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Free read A Sand County Almanac

Read â A Sand County Almanac Ç PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ô First published in 1949 A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the landWritten with an unparalleled understandingHe philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation As the forerunner of such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire and Robert Finch's The Primal Place this classic work remains as relevant today as it was sixty five years a. First published in 1949 A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There by Aldo Leopold was definitely way ahead of its time Much of that stated within remains valid and relevant still today It is a book about conservation and ecology and man’s relationship to land At the author’s death in April 1948 the book existed in draft form His son edited it and brought it into publication a year laterThe book has four parts The first section reads as a monthly nature almanac Here is recorded observations of flora and fauna on the author’s 120 acre property in Sauk County Wisconsin Thereafter follows snippets stories assorted writings at other locations in Wisconsin Illinois and Iowa Arizona and New Mexico Chihuahua and Sonora in northwestern Mexico Oregon and Utah and finally Manitoba Canada The third and then the final fourth section and philosophical academic and didactic in tone have essays on conservation ecology and what the author calls “land ethics” which simply put is the relationship that should exist between the land and those inhabiting it As with all collections of essays some essays are better than others One’s appreciation of the first and second sections will depend upon the reader’s recognition of the flora and fauna spoken of Knowing intimately the landscapes will add to one’s appreciation too My interest was aroused when the creatures and plants I meet on daily walks in France and Sweden are mentioned The same will be valid for others too The prose style is not lyrical It is philosophical The author voices his views His self assurance is manifest He has a tendency to look down upon others The last section is excessively academic and theoretical in tone He categorically states that the final section will not be of interest to the layman I found the essays in the second and third sections best and the theorizing in the final section overblown Many lines are wise and true Note the irony embedded in some Consider the following uotes“To those devoid of imagination a blank place on the map is a useless waste; to others the most valuable part”“All conservation of wildness is self defeating for to cherish we must see and fondle and when enough have seen and fondled there is no wilderness left to cherish”“Education is learning to see one thing by going blind to another”Speaking of a frightening but magnificent thunderstorm Leopold says “It must be a poor life that achieves freedom from fear”Speaking of two boys on a camping trip he says “The wilderness gave them complete freedom to make mistakes”Note the humor here “Pines like people are choosy about their associates”And this in speaking of how other writers and observers of nature fail to register the effects of wind on the bodies of fowl “They other authors' books are written behind stoves”“We grieve only for what we know”This is so very trueOther times that which Leopold says is uestionable How he looks at hunters and hunting is one example—he is a man of his time It is stated that Europeans do not camp or partake of meals outside That is just not true and it had me uestioning the validity of other statements made This is I suppose merely a petitesse Much of that which is stated about the value of conservation is today accepted by all The author speaks of the need to make people aware of the immense satisfaction husbandry of land can bring to a soul He seeks to encourage the general public’s awareness and perception of nature’s magnificence and innate beauty He warns us that we must care for it preserve it for future generations All of this I support but tell me who wouldn’t The book’s content is amazing particularly if one considers how long ago it was written And yet I must also say that the writing lacks the lyrical resonance of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring It does not pull you in as Carson’s does not by a long shotMike Chamberlain narrates the audiobook He speaks clearly The tempo is not rushed but the reading is without modulation He drones on and on The audio performance I have given three starsSilent Spring 5 stars by Rachel CarsonA Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There 3 stars by Aldo Leopold

Review ï PDF, DOC, TXT, eBook or Kindle ePUB free Ò Aldo Leopold

E monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin Iowa Arizona Sonora Oregon Manitoba and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses t. Our ability to perceive uality in nature begins as in art with the pretty pause Our ability to perceive uality in nature begins as in art with the pretty It expands through successive stages of the beautiful to values as yet uncaptured by language The uality of cranes lies I think in this higher gamut as yet beyond the reach of wordsThere is nothing nothing beyond Aldo Leopold's reach of words I've read oh sixty or seventy books so far this year some inventive some incisive but nothing matches the magic of this writing And so I'll have to uote a lot Acts of creation are ordinarily reserved for gods and poets but humbler folks may circumvent this restriction if they know how To plant a pine for example one need be neither god nor poet; one need only own a shovel By virtue of this curious loophole in the rules any clodhopper may say Let there be a tree and there will be one God passed on his handiwork as early as the seventh day but I notice He has been rather noncommittal about its merits I gather either He spoke too soon or that trees stand looking upon than do fig leaves and firmaments There are other plants who seem to ask of this world not riches but room Such is the little sandwort that throws a white lace cap over the poorest hilltops just before the lupines splash them with blue Sandworts simply refuse to live on a a good farm even on a very good farm complete with rock garden and begonias And then there is the little Linaria so small so slender and so blue that you don't even see it until it is directly underfoot; who ever saw a Linaria except on a sandblow There are birds that are found only in the Sand Counties for reasons sometimes easy sometimes difficult to guess The clay colored sparrow is there for the clear reason that he is enad of jackpines and jackpines of sand The sandhill crane is there for the clear reason that he is enad of solitude and there is none left elsewhere But why do woodcocks prefer to nest in sandy regions Their preference is rooted in no such mundane matter as food for earthworms are far abundant on better soils After years of study I now think I know the reason The male woodcock while doing his preening prologue to the sky dance is like a short lady in high heels he does not show up to advantage in dense tangled ground cover But on the poorest sand streak of the poorest pasture or meadow of the Sand Counties there is in April at least no ground cover at all save only moss Draba cardamine sheep sorrel and Antennaria all negligible imprediments to a bird with short legs Here the male woodcock can puff and strut and mince not only without let or hindrance but in full view of his audience real or hoped for This little circumstance important for only an hour a day for only one month of the year perhaps for only one of the two sexes and certainly wholly irrelevant to economic standards of living determine the woodcock's choice of home For one species to mourn the death of another is a new thing under the sun The Cro Magnon who slew the the last mammoth thought only of steaks The sportsman who shot the last pigeon thought only of his prowess The sailor who clubbed the last auk thought of nothing at all But we who have lost our pigeons mourn the loss Had the funeral been ours the pigeons would hardly have mourned us In this fact rather than in Mr DuPont's nylons or Mr Vannevar Bush's bombs lies objective evidence of our superiority over the beasts Thus always does history whether of marsh or market place end in paradox The ultimate value in these marshes is wildness and the crane is wildness incarnate But all conservation of wildness is self defeating for to cherish we must see and fondle and when enough have seen and fondled there is no wildness left to cherish There's an extended part of this book where the author and others saw through an old oak that has fallen on his property He cites the history backwards as they saw through ring by ring year by year It's splendid stuff and not conventional history like Hitler did this or General Sherman did that; but about carp planting and barbed wire and the things meadow mice have been know to do At the end beginning of each decade we hear Rest cries the chief sawyer and we pause for breath So there's a musical cadence too Sorry for uoting so much but I hope you see why I did This book is in three parts the first two are his observations of nature and the last part is kind of a call to arms for conservation of wilderness This book was written almost 70 years ago and Leopold knew even then that what he was preaching was a lost cause Yet this book remains in 'the higher gamut' Four boarding passes and four light rail link passes gave their lives in little torn pieces to mark the many passages in this book worth remembering I read almost this exact uote two weeks ago in the book Rendez vous with Art I went back and couldn't uite put my finger on it so you'll have to trust me

Aldo Leopold Ò 2 Free read

A Sand County AlmanacFirst published in 1949 A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the landWritten with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature the book includes a section on th. What a dull world if we knew all about geese Nature is refreshing Even a short walk in a park can powerfully clear one’s head For whatever reason—perhaps because our ancestors lived in trees—surrounding oneself with birches and maples produces in nearly everyone feelings of warmth comfort and peace And for many people nature is than refreshing it is awe inspiring even divine Natural environments are for some uplifting than cathedrals Emerson might have captured this strain of mystical naturalism bestIn the woods we return to reason and faith Standing on the bare ground—my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite spaces—all mean egotism vanishes I become a transparent eye ball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being flow through me; I am part or particle of GodI myself have had comparable experiences in the woods Yet both Emerson and I are pure amateurs next to Aldo Leopold Leopold was a pioneering conservationist and forester He was also a superlative writer and in this brief book he covers a lot of ground He begins with a month by month account of Sand County a poor farming region in Wisconsin This was my favorite section since Leopold’s sensitivity to his environment is nearly superhuman He has a keen sense of both the history of environments—how they change with the seasons how they have evolved through time how they have been warped by human activity—and the close knit interdependence of ecosystems how each organism shapes and is shaped by every other organism forming a perfect whole As a stylist he manages to be lyrical and poetic while sticking scrupulously to what he sees and hears His sentences are short his diction simple and yet he manages to evoke a densely complex ecosystem This is because unlike Emerson or I—and so than Thoreau—Leopold really understood his environment He can name every species of plant and tell what soils they prefer and what plants they like as neighbors He can identify every bird by its call and knows where it roosts what it eats when it migrates and how it mates Scratches on a tree tell him a deer is nearby his antlers fully grown; the footprints in snow tell him a skunk has passed and how recently All this is described with exuisite sensitivity but no romantic embellishment To borrow a phrase from EB White Leopold had discovered “the elouence of facts” And like White Thoreau and Emerson his writing has a pleasing folksy rambling ambling uality wherein each sentence is nailed to the next one at an obliue angle In the rest of the book Leopold puts forward a new philosophy of conservation This train of thought reminded my very much of another book I read recently The Death and Life of Great American Cities In that book Jane Jacobs explains how top down approaches to city planning killed neighborhood vitality Just so when Leopold was a young man in the forestry service he participated in the policy of removing predators—bears wolves and mountain lions—to protect livestock and to increase the supply of hunting animals like deer When hunting became necessary to control population parks began building and roads to make access easier; and meanwhile the exploding deer population prevented new trees from growing Thus the park was encroached upon by cars and the ecosystem thrown off balance—in the same way that blindly building highways and public housing can destroy neighborhoods Leopold was I believe one of the first to popularize the idea that ecosystems act like one giant organism with a delicate balance of cooperating and competing components Every healthy ecosystem is a harmony that cannot be disturbed without unpredictable results To again borrow from Jacobs an ecosystem—like a city economy or a human brain—is an example of “organized complexity” Thus ecosystems baffle attempts to understand them by thinking of their components separately as a collection of individual species or even statistically as the average behavior of interchangeable parts Complexity like this tends to be a product of historical growth with each distinct component making minute adjustments to each other in a dense network of influence Leopold doesn’t say this in so many words; but he does something even impressive he illustrates this uality using short anecdotes and schoolboy vocabulary His most philosophic contribution to the environmental movement is what he called a “land ethic” Previous arguments for conservation were couched in terms of expediency how national parks and nature reserves could benefit us economically Leopold believed that this approach was too narrow; since hunting lodges and mechanized farms are always profitable in the short term this would eventually result in the destruction of wild ecosystems and the disappearance of species We needed to move beyond arguments of expediency and see the land—and everything on it—as valuable for its own sake Leopold believed that we had an ethical duty to preserve ecosystems and all their species and that the aesthetic reward of wild nature was valuable than dollars and cents could measure I want to go along with this but I thought that Leopold was unsatisfyingly vague in this direction It is simply not enough to say that we have an ethical duty to preserve nature; this is uite a claim and reuires uite a bit of argument Further aesthetic value seems like a slender reed to rest on For every Emerson and Thoreau there is a Babbitt whose tastes are not so refined To his credit Leopold does argue that a great part of conservation must consist in elevating the public taste in nature Otherwise conservation will consist of little than the government using tax dollars to purchase large swaths of land Individuals must see the value in wilderness and actively participate in preserving it But molding tastes is no easy thing; and importantly if we are to do so there must be compelling reasons to do it The most compelling reasons for conservation are I believe expediency—but expediency in the widest sense The difference between folly and wisdom is not that the former is preoccupied with expediency and the latter higher things; it is that wisdom considers what is expedient on a grander scale Leopold comes close to making this same argument He was for example ahead of his time in being deeply concerned about extinction Every time a species disappears it is an irreplaceable loss; and considering that our medicine partly depends on new discoveries extinctions may have terrible conseuences for us down the line I saw a PBS special the other day about scientists trying to discover new antibiotics by shifting through raw soil Since Leopold's day—long before Silent Spring or An Incovenient Truth—we have learned plenty ways that environmental destruction can be euivalent to self destructionCarping aside this is a deeply satisfying book lyrical descriptive educational and innovative Leopold realized what Orwell also realized that winning converts reuires both argument and propaganda He does not only argue for the value of nature but he really captures the beauty of unspoiled environments and serves it up for his readers’ consideration We are not only convinced but seduced This is propaganda in its noblest form—propaganda on behalf of nature