embrace a life of poverty, and reject modern-day institutions. The volume illuminates the intense social intimacy and bonding that forms among long-distance hikers as they collectively construct a long-distance hiker identity. Fondren describes how long-distance hikers develop a trail persona, underscoring how important a sense of place can be to our identity, and to our sense of who we are. Indeed, the author adds a new dimension to our understanding of the nature of identity in general.
Anyone who has hiked—or has ever dreamed of hiking—the Appalachian Trail will find this volume fascinating. Walking on the Wild Side captures a community for whom the trail is a sacred place, a place to which they have become attached, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
Robins may be the official harbingers of spring, but the arrival of the wood-warbler signifies the real beginning of the season. These brightly colored songsters, most of whom have migrated extremely long distances to reach their summer nesting grounds, appear like animated jewels from treetops to shrubs to ground throughout the Midwest. Adult males in fresh spring plumage are particularly striking: the buttery yellow of the commonly seen yellow warbler; brilliant orange of the Blackburnian and bright gold of the prothonotary; rich chestnut of the Cape May, bay-breasted, and chestnut-sided; the blue of the northern parula, cerulean, and black-throated blue make these birds a joy to encounter.
This newest addition to Iowa’s popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-eighth in the series—illustrates the thirty-eight species of warblers that occur in the Upper Midwest states of Minnesota, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. For each species, artist Dana Gardner provides length, range, and habitat; he illustrates male, female, and immature birds where plumage varies; and he includes birds similar to warblers such as kinglets and vireos.
For all their brilliance, warblers can be hard to identify, particularly in the fall—the phrase “confusing fall warblers” was coined for a reason—and when they are in immature plumage. Quick-moving and often found in treetops, they can be challenging even in spring, and the drabber colors of the young birds of the season and of many fall adults can make identification difficult. The illustrations and descriptions in Warblers in Your Pocket will be a most welcome reference for bird watchers throughout the Midwest.
This working manual provides complete information on the technical aspects of designing, building, and maintaining waterwise landscapes in the Mountain West. Written particularly for professionals, including landscape designers, architects, contractors, and maintenance and irrigation specialists, it has an attractive, well-illustrated, user-friendly format that will make it useful as well to DIY homeowners and to educators, plant retailers, extension agents, and many others.
The manual is organized according to landscape principles that are adapted to the climate of the intermountain region. Beginning with planning and design, the topical principles proceed through soil preparation, appropriate plant selection, practicalities of turfgrass, use of mulch, and irrigation planning, winding up with landscape maintenance. Designed for onsite, handy use, the book is illustrated with color images of landscapes, plants, and materials. Tables, charts, diagrams, landscape plans, plant lists, checklists, and other graphic resources are scattered throughout the manual, which is written in an accessible but information-rich style. Water-Efficient Landscaping in the Intermountain West answers, more comprehensively than any other single book, the need for professional information that addresses both growing awareness of the necessity for water conservation and the desire for beautiful, healthy yards and properties.
In winter, when the only things growing seem to be icicles and irritability, what pleasures exist for a gardener or for anyone who lives in a northern climate? In his distinctive daybook, Weathering Winter, Carl Klaus reminds readers that the season of brown twigs and icy gales is just as much a part of the year as when tulips open, tomatoes thrive, and pumpkins color the brown earth. From the first cold snap of late December 1994 to the first outdoor planting of onion sets and radish seeds in mid-March 1995, Klaus kept track of snow falling, birds flocking, soups simmering, gardening catalogs arriving, buds swelling, and seed trays coming to life.
Gardeners, lovers of the out-of-doors, and weather watchers will recognize themselves in the ways in which Klaus has come to terms with the harsh climate and chilly truths that winter embodies. His constant, careful checks on the temperature and on the geraniums overwintering in the attic, his contentment in the basil- and garlic-flavored tomato sauce he cooked up from last season's crops, and his walks with his wife in the bitter chill of starry January nights reflect the pull between indoors and out, the contrast between the beauty and the cruelty of the season.
The remotest place in the country, outside of Alaska, is a region in Yellowstone National Park ironically named the Thorofare, for its historic role as a route traversed by fur trappers. A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare is a history and celebration of this wild place, set within a week-long expedition that the author took with three friends in 2014.
Drawing upon the first-person accounts of rangers who have patrolled the area, archival documents, and Michael Yochim’s personal experiences over almost three decades, A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare distinguishes between the notions of wildness and wilderness. Through historic vignettes, descriptions of natural resources, and the author’s own experiences, it argues that wildness is the most precious, and easily lost, attribute of wilderness.
The Thorofare is remote not only from roads, but also largely unexplored in the vast body of wilderness literature. A Week in Yellowstone’s Thorofare aims to fill that void. Recognizing both the value and the fragility of wildness, the rangers who manage the area have struggled through many eras to preserve it. This book chronicles many of the struggles through which it has remained protected for visitors today.
Yochim offers poignant insight into the passions that motivate those who manage, defend, and journey through the Thorofare. His story demonstrates the importance of wild places for touching and understanding a fundamental part of the human experience. Part history, memoir, travelogue, natural history, and reflection, the book will appeal to readers interested in preservation, the wilderness movement, the history of National Parks, or the natural treasures of Yellowstone.
In these times of technological innovation and fast-paced electronic communication, we often take nature for granted—or even consider it a hindrance to our human endeavors. In Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist’s Memoir, Jerry Apps explores such topics as the human need for wilderness, rediscovering a sense of wonder, and his father’s advice to “listen for the whispers” and “look in the shadows” to learn nature’s deepest lessons.
Combining his signature lively storytelling and careful observations of nature, Apps draws on a lifetime of experiences, from his earliest years growing up on a central Wisconsin farm to his current ventures as gardener, tree farmer, and steward of wetlands, prairies, and endangered Karner blue butterflies. He also takes inspiration from the writings of Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Sigurd Olson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry, Richard Louv, and Rachel Carson. With these eloquent essays, Jerry Apps reminds us to slow down, turn off technology, and allow our senses to reconnect us to the natural world. For it is there, he writes, that “I am able to return to a feeling I had when I was a child, a feeling of having room to stretch my arms without interfering with another person, a feeling of being a small part of something much larger than I was, and I marvel at the idea.”
In Wild Delicate Seconds, Charles Finn captures twenty-nine chance encounters with the everyday—and not so everyday—animals, birds, and insects of North America.
There are no maulings or fantastic escapes in Finn's narratives—only stillness and attentiveness to beauty. With profundity, humor, and compassion, Finn pays homage to the creatures we share our world with —from black bears to bumble bees, mountain lions to muskrats—and, in doing so, touches on what it means to be human.
Wildflowers of the Mountain West
Richard M. Anderson, Jay Dee Gunnell, Jerry L. Goodspeed Utah State University Press, 2012 Library of Congress QK133.A53 2012 | Dewey Decimal 582.130978
Many recreational hikers have stopped along the trail to admire a wildflower only to wonder what, exactly, they are looking at. Wildflowers of the Mountain West is a useful field guide that makes flower identification easy for the general outdoor enthusiast.
Many available plant guides are too technical or cumbersome for non-specialists to embrace. Covering New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Oregon, this book is perfect for the enthusiasts who has little botanical knowledge but would like to know more about the wildflowers they are seeing. Organized by flower color for easy reference, plant records include the common and scientific names, a description of typical characteristics, habitat information and distribution maps, look-alike species, color photographs, and informative commentary. In addition, the book provides a useful introduction to the Mountain West region, along with line drawings to illustrate basic flower parts, shapes, and arrangements; a glossary of common botanical terms; a quick search key; and an index.
The book is spiral-bound, making it easy to bring along while hiking, backpacking, or biking, and stunning full color photographs make visual confirmation of flower type simple and straightforward.
"I'm embarrassed to say I thought I knew anything substantial about Wisconsin agriculture or its history before I read this book. 'Wisconsin Agriculture' should be required reading in history classes from high school to the collegiate level. It makes me thankful that Jerry Apps has such a sense of commitment to Wisconsin's agricultural heritage--and to getting the story right." --Pam Jahnke, Farm Director, Wisconsin Farm Report Radio
Wisconsin has been a farming state from its very beginnings. And though it's long been known as "the Dairy State," it produces much more than cows, milk, and cheese. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the most diverse agricultural states in the nation.
The story of farming in Wisconsin is rich and diverse as well, and the threads of that story are related and intertwined. In this long-awaited volume, celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps examines everything from the fundamental influences of landscape and weather to complex matters of ethnic and pioneer settlement patterns, changing technology, agricultural research and education, and government regulations and policies. Along with expected topics, such as the cranberry industry and artisan cheesemaking, "Wisconsin Agriculture" delves into beef cattle and dairy goats, fur farming and Christmas trees, maple syrup and honey, and other specialty crops, including ginseng, hemp, cherries, sugar beets, mint, sphagnum moss, flax, and hops. Apps also explores new and rediscovered farming endeavors, from aquaculture to urban farming to beekeeping, and discusses recent political developments, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and its ramifications. And he looks to the future of farming, contemplating questions of ethical growing practices, food safety, sustainability, and the potential effects of climate change.
Featuring first-person accounts from the settlement era to today, along with more than 200 captivating photographs, "Wisconsin Agriculture" breathes life into the facts and figures of 150 years of farming history and provides compelling insights into the state's agricultural past, present, and future.
Georgie White Clark-adventurer, raconteur, eccentric--first came to know the canyons of the Colorado River by swimming portions of them with a single companion. She subsequently hiked and rafted portions of the canyons, increasingly sharing her love of the Colorado River with friends and acquaintances. At first establishing a part-time guide service as a way to support her own river trips, she went on to become perhaps the canyons' best-known river guide, introducing their rapids to many others-on the river, via her large-capacity rubber rafts, and across the nation, via magazine articles and movies. Georgie Clark saw the river and her sport change with the building of Glen Canyon Dam, enormous increases in the popularity of river running, and increased National Park Service regulation of rafting and river guides. Adjusting, though not always easily, to the changes, she helped transform an elite adventure sport into a major tourist activity.