Tuesday, May 26, 2009


We have a beautiful new book that is both a love letter to trees and an introduction to the natural history of forests. Trees & Forests of America contains gorgeous photos of the varied forests of the United States, accompanied by an interesting text from the photographer Tim Palmer. He starts with an explanation of why he is so interested in trees, and their contribution to the health of our planet. He also takes a short look at the history of forests, and the way in which we have used the trees that surround us, as well as preserved them. The brief chapters on the ecology of trees and their life cycles are very interesting, and filled with all sorts of intriguing facts.
It's in the last two-thirds of the book, however, that Palmer really shows his affection for forests and shares his feelings with the reader. He does this through a selection of truly beautiful photos that cover the wide range of American forests in all seasons. From the muggy swamps and moss-covered tupelos of Florida to the red and gold maple forests of Vermont to snow-draped firs, sun-bleached pinyons, massive sequoias, Hawaiian palms and Sitka spruce. You can practically hear the birds calling from the branches, feel the cool relief from burning sun and smell the slow decay of the underbrush.
It's so easy to forget the wonder of forests, living amongst them as we do...Palmer's book is a perfect reminder of the natural beauty of this country.

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