The Orchid Hunter

A young botanist's search for happiness

Author: Leif Bersweden

Publisher: Short Books

ISBN: 1780723350

Category: Nature

Page: 256

View: 9767

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In the summer after leaving school, a young botanist sets out to fulfil a childhood dream - to find every species of orchid native to the British Isles... He has just a few months to complete his quest - no one has ever done it before - and it will require ingenuity, stamina and a large dose of luck. Like Two Owls at Eton and My Family and Other Animals, this is a charming, witty account of a precocious adolescent's obsession with the natural world. As he battles the vagaries of the British climate in his clapped-out van, feverishly chasing each emerging bloom, Leif Bersweden takes the reader on a remarkable botanical journey. This study of the 52 native species is a fantastic gateway into the compendious world of orchids - one that will open your eyes to the rare hidden delights to be found on hilltops and riverbanks, in woodland, marsh and field.

The Orchid Hunter

A Young Botanist's Search for Happiness

Author: Leif Bersweden

Publisher: Short Books

ISBN: 9781780723525

Category:

Page: 352

View: 1177

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In the summer after leaving school, a young botanist sets out to fulfill a childhood dream--to find every species of orchid native to the British Isles. He has just a few months to complete his quest, which no one has ever done before within one growing season, and it will require ingenuity, stamina and a large dose of luck. As he battles the vagaries of the British climate, feverishly chasing each emerging bloom, Leif Bersweden takes the reader on a remarkable botanical journey. This study of the 52 native species is a fantastic gateway into the compendious world of orchids, and one that will open your eyes to the rare hidden delights to be found on our doorstep. Includes an essential guide to finding all 52 British orchids.

Plant Hunter In Tibet

Author: Frank Kingdom-Ward

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317845781

Category: Social Science

Page: 356

View: 2147

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First published in 2006. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Orchid Summer

In Search of the Wildest Flowers of the British Isles

Author: Jon Dunn

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408880903

Category: Nature

Page: 384

View: 1363

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A heady celebration of the beauty and history of the wild orchid species of the British Isles, embraced in one glorious and kaleidoscopic summer-long hunt by naturalist Jon Dunn From the chalk downs of the south coast of England to the heathery moorland of the Shetland Isles, and from the holy island of Lindisfarne in the east to the Atlantic frontier of western Ireland, Orchid Summer is a journey into Britain and Ireland's most beautiful corners. The flowers that are the focus of this treasure hunt are exquisite and diverse. Some resemble insects and develop scents that mimic the smell of a virgin female wasp in order to lure male wasps to sample their unsatisfying charms. Some tower above the surrounding vegetation; others are vanishingly small and discrete. Some are sweetly scented; others smell of ripe billy goats. Some can be readily found but some will prove more elusive – none more so than the last to flower, the rarest of them all, the ghost orchid… Capturing the intoxicating beauty of these rare and charismatic flowers, Orchid Summer is also an exploration of their history, their champions, their place in our landscape and the threats they face. Combining infectious enthusiasm and a painterly eye with a deep knowledge that comes from a lifetime's passionate devotion to their study, Dunn sweeps us up on his adventure, one from which it is impossible not to emerge enchanted and enriched.

The Cloud Garden

Author: Paul Winder,Tom Hart Dyke

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1446421813

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 400

View: 4056

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The Darién Gap is a place of legend. The only break in the Pan-American highway, which runs from Alaska to the tip of South America, it is an almost impregnable strip of swamp, jungle and cloud forest between the vast landmasses of North and South America. Stories of abduction and murder there are rife and in recent years more people have successfully climbed Everest or trekked to the South Pole than have crossed the Darién Gap. In 2000, Tom Hart Dyke, a young botanist, set off to Central America with one thing on his mind: orchids. He knew that in order to find the rare and beautiful species he so fervently admired, he would have to visit some of the most inhospitable places on earth. Unbeknown to Tom, another young explorer, Paul Winder, was backpacking through the area at the same time. Though he sometimes worked freelance in the City of London, Paul was a fearless and intrepid traveller, happier scaling volcanoes than lounging on beaches. In every bar and café along his route, rumours abounded of the Darién Gap - and the more he heard, the greater became his desire to make the journey. Pure chance brought Paul and Tom together in northern Mexico; they formed an instant bond and their fate was sealed. Ignoring a final, succinct warning from the Lonely Planet guide - 'Don't even think about it!' - Tom and Paul set off into the Darién: Tom in search of orchids, Paul in search of adventure. They would find plenty of each. For six days they made good progress. Then, just hours away from Colombia, the dream ended and the horror began. Paul and Tom were ambushed by FARC guerrillas who were to hold them hostage for the next nine months. From that day on, their survival was a matter of extraordinary endurance, incredible ingenuity and not a little good luck ...

The Orchid Thief

A True Story of Beauty and Obsession

Author: Susan Orlean

Publisher: Ballantine Books

ISBN: 0307795292

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 1653

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK A modern classic of personal journalism, The Orchid Thief is Susan Orlean’s wickedly funny, elegant, and captivating tale of an amazing obsession. Determined to clone an endangered flower—the rare ghost orchid Polyrrhiza lindenii—a deeply eccentric and oddly attractive man named John Laroche leads Orlean on an unforgettable tour of America’s strange flower-selling subculture, through Florida’s swamps and beyond, along with the Seminoles who help him and the forces of justice who fight him. In the end, Orlean—and the reader—will have more respect for underdog determination and a powerful new definition of passion. In this new edition, coming fifteen years after its initial publication and twenty years after she first met the “orchid thief,” Orlean revisits this unforgettable world, and the route by which it was brought to the screen in the film Adaptation, in a new retrospective essay. Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more. Praise for The Orchid Thief “Stylishly written, whimsical yet sophisticated, quirkily detailed and full of empathy . . . The Orchid Thief shows [Orlean’s] gifts in full bloom.”—The New York Times Book Review “Fascinating . . . an engrossing journey [full] of theft, hatred, greed, jealousy, madness, and backstabbing.”—Los Angeles Times “Orlean’s snapshot-vivid, pitch-perfect prose . . . is fast becoming one of our national treasures.”—The Washington Post Book World “Orlean’s gifts [are] her ear for the self-skewing dialogue, her eye for the incongruous, convincing detail, and her Didion-like deftness in description.”—Boston Sunday Globe “A swashbuckling piece of reporting that celebrates some virtues that made America great.”—The Wall Street Journal From the Trade Paperback edition.

Rare and Exotic Orchids

Their Nature and Cultural Significance

Author: Joel L. Schiff

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319700340

Category: Nature

Page: 186

View: 1181

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Comprising some 28,000 different species, orchids are by far the largest flowering plant family on Earth. Every year, new species are being uncovered in the wild or created by humans, and so this number has only continued to blossom. This book is intended for those who wish to learn about the multifaceted nature of this amazing plant. It covers many different aspects of orchid study, from its cultural history to its evolutionary development and from its first discoveries to ongoing scientific research. No matter your specialty or level of orchid expertise, you can find in this book new and fascinating facts and stories that will make you gasp, laugh, and read on. Through the many exotic and beautiful pictures permeating these pages, you will come to know something of the infinite diversity of this plant family and at last learn why so many orchid growers and fanatics have embarked on this same endless path.

Deadly Slipper

A Novel of Death in the Dordogne

Author: Michelle Wan

Publisher: Seal Books

ISBN: 0385673442

Category: Fiction

Page: 400

View: 3538

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The first in a new mystery series that has it all — a tragic puzzle, fabulous French food, and a peek into the fascinating world of wild orchids. In 1984, a young Canadian woman vanished while on a hiking holiday in the Dordogne region of France. Was Bedie Dunn the victim of an accident? Or could she have been murdered? Haunted for years by the disappearance of her twin sister, Mara Dunn has moved to France to try to answer these questions. Mara’s amateur investigations finally begin to show progress when she discovers a camera she is convinced belonged to Bedie in a second-hand store. In it is an old roll of film, whose exposures turn out to be mostly of wild terrestial orchids. Mara turns to Julian Wood, an expatriate English orchidologist, for help with the impossible: can they use two-decade-old photos of flowers to trace Bedie’s last route, and find the end of her journey? Julian is reluctant to get drawn into this seemingly hopeless quest, but the last exposure on the film is irresistible to him — an unknown species of Lady’s Slipper Orchid. If discovered, it might be the key to botanical fame — or it could be the marker to a shallow grave. From the Hardcover edition.

Flower Hunters

Author: Mary Gribbin,John R. Gribbin

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 0192807188

Category: History

Page: 332

View: 6843

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This fascinating account of eleven remarkable, eccentric, dedicated, and sometimes obsessive individuals that established the science of botany brings to life these extraordinary adventurers and draws out the scientific and cultural value of their work and its legacy.

Chasing the Ghost

My Search for all the Wild Flowers of Britain

Author: Peter Marren

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 1473524881

Category: Nature

Page: 320

View: 9994

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Join renowned naturalist Peter Marren on an exciting quest to see every species of wild plant native to Britain. The mysterious Ghost Orchid blooms in near darkness among rotting leaves on the forest floor. It blends into the background to the point of invisibility, yet glows, pale and ghostly. The ultimate grail of flower hunters, it has been spotted only once in the past twenty-five years. Its few flowers have a deathly pallor and are said to smell of over-ripe bananas. Peter Marren has been a devoted flower finder all his life. While the Ghost Orchid offers the toughest challenge of any wild plant, there were fifty more British species Peter had yet to see, having ticked off the first 1,400 rummaging in hedges, slipping down gullies and peering in peat bogs. But he set himself the goal of finding the remaining fifty in a single summer. As it turned out, the wettest summer in years. This expert and emotional journey takes Peter the length and the breadth of the British Isles, from the dripping ancient woods of the New Forest to the storm-lashed cliffs of Sutherland. He paddles in lakes, clambers up cliffs in mist and rain, and walks several hundred miles, but does he manage to find them all? Partly about plants, partly autobiography, Chasing the Ghost is also a reminder that to engage with wild flowers, all we need to do is look around us and enjoy what we see. Praise for Rainbow Dust: ‘Beautifully written and thoroughly researched... a truly marvellous book’ Telegraph ‘A scholarly and captivating excursion into the history of natural history’ Independent

Pocket Guide to the Orchids of Britain and Ireland

Author: Simon Harrap

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 147292486X

Category: Gardening

Page: 256

View: 9325

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The orchid family is one of the largest plant families in the world, reaching its highest diversity in the tropics where their exotic and colourful flowers are often truly breathtaking. Britain and Ireland have just 52 species of wild orchid, some of which are rare or scarce, whilst others are surprisingly inconspicuous. Yet, whether large or small, all orchids share flamboyant flower structures and incredible beauty. This pocket guide allows the identification of all species of orchid in the British Isles. It has concise text highlighting ID criteria as well as notes on biology, habitat and conservation, along with stunning colour photographs and accurate range maps based on maps compiled by the Biological Record Centre. This book provides the perfect guide to these beautiful and evocative plants, and is a must for any field naturalist.

Wildflowers in the Field and Forest

A Field Guide to the Northeastern United States

Author: Steve Clemants,Carol Gracie

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195304886

Category: Nature

Page: 445

View: 2523

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Many of us have stopped to pick bunches of wildflowers or have admired them as they flourished in fields, hiking trails, and roads. Always appreciated but not always recognized, now these beauties can easily be identified with Wildflowers in the Field and Forest, the most inclusive field guide available to the wildflowers in the northeastern United States. Designed for easy use, the book features two-page spreads with descriptive text and range maps on one side facing pages of color photos on the other. The descriptions are concise, but thorough, and the range maps show both where the plant grows and what time of year it is likely to be in bloom. Plants are grouped by flower color, usually the feature first noticed by the observer. The species are subsequently grouped by petal arrangement, type of leaves, and number of flower parts as indicated in the "quick characters" box at the top of each page. There is also a simple key in the beginning of the book that allows one to quickly narrow the search to a few pages. In addition to the more common and conspicuous wildflowers, many of the lesser known, and often overlooked, species are also depicted. Over 1,400 species are described with nearly all of them illustrated with full-color photos. While these photos generally show the flowers of the plant, insets of leaves (and occasionally fruits) are often included to help in identification. A bar on each photo allows users to accurately judge the actual size of each flower. Both serious botanists and casual nature observers will welcome this beautifully illustrated and expertly detailed guide. · The most comprehensive field guide for the northeastern United States, including New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, with additional coverage of adjacent areas in eastern Canada · Over 1,400 species are described; nearly all are illustrated by beautiful color photographs · Photographs accurately depict the flowers; insets show details of leaves and other features · Photos, descriptions, and maps on facing pages make the book simple to use · Color-coded maps indicate both the range of the species and the time when it is in bloom

The Plant Hunters

True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth

Author: Anita Silvey

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

ISBN: 1466895292

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 96

View: 8546

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Driven by an all-consuming passion, the plant hunters traveled around the world, facing challenges at every turn: tropical illnesses, extreme terrain, and dangerous animals. They battled piranhas, tigers, and vampire bats. Even the plants themselves could be lethal! But these intrepid eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorers were determined to find and collect new and unusual specimens, no matter what the cost. Then they tried to transport the plants—and themselves—home alive. Creating an important legacy in science, medicine, and agriculture, the plant hunters still inspire the scientific and environmental work of contemporary plant enthusiasts. Working from primary sources—journals, letters, and notes from the field—Anita Silvey introduces us to these daring adventurers and scientists. She takes readers into the heart of their expeditions to then-uncharted places such as the Amazon basin, China, and India. As she brings a colorful cast of characters to life, she shows what motivated these Indiana Jones–type heroes. In The Plant Hunters, science, history, and adventure have been interwoven to tell a largely forgotten—yet fascinating—story.

The Plant Messiah

Adventures in Search of the World's Rarest Species

Author: Carlos Magdalena

Publisher: Doubleday

ISBN: 038554362X

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 9287

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An impassioned memoir of saving extraordinary plants on the brink of extinction, by a scientist who has been called a "codebreaker" (Telegraph) and "an inspiration" (Jane Goodall) Carlos Magdalena is not your average horticulturist. He's a man on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. First captivated by the flora of his native Spain, he has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting plants from man-made ecological destruction and thieves hunting for wealthy collectors. In The Plant Messiah, Magdalena takes readers from the Amazon to the jungles of Mauritius to deep within the Australian Outback in search of the rare and the vulnerable. Back in the lab, we watch as he develops groundbreaking, left-field techniques for rescuing species from extinction, encouraging them to propagate and thrive once again. Along the way, he offers moving, heartfelt stories about the secrets contained within these incredible organisms. Passionate and absorbing, The Plant Messiah is a tribute to the diversity of life on our planet, and the importance of preserving it. *Featuring 16 pages of color photos*

The Signature of All Things

Author: Elizabeth Gilbert

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408841916

Category: Fiction

Page: 464

View: 6772

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LONGLISTED FOR THE BAILEYS WOMEN'S PRIZE FOR FICTION SHORTLISTED FOR THE WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE From the moment Alma Whittaker steps into the world, everything about life intrigues her. Instilled with an unquenchable sense of wonder by her father, a botanical explorer and the richest man in the New World, Alma is raised in a house of luxury and curiosity. It is not long before she becomes a gifted botanist in her own right. But as she flourishes and her research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction ? into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical. The Signature of All Things soars across the globe of the nineteenth century, from London and Peru, to Philadelphia, Tahiti and beyond. Peopled with extraordinary characters along the way, most of all it has an unforgettable heroine in Alma Whittaker.

Hothouse Flower and the Nine Plants of Desire

A Novel

Author: Margot Berwin

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 9780307378293

Category: Fiction

Page: 288

View: 6465

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Lila Nova is a thirty-two year-old advertising copyrighter who lives alone in a plain, white box of an apartment. Recovering from a heartbreaking divorce, Lila’s mantra is simple: no pets, no plants, no people, no problems. But when Lila meets David Exley, a ruggedly handsome plant-seller, her lonely life blossoms into something far more colorful. From the cold, harsh streets of Manhattan to the verdant jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula, Hothouse Flower is the story of a woman who must travel beyond the boundaries of sense and comfort to find what she truly wants. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Flowers in Shadow

The Photographic Rediscovery of a Victorian Botanical Journal

Author: N.A

Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications

ISBN: N.A

Category: Gardening

Page: 94

View: 7345

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The market for books on botanical subjects is very strong, from volumes that reproduce antique drawings to books of contemporary botanical photography. Flowers in Shadow offers the best of both worlds in an innovative package. In the pages of this artful volume enclosed in a beautiful cloth case with a debossed image, photographer Zeva Oelbaum at once captures the beauty of a century-old botanical journal found in a tiny antiques shop in New England and interprets it anew through sumptuous duotone photography. By layering the original journal pages, using natural light to bring out the subtle textures of the pressed plants and paper, then photographing them, she has created a memorable collection of botanical images. Every photograph is a unique composition, featuring a different plant and displaying the notations of the young botanist who created the original journal. Each plant is accompanied by an informative description by Sara Stein as well. With an evocative foreword by Susan Orlean, an introduction by Stein on the nature of botany during the Victorian Era, and the author's preface that relates the history of the journal, Flowers in Shadow is an informative and stunning volume that will delight lovers of fine art photography, gardeners, and fans of botanical imagery and Victoriana.

Seeds

One Man's Serendipitous Journey to Find the Trees That Inspired Famous American Writers from Faulkner to Kerouac, Welty to Wharton

Author: Richard Horan

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN: 0062079158

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 384

View: 598

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"Seeds reads like the best of a roundtable discussion amongst John Muir, Bill Bryson, and David Sedaris. From the fields of Gettysburg to the home of Kerouac, Horan takes an unlikely premise and weaves it into a story that's poignant, insightful and unexpectedly humorous. This is more than a book about seeds—it's about literary heroes, forensic forestry, and self-discovery." —Spike Carlsen, author of A Splintered History of Wood The Orchid Thief meets Botany of Desire meets Driving Einstein's Brain in Richard Horan's Seeds, the chronicle of one man's quest to understand the influence and impact of trees in American life and literature—and his mission to collect seeds from the homes of Kerouac, Welty, Wharton, Kesey and twenty other authors, to preserve the literary legacy of American forests for generations to come.

The Food Explorer

The True Adventures of the Globe-Trotting Botanist Who Transformed What America Eats

Author: Daniel Stone

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101990589

Category: Botanists

Page: 416

View: 8726

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David Fairchild, a young botanist with an insatiable lust to explore and experience the world, set out in search of foods that would enrich the American farmer and enchant the American eater. Fairchild's finds weren't just limited to food: From Egypt he sent back a variety of cotton that revolutionised an industry, and via Japan he introduced the cherry blossom tree, forever brightening America's capital. Along the way, he was arrested, caught diseases, and bargained with island tribes. Through him, America transformed into the most diverse food system ever created.