A Sanctuary of Trees: Beechnuts, Birdsongs, Baseball Bats, and Benedictions (Google eBook)
As author Gene Logsdon puts it, "We are all tree huggers." But not just for sentimental or even environmental reasons. Humans have always depended on trees for our food, shelter, livelihood, and safety. In many ways, despite the Grimm's fairy-tale version of the dark, menacing forest, most people still hold a deep cultural love of woodland settings, and feel right at home in the woods.
In this latest book, A Sanctuary of Trees, Logsdon offers a loving tribute to the woods, tracing the roots of his own home groves in Ohio back to the Native Americans and revealing his own history and experiences living in many locations, each of which was different, yet inextricably linked with trees and the natural world. Whether as an adolescent studying at a seminary or as a journalist living just outside Philadelphia's city limits, Gene has always lived and worked close to the woods, and his curiosity and keen sense of observation have taught him valuable lessons about a wide variety of trees: their distinct characteristics and the multiple benefits and uses they have.
In addition to imparting many fascinating practical details of woods wisdom, A Sanctuary of Trees is infused with a philosophy and descriptive lyricism that is born from the author's passionate and lifelong relationship with nature: There is a point at which the tree shudders before it begins its descent. Then slowly it tips, picks up speed, often with a kind of wailing death cry from rending wood fibers, and hits the ground with a whump that literally shakes the earth underfoot. The air, in the aftermath, seems to shimmy and shiver, as if saturated with static electricity. Then follows an eerie silence, the absolute end to a very long life.
Fitting squarely into the long and proud tradition of American nature writing, A Sanctuary of Trees also reflects Gene Logsdon's unique personality and perspective, which have marked him over the course of his two dozen previous books as the authentic voice of rural life and traditions.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Partway thru this book I began to feel as if I had read it before. Logsdon does repeat some of the same points throughout the book, but also generally mentions which chapter he had previously discussed them. It's possible he's made these same points in previous books. In general, his teaching on sustainable living & forestry is low key, and his pitch for changing our dependence on fossil fuels is not as strident as many other books on the subject. In fact, he comes across as a friendly neighbor, so enamored of his love for trees that he can't help but share his enthusiasm. He encourages woodsowners to take the long view and let their trees manage themselves rather than feeling obliged to spend time thinning and pruning. Sounds like good advice to someone as lazy as I am. I do heat with wood and agree that this is the best security as our society experience more electrical outages. I am uncomfortable with his promotion of grazing animals in woods because I love the woodland flowers so much. He acknowledges that years of sheep grazing in some woods has meant no flowers, then relates how they have come back after the grazing was ended as if there were no longterm consequences. Yet he can't understand why he's had little luck getting goldenseal to grow. My point is that the rare plants (and birds) are rare because they cannot tolerate the disturbed conditions in working woods and we need to ensure some wild forests remain.
Review: A Sanctuary of TreesUser Review - Goodreads
A powerful book. Another I would not have known about if not for my group on the farm. While we rarely talked about this, the stories are very moving. Brings ecology into a different focus.
Babes in the Woods
Going to School in the Forest
Beginning a Life in the Woods
Our Own Sanctuary at Last
The Creekside Grove
The Dark Side of the Woods
Your Own LowCost Wood Products
The Living Architecture of a Tree
Practical Wildwood Food
Jewels in Wood
Starting a Grove from Scratch
Keeping the Sanctuary Lamps Burning