Thursday, December 29, 2011

Book Review!

Reading the Forested Landscape, by Tom Wessels
This is one I can't really tie in to the fiber stuff. I'm usually pretty good at that, dragging all subjects back to knitting and spinning. This one? I'm at a loss. There's some stuff in there about sheep, but it's about grazing and deforestation, not, you know, using the wool for stuff.

Anyway. The book.

Do you like trees? Forests? Woods? Do you wish you knew more about what went on there, in terms of how old the growth is, whether the land had been used before, like that? This is YOUR BOOK. Holy crap, it's amazing. The author is like the Sherlock Holmes of trees. (I don't know if his bio says that. It should.) Thanks to him, I am seeing the land around me in a whole new way. Fence rows. Pasture trees. Crop field vs. hay field vs. pasture. Beavers. (No, really.) ALL THIS COOL STUFF.

Wanna know what a field was used for? If it's old, look at the stone fence nearby. Only regular plowing (for crop fields) works small stones to the surface. So a crop field's stone wall will have little stones in it. A hay field or a pasture would only contain the larger rocks pulled out of the soil to level the field. IS THIS COOL OR WHAT? Sherlock Holmes stuff, people!

You should see me, riding around in cars these days. I kinda hang out the window. The place where I grew up? ALL sorts of logging about a hundred years ago. The field down the hill, with the farm house in it, has been cleared land for at least a couple hundred years. (You can tell by the way the giant trees on the property have grown.) I spotted a tree struck by lightning, on the turnpike.

If you like trees? You want this. Seriously. Even the husbeast has found the info I've relayed interesting, and he considers trees annoying things he has to mow around. SHERLOCK. HOLMES.


Roxie said...

Wonder how it applies out west? I'll look for it. Stone fences? Well lah-dee-dah . . . barb wire ain't good enough for you?

Barbara said...

Sounds like Door County, WI too. Lots of people farming stones there for years. I have a tree-loving friend who'd love to read this. Thanks!

Happy New Year!

Alwen said...

Sounds cool. I'll bet New England's landscape was a bit different from Michigan's, what with the glaciers grinding all our bedrock down.

I still remember how gobsmacked I was at the landscape the first time I camped in Pennsylvania - there were big chunks of rock! The size of a building! Right next to our car. Here it is sand, sand, sand, baked beans, and sand.

metalouise said...

Hah, the product description on Amazon for his new book says "You'll feel like a woodland Sherlock Holmes".

I now have the book on pre order :D

Emily said...

The average soil depth in New England is 8 inches, I believe. Yet people farmed!

Betsy said...

Right up my to order now...thanks...

Amy Lane said...

I love figuring that stuff out-- sounds VERRA cool!