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What could be a better way to spend time? I always look forward to new books intended for Pacific Northwest gardeners. Campion did most of the excellent photography. Keeping this in mind, I returned to the introductory chapters on climate, soils, and garden culture with a better understanding. As expected, Seattle is part of the Puget Sound sub-region, but Portland and its immediate suburbs have a sub-region of their very own, totally surrounded by the Willamette Valley sub-region.
While I was at first surprised by this, after reading the distinguishing factors, I decided these divisions make a lot of sense, and will help gardeners make better plant selections. The plant encyclopedia is especially good for woody plants. While most species are represented by a single cultivar, these are excellent selections. It is no secret that Barbara Blossom Ashmun is an avid gardener.
This Portland garden designer and writer did not grow up as a gardener, but instead found her calling well into adulthood. A divorce and the desire to leave the world of a social worker helped this process. This may be why she writes with the conviction of a convert. And never allow partners, spouses, friends, or curmudgeons discourage you from experimenting with new plants.
Give them a Mona Lisa smile and change the subject. The author has a knack for writing for both the experienced and novice gardener. She understands plant lust very well, but she also found an antidote to that in the Kleingarten movement in Germany. Over the short period of time it took to cut down the failing tree, her yard went from shady to sunny. It was a shock. However, this gardener, now in her seventies, had the necessary resilience to create a new patio in the space the sweet gum had occupied, with more space for — yes! Adelman, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Carol Adelman and her husband own a peony nursery in Salem, Oregon.
While it is easy to thumb quickly through these images, you will miss a lot of information in the notes, including comments on the foliage quality or awards that designate the selection as good for landscapes. This latter point is important, as in their introduction, the authors ask some important questions of the reader. What is the purpose of your peonies? Do you want a big but short burst of bloom, perhaps to coincide with a special event?
Or do you hope to stretch the bloom period out as long as possible, realizing that at best, this will be just over a month? Answering these questions will help you decide the role of peonies in your overall landscape. They are green through the summer and into the fall, often with attractive foliage. What companions will you match with them? I appreciated that the authors also discuss the early spring, emerging foliage, which can be quite stunning.
The structure of each is similar to the original with chapters to identify the symptoms and causes of the problems, and separate chapters laying out organic solutions or preferred cultural practices. We are grateful for the many marijuana breeders and growers who have labored for years in the shadows. Who will survive? The butterfly or the weed? Even better, this is not fiction! I read the pages of his book as quickly as any whodunit.
The characters include the baby caterpillar monarchs, trying to survive their first encounter with their only source of food, the leaves of milkweed. Many do not. The milkweed plant has many ways to protect itself including its own gooey latex-like sap, or by coaxing monarch predators to do the job. There is good reason for this — the plant gains nothing from its interaction as the adult butterflies are not helpful pollinators. In contrast, the larval and adult butterflies gain a toxicity that protects them from significant predation by birds.
But this toxicity is not effective against other insects or various parasites. The plant seems to know this. The battle of coevolution moves on. Agrawal is a scientist who interweaves his personal life and research. He discovered the caterpillar of an unknown species, brought it into his living room, watched it pupate, and then emerge from its chrysalis as a butterfly. This was a serendipitous lesson in mimicry as it was a viceroy butterfly, with similar coloration to a monarch and thereby gaining some of its protection, even though it lacks toxicity for birds.
Helphand, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on The Masters of Modern Landscape Design is a series of biographies featuring landscape architects prominent in the mid to late 20th century in North America. Lawrence Halprin was a west coast landscape architect who lived productively into his 90s. Freeway Park was the first capping of an interstate freeway, a model replicated widely since that time. This biography recounts the initial praise for the project opened in , the expansion by Halprin associate Angela Danadjieva, the subsequent decline of the park into disuse, and revitalizing revisions to the plantings of the last decade.
Before his death, Halprin contributed to this last effort, which leaves the structure of the park in place. Massive waterfalls are a Halprin signature. He designed these in the s and linked them by an eight-block pedestrian mall. He demonstrated this at the dedication of the Forecourt Fountain in Vietnam War protests at nearby Portland State University created tension between the students and police gathered for the event.
Welch, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Nominated for an AHS award, the authors Greg Grant and William Welch take turns sharing their stories, their favorite plants mostly roses , and their favorite people. Their heroes are a dedicated group promoting old roses, many of the plants surviving with no care in cemeteries or abandoned home sites throughout Texas. While this is a very different climate from ours, every gardener will appreciate the tenacity of plants that are good-doers and the humans that cherish them.
One quirk of this book is the nomenclature. Rose variety names in single quotation marks are cultivars, the same as with most plants. Other varieties have double quotation marks, meaning these are study names. These substitute for real names that have been lost in time. There is a lot of good horticultural advice and garden design in this book, but best are the stories. It also survived being under salt water for two weeks after Hurricane Katrina. A suckering rose in Scottsville, Texas has possibly survived since The magenta flowers are sometimes flushed with blue edges.
These roses are resilient. Humans did that to them. In addition to being beautiful in a simplistic way, roses were initially wiry and mean as snakes. This made them perfect Texans, of course. Fraser and Sally Armstrong Leone eds. Who is the author? Their collective publications span the first half of the 19th century, produced in both France and the United States, and first in French and later in English. The full bibliographic story is in the preface of this new book.
Mertz Library has perhaps the most complete collection of the at least 16 different editions by Michaux and Nuttall. Mertz Library staff have produced this new book, using faithful reproductions of the plates. The horticulture staff for NYBG add notes with current updates of nomenclature, ranges, and horticultural uses. Enough words. This is mostly a picture book, but what a glorious one it is. We are fortunate to have an original in the Miller Library rare book collection.
While a reprint can never quite match a hand-colored original, this comes very close. These accurate images made the original the standard reference book for North America trees until the early 20th century. A concluding essay by David Allen Sibley explains the process of making the reprinted images — a process as complex as the authorship. Sophie Walker trained as a garden designer in Britain, displaying her skills to acclaim at the epitome of English gardening institutions: the Chelsea Flower Show.
To broaden her design skills, she studied Japanese style gardening. The author presents a series of chapters on different themes with essays by others from many backgrounds interspersed and augmenting her studies. Topics vary widely, from our relationship with nature or the tenets of Buddhism as they apply to gardens, to the use of courtyard gardens or favorite flowers and trees.
Concluding each of her chapters are photographs of gardens that embody concepts she presents. Throughout, she looks for connections or contrasts with Western European and American traditions, or how icons of Western design or art have been influences by Japanese traditions, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Claude Monet and, in present day, David Hockney. But in the Japanese garden, context is deliberately confused, as is scale.
The new gardens they have designed, mostly in the last 30 years, are pushing the evolving concept of Japanese-style gardening. After he left the garden, he stayed in Portland and his company has thrived in designing, building, and even maintaining mostly residential gardens in that area and inspiring gardens throughout the country. A couple of years ago, I was fortunate to hear David Slawson, another of the profiled designers, speak at the Cleveland Botanical Garden and see the garden he designed there. The examples in this book show that the expressions of traditional Japanese garden design are subtle, but this also gives more options.
We live where most Japanese plants thrive, but not all gardeners are so fortunate. Haug, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Holden Village is a Lutheran community center deep in the Cascade Mountains, accessible only by a boat ride on Lake Chelan followed by a bus ride on a mountain road. At 3, feet, it is very cold and snowy in the winter, and cut off from Wi-Fi and cell phone reception.
For some this may sound like paradise. It was for Peggy Haug and her partner now spouse Juanita, who spent two years there from Her drawings are augmented with copious notes of interpretation, bits of poetry, and her impressions of living in an isolated village. This book is also an excellent field guide to the wildflowers, trees, and shrubs of this region and an impressive birding list — 68 species in the first year.
Some of the most beautiful drawings are of the colorful leaves and berries of fall, intricately overlapping. It can take several delightful minutes just to read all the notes that she weaves in amongst the plant images. While the native plants are the main features, Holden Village has surviving plant relics from the nearby former mining village, including daffodils and bearded iris. Judd, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on Why would the Miller Library add a book about the flora of a legendary place? Until I was given a personal copy of Flora of Middle-Earth , it was not an obvious addition to our collection.
Written by botanist Walter S. Judd and richly illustrated by artist Graham A. Judd, this American father and son have created a beautiful book, featuring botanical woodblock illustrations — but it is very much more. The authors write in their introduction, "It is obvious from even a cursory reading of The Lord of the Rings that the book was written by a person who was botanically knowledgeable—but more than that—a writer who really loved plants!
Tolkien also made this last point very clear in his non-fiction writings. However, in some ways you just might. Based on Tolkien's writings about his fiction, Walter Judd has deduced that the niphredil is based on the common snowdrop Galanthus nivalis , while elanor is akin to pimpernels, in the genus Anagallis. Herein lies the value of this book to the average botanist or gardener.
Tolkien's lore is closely tied to his British heritage; he essentially created the ancient mythology that his country mostly lacked. This is a book to savor when you're inside by the fire, waiting for winter to be over. So put on your old "Frodo Lives! Ondra, Reviewed by: Brian Thompson on But what plants will you select? Salad greens and herbs are naturals for this treatment; more unusual are plants grown for their berries or for making tea. Other selections are designed to attract: hummingbirds, butterflies, even your kids.
Best of all, this is only the newest book in our excellent collection on containers that will help you plant a garden no matter how limited your space or time! Reading David Sobel's latest book feels like attending a national conference on outdoor early childhood education. Each chapter draws on the expertise and experience of key decision-makers working with young children in nature programs all over the country. Sobel first distinguishes forest kindergartens from nature preschools, explaining how they differ in genesis, mission, philosophy, curriculum, and focus, and how both types of programs in North America differ from the European Waldkindergarten schools which arose in the late s in Germany and have influenced similar programs in Scotland and other European countries.
A central theme is the developmental case for a style of outdoor education where instructors act as mentors and guides as children experiment, choose activities and learn to work together, not only solving their own problems but deciding for themselves what questions they will ask and what games and projects to invent on the spot. These experiences, he argues, lead young children to develop initiative, perseverance and creativity as well as a richer vocabulary, a love of nature, and social skills that will serve them and their communities well in later life.
Sobel's reasoning is persuasive and the examples he gives are diverse and fascinating. The chapter entitled "The Dollars and Sense of Business Planning and Budgeting," contributed by Ken Finch, covers factors to consider when starting or expanding such a school.
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Whether a school is a non-profit organization or a for-profit business, it will be essential for founders to understand how to budget, how to attract staff, donors, families, and investors, and what rules and regulations affect such schools. Sobel and his coauthors use stories, photos, and dialogue gathered from fledgling and more established nature preschools and forest kindergartens around the United States to highlight best practices in curriculum, focus, staffing, administration and funding.
The book closes with a chapter by Erin K. Kenny details the events of a fall day there to illustrate some of the ways the school supports scientific inquiry, language learning, and emotional development for the children who attend. This book will intrigue anyone with an interest in outdoor education for young children. New on our shelves this month you'll find Richard Louv's new book, Vitamin N: the essential guide to a nature-rich life. Joining his earlier work, Last child in the woods: saving our children from nature-deficit disorder , this thought-provoking yet hands-on manual introduces many simple ideas for getting outside and benefiting from everything nature has to offer, no matter one's age and ability.
While the book will be useful for parents of small children, it also covers what individual teens and adults can do to have a nature-rich life as well as how teachers and grandparents can support outdoor play and learning for the children in their lives. Check it out! Planting Design for Dry Gardens is an excellent book but unfortunately is poorly titled. I found the effort worthwhile, as it exposed me as a gardener to ideas not typically found in a Pacific Northwest oriented garden book.
For example, Filippi does not recommend using a drip irrigation system for a dry garden of groundcover plants. Instead he advocates hand watering, using temporary basins created around the new plantings, so that plants will more likely to survive without supplemental watering once established. Many other general gardening topics, from planting to attract beneficial insects to concerns about invasive plants, are addressed from a refreshingly distinctive, continental European perspective. The author transcribes her face-to-face interviews with 90 youth gardeners participating in twelve different programs across the country.
Her goal is to discover how growing food at their school, community center, or non-profit organization affects these teens' health as well as the attitudes, job prospects, and hopes for the future they share.
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The result is inspirational! Do you read poems with the children in your life? Get ready for any weather as you enjoy the lyrical quality of these illustrated seasonal poems with outdoor themes, from harvesting tomatoes to admiring winter trees. Set against a backdrop of expansive illustrations by Julie Morstad, these spare poems evoke universal moments of wonder from childhood. In my work as a horticulture reference librarian, I am often presented with a scrap of leaf or flower or twig, and asked to identify it. Although I have a pretty good visual memory for plants and their names, I have no formal training in botany.
A Botanist's Vocabulary by Susan Pell and Bobbi Angell Timber Press, is a useful tool not just for botanists but for all who work with plants—home gardeners and professionals alike. The book is arranged in straight alphabetical dictionary order, which makes it easy to look up a term you may have come across in the course of learning about a plant.
It complements a book like The Cambridge Illustrated Glossary of Botanical Terms Michael Hickey and Clive King, , which is organized by the parts of a plant—the roots, seeds, flowers, leaves, fruits, and so forth. The pen and ink illustrations by Bobbi Angell are very clear, and red arrows or markings indicate the part of the plant referred to by a term, when such clarification is needed.
The definitions are also concise, and include synonyms or in some cases antonyms, as relevant. I found familiar as well as unfamiliar terms, and as a word-nerd this is the kind of reference book that is a great joy to browse. The only desired feature the book lacks is consistent identification of the plant or plant family shown in each illustration. Some are named, but many are not. It would be helpful, once one has looked up the word, to have at least one example of which genus or family exhibits the characteristic being described and defined.
Gardening advice is mostly on crop rotation and timing, most profitable selections, and the preparation of the harvest for sale — all key points in running a business. Chapters cover market streams, labor, self-promotion, and finance options. Stone lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, a city of ,, but he is familiar with the needs and challenges of farming in both larger, denser cities and on what he calls peri-urban land: the larger, often acre lots where the suburbs make the transition into the rural countryside.
He gives the pros and cons of having all your crops at one site often not possible in an urban setting , or the more likely model of having multiple plots. How do you find these plots? He has several suggestions and provides a point checklist to consider for each potential site. Before you begin reviewing the list, he does bend a bit from his typical, matter-of-fact tone by reminding the reader that you as a farmer are valuable. You are the one in demand, because you are scarce.
Land is abundant! Twice in the early aughts, I participated in garden tours to the greater San Francisco area, once in April and once in September. I was delighted to learn recently of a new book capturing and celebrating this garden, and to learn that Ms. Bancroft, whom our group met briefly at age 94, is still with us at ! In her childhood she was introduced to bearded iris by neighbors who were experts on these plants.
When she had her own house, she developed a huge selection of historical cultivars that were just finishing their bloom during my spring visit. These are carefully maintained on a schedule of digging up one-third of the collection every year to divide and replant. The health of the collection reflected this high level of care.
As an adult, Bancroft became fascinated with succulent plants. Initially this was a collection of small, potted plants maintained near her home. Despite losing much of her collection to a freak freeze shortly after planting the garden out, she never looked back. The results are sublime and I would highly recommend a visit to this garden anytime you are in the area. If these plants are not your interest, then read this book for the story of Ruth Bancroft.
At age 63 she started her succulent garden, an untested concept in her climate at the time. She began with plants in gallon-size pots or smaller. At 83 she opened the now-maturing succulent garden to the public, and she continued working in it daily well into her nineties. This reflected their efforts as the founders of The Seattle Urban Farm Company to encourage people to grow food, no matter what their limitations of space or experience. Their ideas would work throughout most of North America, although here and there it reminds you of its Seattle roots, to the benefit of local readers.
They have selected three real examples with pseudonyms for the owners of gardens of varying sizes, one each in an urban, a suburban, and a rural setting, and use these as examples throughout — an effective approach. Most of the bee books in the Miller Library collection are either guides to keeping honey bees, or field guides to native bees. A new book by Pacific Northwest authors has a different focus — living with bees as an active, vibrant part of your garden. While this may include European honey bees, the focus is on less well-known native bees.
Most of these are solitary bees that do not form hives or make honey, but they are outstanding pollinators. To these authors, the bees are almost pets. While the care requirements are minimal compared to many other garden tasks, they still are important, and can be a fun and useful way to share bee knowledge with friends and neighbors. However, leafcutter bees are best a bit warmer, such as in an unheated garage. Why go to all this trouble? There is a chapter on recommended bee-friendly plants, both woody and herbaceous, always with an emphasis on natives.
There are lists of plants to avoid, including those with double flowers as single, pollen rich flowers have more to offer to pollinators. Providing sufficient nesting options is critical. They recommend leaving some bare patches of ground, free of layers of mulch that are troublesome for bees to dig through.
Of course, like all wildlife, your bees need to have a pesticide-free environment. Author Michael Ableman is the co-founder of Sole Food Street Farms, a charitable organization that includes four farms on abandoned lots in downtown Vancouver, B. This book is the story of that organization and the people it has hired to become the urban farmers. The neighborhoods around these farms are not tourist attractions. There are losses on these farms, both of the produce and of the humans who tend the crops, but overall this is a book of hope.
Ableman is very clear that this endeavor is not a panacea for the challenges of poverty, mental health diseases, or addictions. Besides the human stories, all gardeners will relate to the challenges of growing plants in less than ideal circumstances, including outsmarting pests, in this case a sophisticated rat population that only chooses the best vegetables. The H. Andrews Experimental Forest east of Eugene was established in At nearly 16, acres, it covers the entire Lookout Creek watershed on the west side of the Cascades.
The Forest is used to study ecosystems, wildlife, logging practices, and many other natural and human processes in both old-growth and managed forests. The founders of this program are ambitious; they expect it to continue for years. This is a collection of poems, essays, and even field notes.
Elisabeth C. Miller Library: Horticulture Book Reviews
The black and white photography of Bob Keefer offers further context. This is a book to savor slowly, with lessons that are applicable to all coastal forests. This book covers many topics, beginning with the value of green spaces for human well-being and biodiversity. Many types of plantings are considered, ranging from trees and shrubs to bedding plants, and including formal settings and semi-natural grasslands.
Even plantings as diverse as lawns or sports turf and green roofs or rain gardens are studied with the same depth of research as other types. The authors are on the faculty of the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield in England. Although some of the terminology is distinctly British, much of the discussion is based on North American research.
One of the most valuable assets of this book are the references, which include many American sources. The Miller Seed Vault, located in the Douglas Research Conservatory, is the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and preserves more than rare plant species from Washington.
By comparison, the Svalbard Vault has over 4, species of food or agriculture crops from around the world. For most species, the vault also protects many, many selected varieties. This book tells the short history it opened in of the Svalbard Vault, its operations, and its location in the far north of Norway with many stark and beautiful photographs.
It also tells the chilling story of its first withdrawal by an agricultural research institution in Syria, that fortunately sent seeds to Svalbard just before hostilities erupted in that country. Fortunately, those withdrawn seeds are now being grown outside of Syria to replenish the original stock. This is an excellent addition to the library and is quite different from our several other titles on the genus Galanthus. It is part of the Reaktion Books Botanical series of books we have many in the series which are uniform in their ability to bring a fresh prospective to many garden subjects already well recounted by others.
These other authors provide extensive descriptions of the hundreds of snowdrop varieties that eager galanthophiles will snap up, while this book is more interested in the passion that drives such collectors. It is also a wonderful history of the role these early spring flowers have played in culture, including art, literature, and music. Yes, that was Snowdrop, who later became the White Queen.
It was only after the Walt Disney animation of the same story that we came to know the heroine as Snow White. For these stories and many others, this is a delightful book to read especially during these late, cold days of winter.
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Moreover, if you hurry, you can check out Snowdrop while its eponymous flower is still in bloom in your garden! In the opening chapter of Urban Tree Management, editor Andreas Roloff introduces the common problems associated with trees growing in the public spaces of cities. The occasional inconvenience caused by trees should therefore be tolerated.
This no-nonsense approach is typical of this collection of essays by numerous German experts that Roloff, the chair of Forest Botany at Dresden University of Technology, has collected. Of course — the authors would agree — trees are essential to cities! While this attitude may represent an especially German viewpoint, I believe it will resonate with local arborists and others who care for the trees in city landscapes. In later chapters, the problems the editor initially presents, and many more, are addressed pragmatically and in considerable detail. The result is an excellent reference book.
All aspects of tree health, maintenance, and selection are considered. Potential issues with governing bodies and conflicts with human activities are discussed. The educational, social, and public health benefits of urban trees are championed. This book is somewhat rare in this country, so is for library use only.
However, each chapter includes an extensive list of references, most in English, and many that are readily available in print or online. For another positive review and perspective on the value of this book, see the article by Julian Dunster in the Summer issue of Pacific Northwest Trees. It's available in the library, or online via the Pacific Northwest International Society of Arboriculture website. Fiona Bird is a true champion of appreciating the wild outside world. Her work inspires deeply breathing fresh air, opening up the mind, and enjoying the excitement and mystery of the world we live in, starting early in life.
This Scottish author writes with strong feeling as a mother of six: "With encouragement a child will develop a personal relationship with our natural world, one that stretches way beyond facts assimilated in a classroom. The introduction of the book emphasizes the value of a mentor and highlights the importance of the environment. Each chapter describes and explains the particular environment and the wild plants and animal treasures that can be discovered there. Activity suggestions are rich exercises that are realistic, local, and impress all the senses of young citizen naturalists — blossoming conservationists.
James Smith was a lion of the study of botany in 18th century England, when botanizing became a popular activity for both women and men, and the study first entered English university curricula. This biography aims to bring Smith's accomplishments to twenty-first century attention.
Son of a Norwich woolen draper, Smith was smitten with botany at an early age. His astounding accomplishment was to purchase all the botanical specimen collections and manuscripts of Carl Linnaeus, the great Swedish botanist, when Smith was only Then he parlayed this coup into a career in botany which involved a vast output of books and papers, plus hundreds of public and university lectures. And he helped found the Linnaean Society in London, which to this day houses those collections.
Read from cover to cover, The Lord Treasurer of Botany offers a winsome experience that includes social striving, amazing luck, decades of incredibly hard work, and introductions to multiple English and Continental botanists, most notably Sir Joseph Banks, an early mentor of Smith's. The Miller Library copy is a reference edition, which means it must be read in the library, so reading cover to cover would require remarkable persistence. Here are some suggestions for shorter activities: If you have 15 minutes, do look at the photographs. This is a beautifully produced book, and the colored prints of plants, though few, are wonderful, as are the portraits and architectural drawings.
If you are a student of early Flora, start with the index and turn to the numerous discussions of books on mostly British plants. The book includes many by other authors, as well as Smith's. If you want a sample of the biographical narrative, the opening chapter, "Roots — The Early Life of James Edward Smith," and the second, "London — the Sale of the Century," on buying Linnaeus's collections, are good starts. None of these shorter stays will give you the ups and downs, the trials of health, the strained generosity of a father who wanted James to earn his own living which he eventually did , and the long friendships with fellow botanists that the book has to offer.
Perhaps they will encourage you to keep coming back for it all. If you have ever sighed wistfully while leafing through garden design books lush with illustrations of meadowy expanses, sweeping perennial borders against a backdrop of graceful tall trees, gently trickling water features, charming gazebos, and kitchen gardens large enough to feed a ravenous extended family, then British novelist Charlotte Mendelson's Rhapsody in Green will provide a welcome relief.
She is wickedly self-deprecating referring to herself at one point as Incapability Mendelson , and many urban gardeners will identify with her grand ambitions for a very limited space. Her writing is full of sharp wit, and brims over with fierce enthusiasm for unusual varieties of edible plants in particular. Is it foolhardy to keep trying—and failing--to grow heirloom apple trees, or is it laudable indomitability? Gardening projects fall by the wayside germinating seeds abandoned, fruit leather made from foraged quinces growing a fur of mold but Mendelson's devotion to the garden finds her wandering away from her dinner guests to go putter among the leaves in the dark.
Despite the vicarious exhaustion of accompanying Mendelson on her journey of gardening trial and error, what makes this a compelling book to read is the quality of the writing, and the incisive attention to detail. She may struggle to eke a single zucchini or patch of mint out of her small plot, but Mendelson is keenly attuned to the natural world and to the unalloyed happiness that we find in growing things—even if we sometimes kill them.
You may find yourself chortling one moment and stunned silent by her closely observed and beautiful description of the natural world the next. Some books have bibliographies, but this one has "The Blacklist:" books which will "lead you astray; approach with caution.
Philosophy of Humor
She recommends The Organic Salad Garden as the most important title for the aspiring edible gardener. Anyone who regularly dresses up as a queen bee to educate children has to be passionate about her topic. Lori Weidenhammer, a performance artist based in Vancouver, British Columbia, is certainly that. All this energy at first may distract you from the rich content. This is an excellent introduction and field guide to the many types of bees.
Planting charts recommend plants for your gardens — starting with weeds! Each entry tells you which bees are attracted to the plant, and what it provides for them. Planting plans will suggest garden layouts. The photos, mostly by the author, are excellent at showing their small subjects in tremendous detail. Suppose you are accidently stung by a bee. Bad stings happen to good people. The word pulse has many meanings! To be more precise, a pulse is a legume harvested mainly for the dry seed. The primary author, Dan Jason of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, has chosen to concentrate on the five that are the easiest to grow in the temperate climates of Canada and the northern United States.
Of course, he also sells them through his company, Salt Spring Seeds. But never mind this possible conflict; this is an excellent introduction to these easy-to-grow, highly nutritious, and earth-friendly foods that require little water and no fertilizer. Transkarukera km, Guadeloupe - Follow Along July 20, Trail Runner vs Baby Skunk June 16, Well this was a first. When I had my one and only coach back from - while residing in Whistler, a lady by the name of Val Burke who has since relocated to New Zealand and is currently working with some N.
Olympic athletes, she quickly observed; "You get bored with structure and really need an adventure component to what you do don't you? In my own head; "I'm not really feeling it today, I need to get out and do something though. The Fatigue of Failure May 11, The fatigue of failure. There's a Japanese proverb that goes "He who climbs Mt. Fuji is a wise man, he who climbs it twice is a fool. What were my true motivations in travelling around the world to run a miler in which I'd already had my day and already experienced the journey around Fuji? The answer is simple, it was to run against a perceived deeper field of runners and to ideally have my day on what was going to be a much more public stage this year.
That was the main driving factor in my choice to return. I had shown, at least to myself, that I could run with and even ahead of such great runners as Seb and Julien as I found myself in second place at mile I definitely faded before the finish, but snagging fourth simply felt incredible. It was one of the absolute highlights of my If you weren't directly paying attention or emotionally invested in the race, you likely didn't even notice.
My main motivations in returning this year were rooted firmly around simply replicating my run in front of a much more engaged ultra community. Though these motivations are not flawed per se, they are fairly far removed from the usual driving factors that draw me to international events. By no means am I saying that I did not want to return to Japan for all that it offers outside of the race itself, just that I very likely would have waited at least another year before returning, had I not seen just how competitive the race was going to be and as such just how much of a following it would garner.
I've struggled to move past what transpired at Mt. Fuji for UTMF, primarily because I know that even though I was forced to drop out when a foot injury flared up, I was in no way shape or form having the race I was capable of having on that day up until that point in time.
Even if I had managed to continue to rally and to have somehow fought my way back into the top ten, I would have been left wondering how and why I was unable to have pulled off a near top five performance on the day. I was fit enough, I was rested enough, I was primed for a great race. So what went wrong, before it all went wrong? What could I have done differently?
How much was beyond my control and how many small consecutive errors had I made to eventually bring down the ship? Photo Credit Yuma Hamayoshi I watched a documentary once about how the average plane crash is not caused by one major failure, it's caused by up to a half a dozen small errors that when combined can lead to tragic consequences. It raises the question of how many near misses are we never aware of?
To parlay this into ultra running, and my own ultra running, how many mistakes did I make in Japan? How many mistakes are maybe typical and preventable going forward? Are there some that have become habitual, yet in their own right have not lead directly to race failures? Basically, it's time to slice and dice things a bit more as these thoughts won't be put to rest in any other manner. I figure the best way to do this is to take my five best efforts and contrast them with my five worst, my DNF's and "I should have DNFeds" First and foremost though to dispel one thing in regards to UTMF vs I did not start off any faster this year than I did last year.
In we had the lead runners blasting off the front at near sub six minute mile pace. I held back in 12th or so in six minute thirty pace. This year the lead guys weren't blasting off quite so quickly and when I found myself mimicking my start I was much higher up in the field at the very start. Through the first mile I was in second place, high fiving all the spectators and attempting to take in as much positive support as possible. I continually referenced my watch to ensure I wasn't getting carried away and as I stayed on a high six minute mile pace eventually a few more runners caught up to and surpassed me.
My first two miles in were about ten seconds faster than my first two in I did not start out faster than I had already proven I could upon that course. But is there still a lesson to be learned here? Worst six are relatively easy as all but one are a DNFs. Listing DNFs in this format is to explore the idea that these DNFs could have been prevented with a better race day and pre-race strategy. How best to assess the similarities and differences in these races and these results? I've come up with a standard list of questions and a point score associated with them. A lower score is better.
Pre-race is the combined sum of the eleven questions posed that can be answered before you even line up, and Race Day is the combined sum of the three questions surrounding your own race day decisions. The questions and associated points:. Training leading up to race 1: solid training block 2: average training block 3: low training block. Tapering into race 1: normal taper 2: abnormal taper Confidence 1: overly confident 2: reasonably confident 3: self doubt.
Music during race can't effectively assign a number ratio to this, I have become a big believe in the benefits of music while racing and simply have this here as a personal reference The Findings A full list of more specific race breakdowns is below should you care to delve further. The results are interesting but not surprising, and all around fairly predictable, though it's much more meaningful when you lay it all out like this.
In hindsight though, this is against my normal running strategy and likely against my best interest. In comparison to my other best races this race was the one where I took the greatest chances early on. Taking chances like this can go either way though, especially over the mile distance, and the best racing strategy, for me at least, likely resides somewhere slower than how I started here and a step faster than how I have started at other races. I faded significantly late in the race and dropped from 2nd down to 4th, while 5th was closing ground on me.
I believe that had I started slightly more conservatively I would have been rewarded with a stronger finish and potentially a higher placing. I believe this one off, though not blind luck, would be the exception to how I should run and may have contributed to me believing that I could and even should be starting faster in my longer races.
I have not come to terms with this until just now as I've only looked at this race as a successful template and not critically assessed it prior to today. The week prior I ran miles and the day before the race I had my hip seize up and briefly make me question if I'd even be able to start. A low stress race on home turf allowed for very intelligent race day decisions.
Lack of external variables such as travel, unfamiliar terrain, external pressures all allowed me to completely run my own race and to not make any race day mistakes. A comeback race over the very course that I broke my foot on, while running toe to toe against the runner who'd won the two years I was away. I doubt I'll ever see another mile race go as smoothly and almost as effortlessly as this one did. It's probably best to assume this race was a one off in all the positive ways a race could possibly go.
I had nothing but top ten aspirations but was still very much an underdog on the day. I ran an intelligent race while allowing the lead pack to separate as I forced myself to stay calm and to work myself into a good race pace. It was a very solid race for me but in all likelihood I was helped along by my Miwok DNF and therefore eliminating an element of expectation both internally and externally.
I need to get back to this. This is the only way you should ever start a miler. I completely ran my own race from start to finish and that's why I had success. First question might be why I'd chose this as a top result. This was beyond the unknown for me at the time. I'd only run a handful of 50k races plus one 67k race. I had calf issues in the months leading up to the race and spent two full months training only on a bike.
I would have run sub nine hours and finished in 8th place if I had not taken a full five kilometer detour. I knew none of them. I knew f k all and yet I ran an incredibly well balanced race while up against a fairly deep field at the time. If there was ever a race I'd run where I would have had every excuse to mess it up, this was the one, yet I pretty much nailed it right out of the gates. I ran my own race from start to finish and had a great k debut.
I got caught up in the hype and by the third mile my fate on the day was likely sealed. I'm still incredible proud of even being able to gut this one out just to claim a finish. My kidneys were shutting down and I was peeing blood. It took me over a month to recover from this one. If I had set out on a more reasonable 8h45m'ish run pace I very likely would not have DNFed and not ended up getting the blood work done that told me I was having iron deficiency issues. The bad with the good I guess. I headed in with high hopes and plenty of self imposed and perceived external expectations, though I was fully confident in my fitness and abilities.
I still think of this as a lost opportunity to perform on a big stage. I had top ten fitness but was was likely still shooting for a result just beyond my fitness level. I should have gone into this with the goal of finishing 8th, 9th or 10th, not 4th, 5th or 6th. Assessment : I was equal parts stressed and excited, but I never would have expected to not be in the mix for top five. I absolutely had it within me to be in the top five mix.
If I could attempt the race all over again tomorrow I would start slower and just do my own thing. No matter the foot injury would have stopped my race, but at least I would have likely been having a better race when that all occurred. I was incredibly proud to have fought so hard to make it to km. This is one of the few positives to take away from the race. I was doing great on the flats, the downhills and even the gradual grades, but the super steep terrain felt impossible on race day.
UTMF April 26, Just want to say thank you so much for all of the incredible support. Pre-race, during the race, post-race, I am a part of a wonderful community and feel incredibly fortunate to have so many people, from friends and family to acquaintances and people I have yet to meet who are so forthcoming with with their constant support. The long and short of it. It wasn't my day from early on in the race, but I was determined to stick with it and to figure it all out. I had the better part of eight hours of feeling like shit while barely holding on enough mentally to keep myself from removing my bib and calling it a day.
In the middle of all of this I also missed a turn and added an additional two kilometers to my race, though the nearly 60 year old man who without hesitation took off running at a decent clip, leaving his wife behind, to run me back onto course was certainly one of the highlights of my day. Somewhere around the eight hour mark, about 65km into the race, things started to feel normal again. For the first time all day I felt like an actual runner.
I somehow knew that the worst was behind me and as such I managed to go from survival mode back to racing mode. I started clipping people off one at a time and by the midway point at A7 81km I had resurrected top ten aspirations.