Our mission is to share the wonders of the natural world by publishing books from experts in the fields of gardening, horticulture, and natural history. Grow with us.

Trees don’t have two eyes like we do, yet they can see. They know how much light is hitting their leaves, and they know the quality of that light, too.

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The Walcott Quarry—a fossil-rich, 505-millionyear- old slice of ocean floor—is located about midway across this ridgeline in Yoho National Park. Photo by the author.

Not all geologic treasures can be easily seen from the air. Canada’s Yoho National Park, west of Banff on the west side of the Canadian Rockies, doesn’t really stand out in the midst of surrounding mountains. You’ll have to get much closer to see Yoho’s most famous features: rare fossils representing some of the earliest complex life-forms on Earth.

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All images by the author.

“If it looks familiar, it is not new.” —Robert Llewellyn

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So what do you call it?

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Filled with fun facts, fascinating histories, and atmospheric photography, Aerial Geology is an up-in-the-sky exploration of North America’s 100 most spectacular geological formations.
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From the leaves and branches of the canopy to the roots and soil of the understory, the forest is a complex, interconnected ecosystem filled with plants, birds, mammals, insects, and fungi. The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into the Heart of the Woods by Robert Llewellyn and Joan Maloof celebrates this beautiful and mysterious system with lush photography and vivid essays.

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By Helen Sewell. Used by permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Please note: “Little House” ® is a registered trademark of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

North and east of Pepin, the mix of trees changed to the boreal forest that sweeps far into Canada. Here the conifers—pine, tamarack, and spruce—go to the front of the class, along with birch, beech and maple. So when the Ingallses drove north to Grandpa Ingalls’s farm for maple sugaring in late winter, their journey followed the actual distribution of tree species in the woods.

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Amanita bisporigera, or the destroying angel,  is a common large white mushroom in mature forests, but also is found in grassy areas if a host tree species are present. Photo by the author.

Not all mushrooms are edible, not all mushrooms are poisonous, but if you wish to use macrofungi for food, you should become an expert at identifying the edible and the poisonous species.

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Bristly hairs on comfrey leaves can cause skin irritations, so wear gloves while harvesting. A comfrey soak, compress, or wash can be beneficial in wound healing, or in the event of a break or soft tissue damage.

As a reputable tissue- and wound-healer, comfrey is an important plant for the apothecary and first aid kit. Learn more about identifying and using the powerful properties of comfrey from Lisa M. Rose, author of Midwest Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 109 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness.

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Big bluestem (foreground) stands over six feet tall in late October. Along with tall-growing companions switchgrass and Indian grass, its presence is as dramatic as any shrub.

Piet Oudolf and Rick Darke walk us through the Chelsea Grasslands, West 18th Street to West 20th Street

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