cover image Summer World: A Season of Bounty

Summer World: A Season of Bounty

Bernd Heinrich, Author . Ecco $26.95 (253p) ISBN 978-0-06-0742

In his pursuit of actively observing his camp in the forests of western Maine and the woods, beaver bog and gardens around his Vermont home, Heinrich (The Trees in My Forest ) delights with the surprising activities of local flora and fauna—and his own scientific antics: with a pet grackle named Crackle, he raids wasp nests to see what the red-eyed vireo will do with the paper and builds platforms in trees to find out who visits the sapsucker lick (hummingbirds, hawks and warblers). For entertainment, he recommends, “There is a solution that beats... a television set with 100 channels, by a mile: watching ants and other critters.” The book features such mysteries as the significance of the mating habits of wood frogs and the eating patterns of caterpillars, but Heinrich also takes time to observe Homo sapiens , remarking that, like birds, we live in a perpetual summer, not by “strenuous biannual migrations but by creating and retreating into 'climate bubbles,' ” reminding readers that they need “clear vision and also a spiritual imperative so that we will focus on the ultimate ecology, not the proximate economy.” (Apr.)