From the author/illustrator team that produced the bestselling Reading the Forested Landscape comes this fascinating and beautiful natural history of North America's granite summit balds.This fascinating new book focuses on a rare and dramatic landscape: the granite summit balds of North American mountains. Tom Wessels synthesizes history, geology, biology, and personal narrative to enhance our understanding and appreciation of these high, wild places. He explores the unique and fragile ecosystem that is common to exposed granite expanses from Acadia to Yosemitehow it evolved slowly over millennia, and how it is threatened today by foot traffic and overuse. Wessels' dramatic photographs and Brian Cohen's beautifully detailed illustrations bring the denizens of the granite bald to life. The mountains they celebrate include: Acadia National Park in Maine; the White Mountains of New Hampshire; the Adirondacks of New York; the Wind Rivers of Wyoming; the Beartooths of Montana; the Enchantments of Washington; and Yosemite National Park in California. 18 black & white photographs, 30 illustrations, 1 map, glossary, index.
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Tom Wessels is an ecologist and the author of Reading the Forested Landscape and Forest Forensics. He is the director of the Environmental Biology program at Antioch New England Graduate School.From Library Journal:
Why would a man who is neither a geologist nor a rock climber write about granite domes? Because he has an inordinate fondness for lichen: "I am particularly enamored of the moss and fuiticose lichen communities on granite outcrops," writes Wessels, a professor of ecology at Antioch New England Graduate School and chair of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. "Looking down at them from a few feet above, I am reminded of flying over mixed forests of conifers and hardwoods Lilliputian woodlands surrounded by crustose-lichen covered fields." Wessels tracks the unique lichen and shrub ecology of barren granite mountains that exists in Acadia and Yosemite National Parks, as well as the White Mountains (NH), Adirondacks (NY), Wind Rivers (WY), Beartooths (MT), and Enchantments (WA). This is a natural history in the best tradition, describing how geology, geomorphology, plant community interactions, environmental forces, and human history are all interrelated. Written with a combination of scientific clarity and poetry, this book will give readers a new appreciation for life in these austere yet intricate places. For most collections. [Wessels and Cohen's previous collaboration, Reading the Forested Landscape (Countryman, 1997), traced the evolution of New England's forests. Ed.] Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake Cit.
- Amy Brunvand, Univ. of Utah Lib., Salt Lake City
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