The Spirit of the Valley: Where the Light of Science Meets the Shadow of Myth

The Spirit of the Valley: Where the Light of Science Meets the Shadow of Myth

by Baxter Trautman

Hardcover(1ST SIERRA)

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Overview

The Spirit of the Valley: Where the Light of Science Meets the Shadow of Myth by Baxter Trautman

In the tradition of Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Baxter Trautman's evocative work of natural history reveals how the world of science connects with the worlds of history, myth, and the human spirit.

With this unique book, the reader buys one ticket and takes two trips: one through the sunny and tangible realm of a California oak woodland; the other through the enchanting province of mythology. Both journeys lead the reader into comfortable and charming country.

Why do magpies chatter and bluebirds whisper? What common roadside plant was used as poison by medieval witches and as medicine by U.S. soldiers? Can female gall wasps really reproduce without males? Why do lizards have an "inevitable affinity' with human beings, while their cousins, the snakes, produce terror? Poet and biologist Baxter Trautman answers these and other fascinating questions with the black-and-white pen of science dipped in the colorful ink of myth. The result is a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining book of natural history and much, much more.


About the Author:
Baxter Trautman is a wildlife biologist with 15 years of field experience. She lives near San Luis Obispo, California.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781578050611
Publisher: Sierra Club Books
Publication date: 10/31/2000
Edition description: 1ST SIERRA
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Baxter Troutman is a wildlife biologist with fifteen years of field experience.She lives near San Luis Obispo, California.

Table of Contents

List of Figures8
Prologue9
Introduction--The Valley11
1California13
2Biophilia17
3Steinbeck23
4Annual Grasses27
5More Annual Grasses31
6Bluebirds and Sky35
7Going Native39
8Acorns45
9Acorn Woodpeckers49
10Early Biology55
11San Joaquin Kit Fox59
12505265
13Lightning69
14Western Fence Lizards75
15Datura81
16Band-Tailed Pigeons89
17Oak Galls And Gall Wasps93
18California Ground Squirrels99
19Titmice and Magpies105
20Mistletoe and the Druid111
21Scorpio117
Epilogue121
Notes125
Appendices137
References143
Index159

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