Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day

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W. W. Norton & Company, Sep 28, 2009 - Nature - 256 pages
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A celebrated storyteller-poet-naturalist explores a year of dawns in her most personal book to date.

In an eye-opening sequence of personal meditations through the cycle of seasons, Diane Ackerman awakens us to the world at dawn—drawing on sources as diverse as meteorology, world religion, etymology, art history, poetry, organic farming, and beekeeping. As a patient and learned observer of animal and human physiology and behavior, she introduces us to varieties of bird music and other signs of avian intelligence, while she herself “migrates” from winter in Florida to spring, summer, and fall in upstate New York.

Humans might luxuriate in the idea of being “in” nature, Ackerman points out, but we often forget that we are nature—for “no facet of nature is as unlikely as we, the tiny bipeds with the giant dreams.” Joining science’s devotion to detail with religion’s appreciation of the sublime, Dawn Light is an impassioned celebration of the miracles of evolution—especially human consciousness of our numbered days on a turning earth.
 

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Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day

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The award-winning author of books on an eclectic range of subjects, Ackerman (The Zookeeper's Wife) now turns her attention to the dawn. This collection of essays is arranged seasonally from spring to ... Read full review

Contents

Dawn Among the Palms
9
Just a Little Rain
17
The Lost Night Sky
30
Some Tales We Tell
40
In the Spirit of Monet
49
Festivals of the Dawn
56
Troubadours
63
Missive
71
Dangerous Dawn
95
Dawn in the Garden of Cosmic Reflection
107
Matins with the Neighbors TwoLegged and Four
113
AUTUMN
149
WINTER
203
That Is
232
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
241
Copyright

Time Races Dawns Many Faces
83

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About the author (2009)

Diane Ackerman has been the finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction in addition to many other awards and recognitions for her work, which include the best-selling The Zookeeper’s Wife and A Natural History of the Senses. She lives with her husband Paul West in Ithaca, New York.

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