"This book . . . has already gotten me down on my knees to stare at trout lilies, and even to reconsider (slightly) my opinion of black flies."—Bill McKibben, author of Hope, Human and Wild
"Short, personable essays enthusiastically explore the natural history of one of North America's largest (and possibly most overlooked) ecosystems. . . . Debunking woodcraft myths (like the belief that moss grows exclusively on the north side of trees), demystifying the northern lights, or weighing the pros and cons of backyard bird feeders, Stager balances his love of a good story with rigorous consideration of the latest scientific research. . . . Stager's upbeat short takes are like a day afield with an avuncular guide, paying tribute to his neck of the woods while inspiring the rest of us that getting in touch with nature can be as simple as looking around our own backyards."—Kirkus Reviews
"Although Stager's abundant research included interviews with experts in various fields, the book is written for the layperson. Anne Lacy's appealing illustrations complement the informative and amusing text."—Booklist
Few people pause to consider the living habits of mosquitoes as they swat away the pesky creatures. But biologist Curt Stager views plants and wildlife with particular consideration, interest, and awe.
Stager reminds us that many mosquitoes do not bite humans at all, and those that do are only females trying to feed their unborn young, risking death each time they do so. He includes twenty natural science essays that explore the lives of animals, plants, and fungi commonly encountered in the conifer and hardwood forests of northeastern North America.
With the same humor and personable ease that characterizes the popular weekly nature program that he coproduces on North County Public Radio—the show that provided the catalyst for this book—Stager draws on the latest scientific literature and on his own field observations to convey his curiosity about the natural world.
About the Author
Curt Stager is associate professor of biology at Paul Smith's College of Arts and Sciences in the northern Adirondacks. He is cohost of the nationally syndicated public radio program Natural Selections. He has published numerous articles in National Geographic, Science, Wild Earth, and Adirondac.
Anne E. Lacy is an artist based in Lake Placid, New York. Her illustrations have appeared in many publications and books, including The Adirondack Wildguide. Her work also has been featured in exhibits of the Smithsonian Institution.
6 x 9, 272 pages, 25 black and white illustrations