Summer World: A Season of Bounty
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Summer World: A Season of Bounty

3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  342 ratings  ·  52 reviews
In Summer World: A Season of Bounty, Bernd Heinrich brings us the same bottomless reserve of wonder and reverence for the teeming animal life of backwoods New England that he brought us in Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival. Now he is focusing on the animal kingdom in the extremes of the warmer months, with all its feeding, nesting, fighting, and mating.

Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Ecco (first published April 1st 2009)
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Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Nov 09, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Petra x
When the rat-race overwhelms I go for a Heinrich hit, take a visit to his cabin for some downtime. A professor of biology it’s not light fare but he’s got such an approachable style. “Aside from walking around aimlessly and gawking, I have spent the last three mornings comfortably perched on a solid branch of a pine tree growing at the edge of our bog. At dawn, an hour before the sun’s glare bleeds the colors; it’s a study in pastels”
I too am an aimless gawker - how I get anything accomplished w...more
Petra X
10 May 2011

I enjoyed this book a great deal for the gentle rhythm of observing nature through the summer months and the insights which at some points were hilarious.

Take wood frogs. The problem was to work out why the lads all make such a hell of a racket and then when not as many girls turn up they jump on the ones that do. Why didn't just one call and see if he could attract a single mate?

The answer is that one frog could make a sound that would carry (say) a mile around him but female frogs...more
Long ago, when I was shorter and much more innocent, my dad's aunt Elsie used to take me gently by the hand and lead me around her garden. She would point out all manner of bugs and plants, carefully explaining the names of each, and impressing me, not only with her knowledge, but her respect and reverence for nature.
The author of this book is obviously a kindred spirit to her. He patiently examines the birds and the bees, the mud daubers and the trees. Caterpillars and moths, beetles and bald f...more
"The one and perhaps only true religion that I can in good conscience honor is one that encompasses the Earth we walk on and that promotes our well-being and our physical connection to it." So says Bernd Heinrich in Summer World. This quote accurately sums up the author's philosophy, and anyone who has a passion for nature will enjoy reading this book. Heinrich's narrative is a series of observations he has made of the summertime world around him. He seems to take great pleasure in the ordinary...more
Professor Bernd Heinrich presents a observation of summer in New England from a biologist's point of view in this companion volume to Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival. Things I learned from the 50 pages I read (and the additional 50 I skimmed) include:

* Small birds migrate at night, following the stars
* Next year's buds are made the previous season
* Wood frog mating is entirely random
* Only 1 in 100 larve of the northern forest caterpillar turn into moths

Parts of the introduction r...more
Its too bad that I read Winter World before reading Summer World, because I might have been more receptive. Summer World is no Winter World. Winter World was written because the author was fascinated by the survival techniques of animals utilized to get through a New England winter. Summer World was written because his publisher thot it would make an interesting companion piece. Hmmm ....
Part of the charm of Winter World was Heinrich's quirky study methods, such as his interminable whacking of t...more
There were a few chapters toward the beginning that seemed a little slow, but on the whole, a fun book. I read this aloud to my son, one or two chapters a day over several weeks, as part of our ongoing natural history and science literacy readings. I enjoyed the lovely glimpse into the mind of a scientist — endearing and funny and relentlessly curious. There are a few phrases and words ("proximal," and its variations, for instance, which he uses two or three times in nearly every chapter) that h...more
I learned a lot from this book about the adaptive abilities of trees, ants, caterpillars and spiders over time. Who knew all this was going on! Learning about the Welwitschia plant which lives in the desert, stays hydrated and has two lifelong leaves that may grow for more than 1,000 years was just one of the gifts from reading Heinrich's book.

I am inspired to become more attentive to the bugs, birds and plants when walking in the woods or meadow or just relaxing in my yard and to think about th...more
I need Bernd Heinrich in my backyard. My quarter acre lot in the middle of Midwestern suburbia features a few oak trees, a maple tree and several large perennial gardens. All summer long - other than pulling a handful of weeds, squishing a few slugs and drowning scores of Japanese beetles - I pretty much let Mother Nature have her way with the place. As a result, the yard is often teeming with various critters. While there's typically a hoard of the usual suspects, like rabbits, crows and mosqui...more
Lots of observations of New England (and the occasional African) bugs, frogs, birds, and plants that at times don't seem to add up to much but do maintain the reader's interest. The author's perspective is that all this peculiar behavior is a marvel that must make sense; to me, though, it often seemed somewhat creepy and rather arbitrary. It's a world of, as Heinrich unflinchingly and even admiringly puts it, "predators, parasites, hyper-parasites and hyper-hyper-parasites, cannibalism, and dise...more
Heinrich's Summer World takes on the immense task of describing the goings on of nature in the Summer months: how trees and insects are cued to emerge from their winter reclusiveness, how the flora and fauna adapt and counteradapt to one another in the cycle of summer predation, and the behaviors of plants and animals that are peculiar to this time of year.

Heinrich shows a very charming curiosity about the doings of even the smallest living things, and describes a number of small-scale experimen...more
Gary Land
I read Heinrich's A YEAR IN THE MAINE WOODS several years ago and enjoyed it, so when I saw this book in a discount catalog I immediately ordered it. It is a sequel to WINTER WORLD, which I have not read, but is quite interesting on its own. Heinrich basically goes through the Maine and Vermont summer, which for nature starts before our marking, and describes in detail the month-by-month behavior of birds, flies, frogs, various plants, among other things. He is a close observer and, though a bio...more
Brian S
Unlike his previous book, Winter World, which was organized rather systematically around the question, how do animals survive extreme cold? Summer World is a scattered collection of interesting information that Bernd Heinrich has come across in his years of observing and exploring nature during the summer months. Ever wonder what wasps are up to when you see those mud cylinders on the side of a house? You’ll find out, along with lots of other stuff, in this book (they aren’t making a place to sl...more
Michael Evans
A fun celebration of the sunny side of the year. I find that reading it has sharpened my eyes and ears when I go wandering about outdoors; Heinrich is a wonderful guide when it comes to pointing out things that one might not have noticed before. His interest in insects shines through in the book, as that particular class of animals is placed front and center. There are some wonderful chapters focusing on birds though, and the bit about the wood frogs was fantastic. There were times, in the readi...more
This book is disciplined examination of pertinent questions arising from the simple things that happen in summer. I am overwhelmed by the ability Heinrich has to arrive at a better understanding of the workings of the natural world by paying attention and thinking.
This book is a companion to his earlier book "Winter World." Heinrich tells about stuff he's noticed/experimented with in his own yard and combines it nicely with research. I really like his approachable enthusiasm combined with technical research. This book was really interesting till about 3/4 through, where it felt like he was starting to trail off and get less focused and interesting. I'd recommend it and encourage people to remember how it's just a collection of different topics so there's...more
A fantastic follow-up to Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, Heinrich takes the reader inside the bustling summer world at his homes in Vermont and Maine. By necessity, the emphasis is on how plants and creatures survive the extremes of life in (or passing through) the Northeast, but if you're not from there don't let that stop you. Heinrich infuses his entire book with a wonder, awe, and curiousity of nature that is a direct homage to Thoreau.

The book, like Winter World, is delicate...more
Noted naturalist Bernd Heinrich's obvious sequel to Winter World; Summer World gives new insight to age-old rhythms of the seasons and of life in the Northern Hemisphere. From his haunts in western Maine, Heinrich details the processes of the trees of budding actually begins in late summer, and is dictated by both the length of day and local weather condidtions and that neotropical birds have achieved the ability to exist in a "perpetual summer" as they transit between hemispheres. This book wil...more
A book filled with patience and extraordinary awareness. Some passages felt out of place, including those that explored desert adaptations and our own evolution. Although interesting, they took me abruptly out of the Maine and Vermont woods and were not as rich as chapters where Heinrich includes his own detailed observations.

I did not enjoy this book as much as Winter World - while reading Summer World, my mind began to wander sometimes. Still, it's a wonderful book best read outdoors. It has...more
Even though the book does a good job of not falling into the "this book is all about the narrator instead of the purported topic" trap, it's still a bit too personal and narrowly focused than i was hoping for.

Still, some interesting facts about nature, and certainly not a bad read for someone interested in the outdoors or ecology.
Would you love a book that spent twenty two pages talking about the mating habits of wood frogs? Yup. I do.
As with Winter World, this book is light on the science and heavy on the author's personal insights and detailed observations. This, however, does not make it any less enjoyable as he does an amazing job transporting you to the fields, ponds, and forests of a lush New England summer. Several species are showcased here but the focus always falls back to the system as a whole and the intricate relationships that comprise it. His vibrant descriptions combined with an unquenchable sense of wonder ca...more
The author is an old fashioned biologist who looks at insect and bird behavior in great detail. He stops short after bringing up the topic of overpopulation. Just when I thought he would give me scientific examples to boost my own arguments for zero population growth, he quits that subject. Then he talks a little about pollution in his environs, but again fails to use this as an example of the world problem of pollution. Many obscure facts about wasps, caterpillars etc, but no universal applicat...more
A birthday present from Tim. :)

Readable, fascinating, and inspiring - this book makes me want to head for the woods with my sketchbook and colored pencils. Which I will do. Summer World is rambling, which you sort of expect from a naturalist, with some interesting notes on the adaptations of certain "extreme summer," or desert, species, one of which may be Homo sapiens, in Heinrich's view.
Todd Martin
A nice companion to ‘Winter World’, ‘Summer World’ is a naturalist’s exploration of the New England woods during the time of bounty. Though Heinrich mostly writes about insects, he also discusses some bird adaptations and a few small mammals.

Though the writing style is good, it’s not compelling and I’ve found both of Heinrich’s books a push to complete.
How much does a tree grow in summer and why do its leaves fall? Why do spring flowers sometimes start blooming again in late summer? Summer World indeed took all summer to read (only b/c I dropped in & out of it) but it's appropriate to end the book at the end of summer.
If you're a curious student of the natural world, Bernd Heinrich's books are for you.
The highly anticipated, intimate, accessible, and eloquent illumination of animal survival in summer, from award-winning nature writer Bernd Heinrich, the bestselling author of Winter World.

Listen to Summer World on your smartphone, notebook or desktop computer.
I am so impressed by this writer, scientist, and artist. The color plates in this book really highlight Heinrich's abilities. I loved reading about caterpillars, birds, and all types of plants and their adaptations to the short New England Summer. Heinrich turns the genre of biology into mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, and poetry.
I received an advance copy of this book from a friend in the depths of winter but waited until spring to start reading it, and I'm so glad I did. I have loved reading it as the spring peepers start chorusing and the leaves unfurl. It's fabulous. Reminds me of Sand County Almanac but without the philosophizing.
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Bernd Heinrich was born in Germany (April 19, 1940) and moved to Wilton, Maine as a child. He studied at the University of Maine and UCLA and is Professor Emeriti of Biology at the University of Vermont.

He is the author of many books including Winter World, Ravens in Winter, Mind of the Raven and Why We Run. Many of his books focus on the natural world just outside the cabin door.

Heinrich has wo...more
More about Bernd Heinrich...
Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds Why We Run: A Natural History A Year In The Maine Woods Ravens in Winter

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