The Atlantic Coast of North America—a region that stretches from Newfoundland and Labrador to Cape May at the mouth of the Delaware Bay—is the place where north meets south; where the great northern boreal forest intermingles with the mixed coniferous-hardwood forests farther south and where the cold, iceberg-studded Labrador Current swings down from the Arctic to mix with with the warm Gulf Stream. This book examines the geological origins of the region, the two major forest realms and the main freshwater and marine ecosystems. Along the way, it describes the flora and fauna that characterize each of these habitats. The book ends with a look at what has been lost, what remains of the natural heritage of the region and how it might be conserved in future. Written by the Atlantic region's best-known nature writer, Harry Thurston, The Atlantic Coast draws upon the best and most up-to-date science on the ecology of the region as well as the author's lifetime experience as a biologist and naturalist. It is both a personal tribute and a comprehensive guide to a unique and intriguing ecosystem.
Praise for Harry Thurston's writing:
“In A Place Between the Tides Harry Thurston comes to the salt marsh with a biologist’s mind, a naturalist’s eye, a philosopher’s vision, and a poet’s voice. A decade later, he emerges with an elegant account for the turning year in this astonishing place, a book full of insight and wonder.”
—Silver Donald Cameron, The Living Beach
“Island of the Blessed is superbly researched, Thurston’s scholarly offering takes us on a surprising exploration of a forgotten corner of the
ancient world.”—Heather Pringle, The Mummy Congress
“Even as Thurston sculpts a rich chronological account of the multi-layered history of Dakhleh, the ‘oldest continuously inhabited community on the planet,’ in Island of the Blessed he crafts a sobering environmental parable that could change the way you look at a simple glass of water.”
“Island of the Blessed is an enchanting historical tour of Egypt’s deep Saharan oasis . . . Juicy archaeological journalism, brimming with facts and speculation about the deep desert’s critical influence on Egyptian history.”
“Thurston . . . has created quite the page-turner in Island of the Blessed . . . He’s got mummies, myth and mysticism, all wrapped up in a timely concern about the welfare of the planet itself, and uses those gifts well.”
“Combines the most winning elements of the travelogue and archeological mystery while working in a timely environmental warning.”—Quill & Quire
—The Toronto Star
“This is a story of the drying up of the Sahara, the birth of our own species, the invention of agriculture, and the rise and fall of ancient civilizations. And it makes for a jolly good read.”—The Globe and Mail
“Harry Thurston’s meticulous recreation of the long history of the Dakhleh Oasis is fascinating. He is particularly good on tracing the effects of the desert environment on human development, and on humankind’s carelessness with our natural heritage. His final chapter is a warning cry to us all.”
—Marc de Villiers, author of Water and Sahara
Genre/Category: Nature/Natural Science/Popular Science
Publication Date: October 2011
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|| Harry Thurston is the author of numerous books of poetry and non-fiction. Tidal Life: A Natural History of the Bay of Fundy garnered all three Atlantic region book awards in 1991. Thurston’s articles have appeared in Audubon, National Geographic, and Canadian Geographic, and he has served as contributing editor and field correspondent for Equinox since its inception in 1981. He lives in Amherst, Nova Scotia.