Early Spring: An Ecologist and Her Children Wake to a Warming World

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Beacon Press, 2009 - Climatic changes - 172 pages
Foreword by Bill McKibben An ecologist and mother brings the overwhelming problem of global warming to a personal level, with a mix of memoir and science As Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver examine food issues through their own families' meals, Amy Seidl looks at climate change through family walks in the woods, work in her garden, and seasonal community events throughout the year. She brings home the reality of global warming by considering how it has altered her life, her daughters' experiences outdoors, and the traditions of her quintessential small New England town--the iconic landscape celebrated by Robert Frost, Norman Rockwell, and many others. While it may be possible for some to ignore drowning polar bears and PowerPoint presentations, Early Spring considers the observations by our neighbors, families, and friends of the changing weather and landscape and puts them into scientific context. As an ecologist, Seidl explains how natural upheaval occurs in the microcosms of our backyards and parks: spring flowers blossom before pollinators arrive, ponds no longer freeze, and animals begin migrating at unexpected times. While the human community, including Seidl's daughters, adapts to a changing climate, plants and animals also adapt, she shows, in ways both obvious and surprising. Through beautiful literary writing grounded in the science of ecology and evolutionary biology, Seidl offers both a personal and a research-based testimonial of global warming.
 

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Contents

Weather
1
Gardens
25
Forests
47
Water
69
Birds
89
Butterflies
113
Meadows and Fields
133
Epilogue
155
Selected Bibliography and Notes
161
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