The Mountains Next Door

Janice Emily Bowers, Author University of Arizona Press $17.95 (147p) ISBN 978-0-8165-1243-0
Bowers ( Seasons of the Wind ), a botanist with the U.S. Geological Survey, attempts to reconcile two approaches to nature--the scientific and the philosophical--in this collection of essays. As a field botanist she must document her observations objectively; and during two years in the Saguaro National Monument, a 63,000-acre preserve in the Rincon Mountains of Arizona, she catalogued nearly 1000 species of flora. As a nature writer, however, she experiences the world on a more poetic level, and even the Rincon Mountains, lacking in scenic beauty and threatened by urban sprawl, are endlessly interesting to her. In her sensitive descriptions of wildflowers, grasses, cacti, sacred datura (a species of nightshade), frogs, mud turtles and the water that is essential to life yet scarce for much of the year, Bowers demonstrates how, through careful observation, we can discover significance in aspects of the natural world that seem at first glance unremarkable. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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