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What are you reading?

I read research articles mostly and that's when I chanced upon this interesting concept of climax community - an ecological term used to denote an ecosystem or community of plants, animals and other living organisms that has achieved equilibrium, or become stable.
I'd be curious what you're reading and what you're learning.

I'm an ecologist and I was 'raised' on the concept of climax communities. But in recent years a lot ecologists are moving away from that, in recognition that nature is continually dynamic, and what was thought of as an inevitable climax state for a given community is really just one point on a never-ending trajectory, a trajectory that can be shifted by different inputs and disturbances. For example, eastern hemlock forests were seen as a climax state in northern forests, but now they're falling to hemlock wooly adelgid. Oak-hickory forests were seen as a climax state for Central Hardwood forests, but now in many areas the composition is shifting to maple due to fire suppression (I could go into detail if folks are interested).

I'm several (ahem) years out of school now, and while still a 'practicing' ecologist, I'm always happy to hear other viewpoints and the latest research.
 
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Actually, trying not to read it yet... My friend, Cathy Tarr, is one of the main characters and it is pretty much the story of why she started the Fowler/O'Sulllivan foundation to search for missing hikers on the PCT.

I picked it up to read in camp on my upcoming trip but that's still 2 weeks away.. (maybe I'll just read the intro for now...) 😆
 
climax communities

nature is continually dynamic


while still a 'practicing' ecologist, I'm always happy to hear other viewpoints and the latest research.

Sounds interesting. You might think of starting a thread on the subject with some introductory explanation. We have biologists, foresters and other ecologists here. In addition, all of us non-professionals have canoed through forests and other natural communities, and many of us have likely noticed changes in nature since our long ago youth.
 
I think I listed before two books on a 1955 river tragedy on the Dubawnt River in northern Canada, where the leader, Art Moffat, died of hypothermia following dumping in a rapid. This tale was written up in two books, Death on the Barrens by George Grinnell, and Barren Grounds by Skip Pessl, both of whom were on the fateful trip. I just got home from paddling the Dubawnt, and at the end I got to meet and talk to Skip Pessl (in his 90s, still very sharp and spry) and Art Moffat's daughter Creigh, who was 4 at the time of his death. They were up there for the filming of a movie of the trip (film short link Barren Grounds documentary) . As all of you like to read books (since you're reading this thread), you can imagine the immense pleasure of talking to these people after paddling the river, seeing Skip's handwritten notes in a cairn, and seeing the rapid where Art died. It was truly a unique experience. My canoe partner probably knows as much about their trip as anyone, and he provided our group with immense knowledge of the tragedy. I highly recommend reading the two books. 1692708111662.png1692708142508.png
 
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@Mason - Did you see Peter's diary of the Moffat trip when it was posted on MyCCR a few years back? If not I'll see if it's still available and if I can find a link. I might have saved it to my computer but that would have been a couple computers ago so who knows.

I was reading a book a few years back (A Naturalist Buys an Old Farm). It was written in the 60's and the author mentioned having a couple geologists come out to his property. One of them was named Skip Pessl. I wondered if it could possibly be the same Skip so I pulled his book off the shelf to check his bio and sure enough he had gone into geology as a career. I was kind of excited about that little coincidence so I can't imagine meeting him just after getting off the Dubwant.

Alan
 
I don't have Peter's diary, but I have Joe Lanouette's notes. Peter was certainly a hero, and saved several lives. Let me know if you find it.
 
I think I listed before two books on a 1955 river tragedy on the Dubawnt River in northern Canada, where the leader, Art Moffat, died of hypothermia following dumping in a rapid. This tale was written up in two books, Death on the Barrens by George Grinnell, and Barren Grounds by Skip Pessl, both of whom were on the fateful trip. I just got home from paddling the Dubawnt, and at the end I got to meet and talk to Skip Pessl (in his 90s, still very sharp and spry) and Art Moffat's daughter Creigh, who was 4 at the time of his death. They were up there for the filming of a movie of the trip (film short link Barren Grounds documentary) . As all of you like to read books (since you're reading this thread), you can imagine the immense pleasure of talking to these people after paddling the river, seeing Skip's handwritten notes in a cairn, and seeing the rapid where Art died. It was truly a unique experience. My canoe partner probably knows as much about their trip as anyone, and he provided our group with immense knowledge of the tragedy. I highly recommend reading the two books
I posted about those earlier in the thread. Definitely interesting to read back-to-back.

 
I don't have Peter's diary, but I have Joe Lanouette's notes. Peter was certainly a hero, and saved several lives. Let me know if you find it.

I just looked and see I was mistaken. It was Joe's notes that were posted, not Peter's.

Alan
 
Just finished The Wager by David Grann. Excellent writer, great tale. And followed it with Owen Chase's first-hand account of the shipwreck of the Essex, the whaling boat attacked by guess who?
 
David R. Brower, ed., Going Light With Backpack or Burro. San Francisco: Sierra Club (1951).

A portrait of wilderness travel 70 years ago. Cooking over an open fire, hobnail boots, external frame backpacks, mouth suction for snakebites. The chapters on burro management especially piqued my interest, and almost made me want a donkey.

Borrow and read online with a free account from archive.org:
https://archive.org/details/goinglightwithba0000davi/page/108/mode/2up
 
I’m not reading it yet but I’m really looking forward to reading Adam Shoalts new book
 

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The book I'm into right now is, but isn't, a canoeing book. But it is.
Healthy Aging by Andrew Weil, MD. "A lifelong guide to your physical and spiritual well-being."
I bought this way back when I was 50. I might've posted this back then but I can't really remember. My failing memory is just one of those things that has come along for the ride as I've aged. My wife has taken on the role of backup system so I'm coping. "Take your meds today?' "Remember to talk to your brother?" "Put those tents away yet?" I do remember however that I didn't get far in this book back then. I found it too depressing, reading about our bodies as they age. This time around though I've dug down deep and found biogerontology fascinating, especially if I disassociate myself personally from the subject. Learning to age gracefully might become a hopeful life goal rather than a defeatist life sentence.
 
I don’t particularly like the bushcraft movement and YouTube videos where some guy tells you how to build a bug out kit in his mothers basement from military surplus, then takes you out to some patch of green space, to fumble around with it trying to show you how it all works in case of the zombie apocalypse or worse.
Last winter I received a bushcraft book at Christmas. I finally got around to reading it, to my surprise it is quite good.
OUT ON THE LAND: Bushcraft Skills from the Northern Forest by Ray Mears & Lars Falt.
The men that wrote the book are British & Swedish outdoor survival instructors that I hadn’t heard of. They did a good job writing and the photos were also well done. Lots of stuff is maybe repetitive to what you already know, might be worth a revisit now and then. Not a cheap book, fairly large, good paper and 336 pages, that kept me entertained on a couple of long airplane rides and airport layovers this summer.
 
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Maurice Leblanc, Arsene Lupin, Gentleman Burglar.
Inspiration for the Netflix series. Borrow and read online with a free archive.org account:


William A. Tidwell, April '65: Confederate Covert Action in the American Civil War.
A former US Army and CIA intelligence officer digs deep and concludes that John Wilkes Booth was not the crazy assassin acting alone.

William G. Thomas, The Iron War: Railroads, the Civil War, and the Making of Modern America.
Railroads were integral to the Northern and Southern visions of modern civilization, and the new transportation system changed the face of war.
 
This past summer, my wife and I spent some time at the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake... there, I ran into a book called "An Adirondack Passage: the Cruise of the Canoe Sairy Gamp" by Christine Jerome... she basically re-enacted one of Nessmuk's cruises and then wrote about it. I bought the book a couple months ago and am about 3/4 finished with it. Nice idea, some good insights, worth reading, though not super exciting. It's one I'd pass on to someone rather than keep myself, as it's unlikely to be re-read.
 
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