Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State's Natural Communities

Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State's Natural Communities

Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State's Natural Communities

Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State's Natural Communities

Synopsis

Celebrating the beauty, diversity, and significance of the state's natural landscapes, Wild North Carolina provides an engaging, beautifully illustrated introduction to North Carolina's interconnected webs of plant and animal life. From dunes and marshes to high mountain crags, through forests, swamps, savannas, ponds, pocosins, and flatrocks, David Blevins and Michael Schafale reveal in words and photographs natural patterns of the landscape that will help readers see familiar places in a new way and new places with a sense of familiarity.

Wild North Carolina introduces the full range of the state's diverse natural communities, each brought to life with compelling accounts of their significance and meaning, arresting photographs featuring broad vistas and close-ups, and details on where to go to experience them first hand. Blevins and Schafale provide nature enthusiasts of all levels with the insights they need to value the state's natural diversity, highlighting the reasons plants and animals are found where they are, as well as the challenges of conserving these special places.

Excerpt

If you have hiked through North Carolina’s parks, driven the Blue Ridge Parkway or another of the state’s scenic drives, or paddled its rivers, you have seen natural communities. Perhaps you have wondered about some of the patterns—why you can hike for miles under oak trees and suddenly find yourself amid beeches. Or how you can climb a mountain slope and go from open, fern-filled forest to a hedgelike wall of evergreen bushes. Even if you can’t identify the kinds of trees you encounter, you might notice that the trees with the warty bark are always near rivers along with the trees with the blotchy, pale brown, smooth bark. Perhaps you have noticed that the green of the mountains laid out below an overlook is a slightly different shade on the ridges than between them.

These patterns, if you learn to recognize them, can help you better appreciate and make sense of the complexity of the natural landscape. Understanding them helps transform what at first seems like a tangled green wall of vegetation into a meaningful picture of the natural world. Paying attention to natural communities will help you see familiar places in a new way and new places with a sense of familiarity. Look for them, and the details that continue to unfold can feed your curiosity for a lifetime.

WHY CARE ABOUT NATURAL COMMUNITIES?

Natural communities work for you, whether you are aware of them or not. They carry on the processes that keep your world inhabitable: producing oxygen, recycling nutrients, building soil, tempering floods, and filtering waste. They are the home of countless wild animals and plants, giving them food, shelter, and a place to raise their young. In the diversity of their living organisms lies not only the resilience of the ecosystems we depend on, but the future ecosystems that will develop as climate changes and continents shift.

If you come to appreciate them, natural communities will reward you in other ways too.

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