This luminous cover shot gives you a pretty good idea of the quality of A Natural History of Conifers. And quality is just the right word. Quality photos, quality drawings, quality text and an abiding love for trees and nature, coupled with a unique and learned point of view is what I’ve found so far. I look forward to spending more time digging in. Meanwhile, if you like books, our 30% to 40% off book sale ends in two days.
Outlive your neighbor and take his property
Here are some (but by no means all) of the pieces that make up the whole book: What are conifers? The image problem with Christmas trees and hedges. Who is related to whom? More genera, fewer species. All of nothing about ancestors. The earliest conifers. Conifer heyday: the age of conifers. Conquering armies and vast empires. The fortresses of poverty. Outlive your neighbor and take his property. Facing the enemy. Climbing the giants.
Speaking of conifers. Here’s a very alive Monterey cypress (Cupressus macrocarpa) flanked by some very dead, but still beautiful friends. Point Lobos, California. The photo was by taken Amy Palmer during our trip to California’s Central Coast earlier this month (it’s not from the book, but could be).
BTW: what’s with bonsai enthusiasts who don’t pay attention to trees?
I’m sure this doesn’t apply to you, but I’ve noticed that some bonsai enthusiasts don’t know much about trees and don’t seem to care all that much. This is a mystery to me. Maybe some people are just looking for ego gratification through trying to control nature and bonsai seems to offer that possibility (until they give up and go back to killing dandelions). Too bad for them. They’re missing the real fun that has to do with opening our senses and appreciating what’s alive and wild (Sorry if this sounds a little preachy… I’ll get over it).
All conifers are pines (just kidding)
Most of the very most powerful and awesome trees in the world are conifers. And yet, most of us don’t know the first thing about them. To many (most?) people, all conifers are simply pines. Spruce, fir, cedars, redwoods, cypress, anything that stays green and isn’t broad leafed is called some kind of pine. If I were the type to get upset, this would upset me, but there are much bigger issues in the world, so I won’t bother. But still…
A little disclaimer
We (Stone Lantern) sell this book. And, in my lazier or more impatient moments, I’ve fallen prey to the hyperbole bug when writing copy that’s designed to sell something. For this I apologize and will try to do better. Meanwhile, you can take my word for it when I say that I think this is a very worthy book. You may not buy it and that’s okay. It’s still a very good book and I’m going to enjoy my copy.