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Mountains of the Heart: A Natural History of the Appalachians

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  88 ratings  ·  7 reviews
Scott Weidensaul shows how geology, ecology, climate, evolution, and more than 500 years of human history have shaped one of the continent's greatest landscapes. ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Fulcrum Publishing (first published 1994)
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Bret James Stewart
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book rocks. Weidensaul is a scientist writing about the Appalachian Range. He has written a number of other nature books and is a licensed bird bander. I expected this book to be dry as so many books written by scientists are. It seems they go out of their way to suck any vitality out of the text. Weidensaul, however, as the title implies, brings a love and vitality to the text that is phenomenal. He loves the mountains, and it shows. The book is written more like a story than a scientific ...more
Tim Martin
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It always strikes me as interesting that nature programs on TV – and the rare theatrical release of one – always focus on distant lands and creatures (distant for North Americans and Europeans at least)…lions and wildebeest in the Serengeti, meerkats in the Kalahari, penguins in Antarctica, giant tortoises in the Galapagos, exotic orchids in the tropics, bizarre plants in Hawaii and Australia…all fascinating, all things I love, but what about fauna and flora close to home, at least for someone i ...more
Randy Crouse
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
An excellent well researched and well written book. Covers many topics in detail that are seldom discussed outside scientific literature. For example, there is an interesting section on the black bear and it's re-emergence as an almost urban animal that has adapted itself to living near and even amongst humans. The author shares many personal first-hand experiences. Anyone with an interest in or love for the Appalachian Mountains will learn from and enjoy this book. ...more
Dan Carey
This book is all over the map, both literally and figuratively. The Appalachian mountains are an extensive chain, and Weidensaul wants to cover all of it, including those parts that are only technically (i.e., geologically) included in it. Consequently, the book strikes me as unfocused, and therefore only moderately satisfying.
Brian Carrigan
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
very interesting
Jul 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is such a gorgeous book. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly poignant, Weidensaul blends detailed, accurate science with true passion and understanding. I use this book in a class I teach and it holds the students enthralled, just as I myself am drawn in by his imagery, language, and sheer humanity every time I re-read it. There is one line in this book that I return to again and again. Weidensaul has just concluded a succinct, articulate discussion on the hemlock wooly adelgid, wh ...more
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this so much. This author speaks my language when it comes loving and learning about the natural history of the Appalachians.
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Born in 1959, Scott Weidensaul (pronounced "Why-densaul") has lived almost all of his life among the long ridges and endless valleys of eastern Pennsylvania, in the heart of the central Appalachians, a landscape that has defined much of his work.

His writing career began in 1978 with a weekly natural history column in the local newspaper, the Pottsville Republican in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

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