As High a Heaven: Meditating on Trees with Thoreau

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9780807085165: As High a Heaven: Meditating on Trees with Thoreau
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Longtime readers of Henry David Thoreau might not realize just how voluminously he wrote about trees. As a surveyor and naturalist, he had an intimate relationship with trees, and he wrote about them all his life. Now his writings about trees are brought together in one compelling narrative by writer Richard Higgins, illustrated generously with black-and-white photos by the great 20th century nature photographer Herbert Wendell Gleason.

Trees no less than ponds were Thoreau's muses. The white pines and red maples circling Walden Pond were to him the "slender eyelashes" that fringe "earth's liquid eyeball." Thoreau loved trees because of their beauty their necessity, and because they fed his soul. Indeed, he perceived their souls: They were the sentries of creation, upright, heaven-brushing symbols of nature's nobility and goodness. Trees also teach, Thoreau observed, as he watched the "lake-colored" autumn leaves fall so gracefully, so without worry to their forest floor graves. "They teach us how to die," he wrote.

As High a Heaven weaves together all of Thoreau's greatest thoughts about trees. The resulting book is both personal and spiritual but also an exceptional work of natural history.

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