Gods, Wasps and Stranglers

The Secret History and Redemptive Future of Fig Trees

Author: Mike Shanahan

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603587152

Category: Nature

Page: 208

View: 2505

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They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers ... rainforest royalty ... more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilization. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence – fig trees are special. They evolved when giant dinosaurs still roamed and have been shaping our world ever since. These trees intrigued Aristotle and amazed Alexander the Great. They were instrumental in Kenya’s struggle for independence and helped restore life after Krakatoa’s catastrophic eruption. Egypt’s Pharaohs hoped to meet fig trees in the afterlife and Queen Elizabeth II was asleep in one when she ascended the throne. And all because 80 million years ago these trees cut a curious deal with some tiny wasps. Thanks to this deal, figs sustain more species of birds and mammals than any other trees, making them vital to rainforests. In a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, their story offers hope. Ultimately, it’s a story about humanity’s relationship with nature. The story of the fig trees stretches back tens of millions of years, but it is as relevant to our future as it is to our past.

Ladders to Heaven

Author: Mike Shanahan

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781783525805

Category:

Page: 224

View: 1406

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They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers ... rainforest royalty ... more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Ladders to Heaven tells their amazing story. Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles in the dawn of civilisation. They feature in every major religion, starring alongside Adam and Eve, Krishna and Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad. This is no coincidence - fig trees are special. They evolved when giant dinosaurs still roamed and have been shaping our world ever since. These trees intrigued Aristotle and amazed Alexander the Great. They were instrumental in Kenya's struggle for independence and helped restore life after Krakatoa's catastrophic eruption. Egypt's Pharaohs hoped to meet fig trees in the afterlife and Queen Elizabeth II was asleep in one when she ascended the throne. And all because 80 million years ago these trees cut a curious deal with some tiny wasps. Thanks to this deal, figs sustain more species of birds and mammals than any other trees, making them vital to rainforests. In a time of falling trees and rising temperatures, their story offers hope. Ultimately, it's a story about humanity's relationship with nature. The story of the fig trees stretches back tens of millions of years, but it is as relevant to our future as it is to our past.

Under the Fig Leaf

A Cookbook for Fig Lovers

Author: Sherri Lee

Publisher: Sherri Lee

ISBN: 9780615280301

Category: Cooking

Page: 160

View: 1608

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In addition to great fig recipes, this cookbook includes educational information about figs: preparation, selection, freezing, drying options, rehydration, packaging, and storage tips. A fabulous horticulture guide to growing fig trees and includes contact information for frequently used products and fig trees.

Figs

A Global History

Author: David C. Sutton

Publisher: Reaktion Books

ISBN: 1780233922

Category: Cooking

Page: 128

View: 3318

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Lusciously sweet and with a complex texture, figs are both a nutritious culinary delicacy and an important symbol in religion and culture. Associated with Christmas since the time of Charles Dickens—not to mention Dionysus or the Garden of Eden—the fig is steeped in history. In this account of the festive fruit, David C. Sutton places the fig in its historical context, examining its peculiar origins and the importance it has garnered in so many countries. Sutton begins by describing the fig’s strange biology—botanically, it is not a fruit, but rather a cluster of ingrowing flowers—then considers its Arabian origins, including the possibility that the earliest seeds were transported from Yemen to Mesopotamia in the dung of donkeys. Exploring the history of the fruit in fascinating detail, Sutton postulates that the “forbidden fruit” eaten by Adam and Eve was not an apple, but a fig; and he discusses the role figs played for the Crusaders and guides readers toward the wonderful fig festivals held today. Chock full of tasty recipes, intriguing facts, and bizarre stories, Figs is a toothsome book of delights.

A Guide to Growing Figs Under Glass

Author: David Thomson

Publisher: Read Books Ltd

ISBN: 1447490770

Category: Gardening

Page: 36

View: 7725

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This early work on fig cultivation is both expensive and hard to find in its first edition. It contains information on fig varieties, soil, propagation and much more. This is a fascinating work and is thoroughly recommended for the amateur fruit grower. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce. We are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

Tamed and Untamed

Close Encounters of the Animal Kind

Author: Sy Montgomery,Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 160358756X

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 8385

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Extraordinary new insights into the minds and lives of our fellow creatures from two of the world’s top animal authors, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Sy Montgomery. "In their writing and in their lives and in their remarkable friendship, Liz and Sy break down false barriers and carry us closer to our fellow creatures.”—from the foreword by Vicki Constantine Croke, author of Elephant Company Tamed and Untamed―a collection of essays penned by two of the world's most celebrated animal writers, Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas―explores the minds, lives, and mysteries of animals as diverse as snails, house cats, hawks, sharks, dogs, lions, and even octopuses. Drawing on stories of animals both wild and domestic, the two authors, also best friends, created this book to put humans back into the animal world. The more we learn about what other animals think and do, they explain, the more we understand ourselves as animals, too. Writes Montgomery, “The list of attributes once thought to be unique to our species―from using tools to waging war―is not only rapidly shrinking, but starting to sound less and less impressive when we compare them with other animals’ powers.” With humor, empathy, and introspection, Montgomery and Thomas look into the lives of all kinds of creatures―from man’s best friend to the great white shark―and examine the ways we connect with our fellow species. Both authors have devoted their lives to sharing the animal kingdom’s magic with others, and their combined wisdom is an indispensable contribution to the field of animal literature. The book contains a foreword by Vicki Constantine Croke, author of the bestseller Elephant Company.

Curious Creatures in Zoology

With 130 Illustrations Throughout the Text

Author: John Ashton

Publisher: Library of Alexandria

ISBN: N.A

Category: Animal lore

Page: 348

View: 9257

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ÊLetÊus commence our researches into curious Zoology with the noblest of created beings, Man; and, if we may believe Darwin, he must have gone through many phases, and gradual mutations, before he arrived at his present proud position of Master and Conqueror of the World. This philosopher does not assign a high place in the animal creation to proud manÕs protogenitor, and we ought almost to feel thankful to him for not going further back. He begins with man as an Ascidian, which is the lowest form of anything of a vertebrate character, with which we are acquainted; and he says thus, in his ÒDescent ofÊManÓ:Ñ ÒThe most ancient progenitors in the kingdom of the Vertebrata, at which we are able to obtain an obscure glance, apparently consisted of a group of marine animals, resembling the larv¾ of existing Ascidians. These animals probably gave rise to a group of fishes, as lowly organised as the lancelet; and from these the Ganoids, and other fishes like the Lepidosiren, must have been developed. From such fish a very small advance would carry us on to the amphibians. We see that birds and reptiles were once intimately connected together; andÊthe Monotremata now, in a slight degree, connect mammals with reptiles. But no one can, at present, say by what line of descent the three higher, and related classesÑnamely, mammals, birds, and reptiles, were derived from either of the two lower vertebrate classes, namely, amphibians, and fishes. In the class of mammals the steps are not difficult to conceive which led from the ancient Monotremata to the ancient Marsupials; and from these to the early progenitors of the placental mammals. We may thus ascend to the Lemurid¾; and the interval is not wide from these to the Simiad¾. The Simiad¾ then branched off into two great stems, the New World, and Old World monkeys; and from the latter, at a remote period, Man, the wonder and glory of the Universe, proceeded.Ó

Zen Mind, Zen Horse

The Science and Spirituality of Working with Horses

Author: Allan J. Hamilton

Publisher: Storey Publishing

ISBN: 1603427805

Category: Sports & Recreation

Page: 320

View: 3717

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“Far more than a book about how to care for a horse, though it stands out as one of the best on the subject . . . beautiful” (Susan Richards, author of Chosen by a Horse). This unique guide to horsemanship incorporates Eastern philosophy to describe how horses understand and respond to the flow of vital energy around them, and how they use this energy, called chi, to communicate with their herd, express dominance, and sense predators. Written by the award-winning author of The Scalpel and the Soul, and including forewords by Monty Roberts and Dr. Robert Miller, Zen Mind, Zen Horse shares safe, simple techniques to make you more receptive to your animal’s chi, so you can develop a calm and effective training style that will not only help your horse follow commands, but strengthen the spiritual bond between horse and rider.

You Can't Go Home Again

Author: Thomas Wolfe

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1451650485

Category: Fiction

Page: 638

View: 4312

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Brad Smith, a “funny, poignant, evocative” (Dennis Lehane) crime novelist, debuts a new series set in upstate New York featuring jack-of-all trades, Virgil Cain, who must clear his name of two murders while on the run from the law in this spirited country noir. Mickey Dupree is one of the most successful criminal attorneys in upstate New York, having never lost a capital murder case. That is the upside of being Mickey. The downside: Mickey has a lot of enemies and one of them drives the shaft of a golf club through his heart, leaving him dead in a sand trap at his exclusive country club. The cops, led by a dim-witted detective named Joe Brady, focus their attentions on Virgil Cain. Just two weeks earlier Virgil told a crowded bar that “somebody ought to blow Mickey’s head off,” after the slippery lawyer earned an acquittal for Alan Comstock, the man accused of murdering Virgil’s wife. Comstock, a legendary record producer, gun nut, and certifiable lunatic, has returned to his estate, where he lives with his wife, the long suffering Jane. It appears to Virgil that the fix is in when Brady immediately throws him into jail with no questions asked. In order to set things right, Virgil escapes from jail, determined to find Mickey’s killer himself. Aside from a smart and sexy detective named Claire Marchand, everybody is convinced that Virgil is the culprit. When Alan Comstock is discovered with six slugs in his body the day after Virgil’s escape, his guilt is almost assured. Now it is up to Virgil to convince everyone of his innocence—by finding the killer before he winds up as the next victim.

Pawpaw

In Search of America’s Forgotten Fruit

Author: Andrew Moore

Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing

ISBN: 1603585974

Category: Cooking

Page: 320

View: 3747

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The largest edible fruit native to the United States tastes like a cross between a banana and a mango. It grows wild in twenty-six states, gracing Eastern forests each fall with sweet-smelling, tropical-flavored abundance. Historically, it fed and sustained Native Americans and European explorers, presidents, and enslaved African Americans, inspiring folk songs, poetry, and scores of place names from Georgia to Illinois. Its trees are an organic grower’s dream, requiring no pesticides or herbicides to thrive, and containing compounds that are among the most potent anticancer agents yet discovered. So why have so few people heard of the pawpaw, much less tasted one? In Pawpaw—a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award nominee in the Writing & Literature category—author Andrew Moore explores the past, present, and future of this unique fruit, traveling from the Ozarks to Monticello; canoeing the lower Mississippi in search of wild fruit; drinking pawpaw beer in Durham, North Carolina; tracking down lost cultivars in Appalachian hollers; and helping out during harvest season in a Maryland orchard. Along the way, he gathers pawpaw lore and knowledge not only from the plant breeders and horticulturists working to bring pawpaws into the mainstream (including Neal Peterson, known in pawpaw circles as the fruit’s own “Johnny Pawpawseed”), but also regular folks who remember eating them in the woods as kids, but haven’t had one in over fifty years. As much as Pawpaw is a compendium of pawpaw knowledge, it also plumbs deeper questions about American foodways—how economic, biologic, and cultural forces combine, leading us to eat what we eat, and sometimes to ignore the incredible, delicious food growing all around us. If you haven’t yet eaten a pawpaw, this book won’t let you rest until you do.

Fig

Author: Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1481423606

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 352

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An NPR Best Book of 2015 Love and sacrifice intertwine in this brilliant debut of rare beauty about a girl dealing with her mother’s schizophrenia and her own mental illness. Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy. But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. She knows that her daily sacrifices, like not touching metal one day or avoiding water the next, are the only way to cure Mama. The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, Fig begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart. Spanning the course of Fig’s childhood from age six to nineteen, this deeply provocative novel is more than a portrait of a mother, a daughter, and the struggle that comes with all-consuming love. It is an acutely honest and often painful portrayal of life with mental illness and the lengths to which a young woman must go to handle the ordeals—real or imaginary—thrown her way.

Good Garden Bugs

Everything You Need to Know about Beneficial Predatory Insects

Author: Mary M. Gardiner

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 1592539092

Category: Gardening

Page: 176

View: 7204

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The essential guide to attracting the right kinds of insects into your garden.

Travel Tails

All Bark and No Bite

Author: Stefanie Dunnigan

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780996279604

Category: Dogs

Page: 30

View: 1840

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When the dogs of the Barkwood Pack encounter a stranger in the neighborhood, they learn that things are not always as they seem. Along the way, the pups learn about acceptance, respect, and compassion. Written from the dogs' perspectives, readers can relate to the different personalities and recognize the joys and challenges that come with friendship.

Bush and Cheney

How They Ruined America and the World

Author: David Ray Griffin

Publisher: Olive Branch Press

ISBN: 9781566560610

Category: History

Page: 400

View: 5492

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Was Americas response to the 9/11 attacks at the root of todays instability and terror? Because of various factors, including climate change, ISIS, the war in Syria, the growing numbers of immigrants, and the growing strength of fascist parties in Europe, commentators have increasingly been pointing out that the chaos in the world today was sparked by the post-9/11 attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time, there has also been much discussion of ways in which the Bush-Cheney administrations response to 9/11 has damaged America itself by stimulating Islamophobia and fascist sentiments, undermining key elements in its Constitution, moving towards a police state, and in general weakening its democracy. While the first two parts of this book discuss various ways in which 9/11 has ruined America and the world, the third part discusses a question that is generally avoided: Were the Bush-Cheney attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq really at the root of the ruination of America and the world in general, or did the original sin lie in 9/11 itself?

In 1926

Living on the Edge of Time

Author: Hans Ulrich GUMBRECHT,Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674038045

Category: Social Science

Page: 505

View: 7859

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In this thoroughly innovative work, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht evokes the year 1926 through explorations of such things as bars, boxing, movie palaces, hunger artists, airplanes, hair gel, bullfighting, film stardom and dance crazes. From the vantage points of Berlin, Buenos Aires, and New York, the reader is allowed multiple itineraries, ultimately becoming immersed in the activities, entertainments, and thought patterns of the citizens of 1926.

The Soul of an Octopus

A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness

Author: Sy Montgomery

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501161148

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 7382

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Finalist for the National Book Award for Nonfiction * New York Times Bestseller * Starred Booklist and Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick * A Huffington Post Notable Nonfiction Book of the Year * One of the Best Books of the Month on Goodreads * Library Journal Best Sci-Tech Book of the Year * An American Library Association Notable Book of the Year “Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus does for the creature what Helen Macdonald’s H Is for Hawk did for raptors.” —New Statesman, UK “One of the best science books of the year.” —Science Friday, NPR Another New York Times bestseller from the author of The Good Good Pig, this “fascinating…touching…informative…entertaining” (Daily Beast) book explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus—a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature—and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food. Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.

Japanese Garden Notes

A Visual Guide to Elements and Design

Author: Marc Peter Keane

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781611720358

Category: Architecture

Page: 296

View: 2968

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Marc Peter Keane's personal journey through 100 Japanese gardens, looking at them with a designer s eye."

Letting in the Wild Edges

Author: Glennie Kindred

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781856231176

Category: Cooking

Page: 289

View: 2718

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In this beautifully illustrated book, Glennie Kindred inspires us to celebrate the bounties of our wild native plants and find a richer relationship with the natural world around us. Season by season, we are shown how to grow and manage native edible and medicinal plants in our gardens or on the wild edges of the land. Included are foraging tips and many recipes for making kitchen medicines and delicious food from our finds. By letting the wild native plants into our lives, Glennie helps us reconnect with our rich herbal heritage and enter into a new relationship with our local environment. She encourages us to forage, grow, and eat our edible natives, season by season, and also to strengthen our health with their healing properties. She explores many different ways to mark and celebrate the seasons, especially outside on the land, which support our ability to adapt and grow for the benefit of the Earth and ourselves. This is a practical, optimistic and inspirational treasure trove for a more creative, integrated, self-reliant future.