Suburban Safari : A Year on the Lawn
Hannah HolmesISBN: 1582344795;
When science writer Hannah Holmes decided to spend a year studying the inhabitants of her 0.2-acre patch of ground in suburban Portland, Maine, she went about the task with an ecologist's enthusiasm and a scientist's compulsive eye for detail. The result is an entertaining and effortlessly compelling examination of nature's stubborn (and successful) struggle to exist in the face of daunting manmade challenges. Holmes's lawn, unfertilized and rarely mowed, turns out to be a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of bird, mammal, and insect life--a self-perpetuating, constantly evolving community of chipmunks, ladybugs, spiders, slugs, and crows. These creatures, and the complex relationships between them, are the raw material for Holmes's incisive reflections on natural history, urban ecology, and the ignominious story of the over-irrigated, pesticide-laced American lawn--rolling out, Holmes notes, at a rate of one million acres per year. What drives Holmes is not just concern for the natural...
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