In this book Peter translates the science of trees into fireside story telling about he wonder of a world just beginning to understood. Peter has managed forests and has in his long career observed the ways of trees in a healthy forest. He understands the tree community, the way they communicate, respond to their environment and show preference to their own offspring. And he tells it all in a tone quite like Bob the artist, a tone that is gentle, curious and empathetic.
Understanding the species we share this world with can change the way we understand the world. Elephants, wolves, and whales are three species near the brink of extinction solely because humans are killing them. In Beyond Words Carl Safina gives us a glimpse into the lives of these highly intelligent and social animals. Each of these animals shares the traits of vibrant social lives, emotional complexity and intellectual prowess. In each section Carl introduces us to each of these animals, causing us to fall in love with them just as he has. Then confronts us with the reality human impact is having on each of these animals, leaving us heartbroken at our lack of respect and reverence for creatures so majestic this world will be poor without them and we will bear the burden of sole responsibility.
Whenever I hear stories about an octopus’s intelligence I always have a dual response— fascinated and a little creeped out. They can find their way out of locked jars, fit through spaces incompressibly small, identify individual people, camouflage into their surroundings and even escape enclosures baffling keepers to how they did it. They have eight arms capable of regenerating and covered in suction cups each with the sucking capacity of 35 lbs and they have approximately 1,600 of them. The personality of octopuses are as varied as the kaleidoscope of colors they produce. Their home is the ocean—it’s where they breathe, eat, fight and make babies. It is this creature that Sy Montgomery has fallen in love with and this is the story of her exploration into their world, to understand their minds, and the friendships she develops, with both octopuses and humans, along the way.