Nature is pure magic humanity is not That s it. I am always interested in learning about animals, plants, insects, humans, etc and how they interact This is one of those books that helps remind me that there is a lot going on around us We often don t give this a second thought as we go through our daily routine. The Final Book In The Mysteries Of Nature Trilogy By The New York Times Bestselling Author Of The Hidden Life Of Trees, Peter WohllebenNature Is Full Of Surprises Deciduous Trees Affect The Rotation Of The Earth, Cranes Sabotage The Production Of Iberian Ham, And Coniferous Forests Can Make It Rain But What Are The Processes That Drive These Incredible Phenomena And Why Do They Matter In The Secret Wisdom Of Nature, Master Storyteller And International Sensation Peter Wohlleben Takes Readers On A Thought Provoking Exploration Of The Vast Natural Systems That Make Life On Earth Possible In This Tour Of An Almost Unfathomable World, Wohlleben Describes The Fascinating Interplay Between Animals And Plants And Answers Such Questions As How Do They Influence Each Other Do Lifeforms Communicate Across Species Boundaries And What Happens When This Finely Tuned System Gets Out Of Sync By Introducing Us To The Latest Scientific Discoveries And Recounting His Own Insights From Decades Of Observing Nature, One Of The World S Most Famous Foresters Shows Us How To Recapture Our Sense Of Awe So We Can See The World Around Us With Completely New Eyes I did not read the first two books of this trilogy but enjoyed the contents of this third book. Absolutely loved the first book in this trilogy, second one seemed weak, third was back on top again As I raked up pine needles in our yard today, I found myself wondering if leaving them to decompose and add nutrients to the soil would be the better way to go Anytime I read a book that causes me to consider changing my behaviour, I know it was a book worth reading This is such a book. The last of the nature trilogy Wohlleben sometimes repeats himself and so there is some info in this last book that was also in the earlier two But he tells such a good story that it s hardly noticeable Recommend all three of these books Aphids attach themselves to the trees needles and bark, stick their mouthparts down to where the trees sap flows, and tap into the trees lifeblood Thanks to photosynthesis, this tree blood has a high sugar content, but that s not what the aphids are after What they want is protein, which is found in this fluid in only very small quantities Therefore, the aphids need to allow enormous amounts of the trees fluids to flow through their bodies so that they can filter out enough of the scarce substances they desire Whoever drinks a lot must excrete a lot, and aphids excrete almost constantly If you park under aphid infested trees in summer, your windshield will tell you all you need to know in just a few hours, it will be covered with sticky droplets And because the little creatures are constantly eating and excreting, over time their rear ends can get gummed up with sugar Some species resort to covering their excretions with wax so that they can expel them easily others enlist the help of ants Ants lap up the sugary feces, because, like their relatives the honeybees, sugar is the most important compenent in their diet Per season, a single any colony digests about 50 gallons of these sugary droplets p 70 Dead animals are often the cause of fights, and wolves lost out when brown bears turn up Then it s best for the pack to head for the hills, particularly if they have pups, which a bruin could easily scarf down as a snack Ravens have a role to play here they spot bears from afar and help wolves by alerting the pack to approaching danger In return, wolves allow ravens to help themselves to a share of the booty something the birds wouldn t be able to do without the wolves permission p 88 89 As researchers at Ulm University discovered, something else happens to the beetle mother she loses interest in mating Not only that, even if the male were to get lucky, it wouldn t do any good, because his beloved is now completely infertile at least as long as she has her full complement of babies As soon as a couple of the little ones go missing perhaps because they died or were eaten by some animal , her desire for sex returns The male immediately gets wind of the change and goes beserk The scientists observed up to three hundred copulations than when the male initially laid claim to the carcass The female quickly lays new eggs to replace her loss If, in this flurry of activity, she ends up with too many babies, she soon fixes things by killing the extras p 93 Empathy is one of the strongest forces in conservation and can achieve than any number of rules and regulations Think of the campaigns against whaling or against the slaughter of seal pups public outcry was so loud only because we all empathized with the animals And the closer the animals are to us, the greater the empathy p 125 A whole army of infectious agents has its eye on wild boar, including a large number of viruses Viruses are remarkable, but what exactly are they Scientists don t include them among the living species of this earth, because they have no cells and can t reproduce or metabolize on their own All they are is a hollow shell that contains a blueprint for multiplication Basically, they re dead p 137 138 There s a very different kind of myth surrounding species diversity When we save individual animals or plants, we really believe we re doing something good for the environment Yet this is rarely what happens, mostly because when we have to change conditions in the environment to ensure the survival of one species, the survival of many others ends up in jeopardy But I m getting ahead of myself When we see just how multilayered the interactions between different species are, we have to ask, once again, whether we will ever be able to fully comprehend the connections in our environment p 146 Arches National Park mentioned on p 205 Researchers tell us that every person alive can be traced back to one mitochondrial Eve, who is said to have lived 200,000 to 300,000 years ago The variations in skin color and other characteristics that have developed since then are disappearing increasingly quickly What some people mourn as a loss of diversity, others embrace as an opportunity for humanity to bid goodbye to racial differences p 213 214 We don t really understand how the clockwork of nature functions, and as long as we don t, we shouldn t try to fix it p 225 Of course, no one wants to return to times of famine, but our problem today isn t cold but increasingly warm temperatures The positive message from all of this is that not only can we win back the original forests, but doing that could also steer the climate in the right direction And to achieve this we don t even need to do anything Just the opposite, in fact We need to leave things alone on as large a scale as possible p 232 Another great book about the intricate relationship between all living things and how even small changes in our environment can have huge impacts in the whole system. Back to classic Wohlleben exploring the interconnectedness of all living things Much like trees there are some wonderful observations in here But also some deeper questions about how humans can help nature or whether they even should. Very well written and friendly book Easy reading and moves along well, packed with interesting information on nature from trees to insects to human evolution I can t imagine anyone finding this uninteresting The author has an intimate connection to the natural world around him and does a great job sharing the wonders.
Peter Wohlleben born in Bonn, 1964, is a German forester and author who writes on ecological themes in popular language.
- 272 pages
- The Secret Wisdom of Nature
- Peter Wohlleben
- 12 June 2018 Peter Wohlleben