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The Granite Landscape: A Natural History of America's Mountain Domes, from Acadia to Yosemite
This fascinating new book focuses on a rare and dramatic landscape: the granite summit balds of North American mountains. Tom Wessels synthesizes history, geology, biology, and personal narrative to enhance our understanding and appreciation of these high, wild places. He explores the unique and fragile ecosystem that is common to exposed granite expanses from Acadia to Yo ...more
Hardcover, 203 pages
Published June 17th 2001 by Countryman Press
(first published June 2001)
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I've hiked the bald granite domes of Acadia National Park, as well as some in southern Vermont, and their beauty is always inspirational. Geology is so interesting; I think if I started life over again, I might be a geologist. Or a mail carrier! It's so hard to say.
Tom Wessels writes for a lay audience, and he often uses the first person, describing a particular hike he took. He briefly covers the background needed to understand what granite is, where it came from, why it looks the way it does: ...more
I have considerable interest in geology, so this travelogue about various regions with granite domes intrigued me. Wessels clearly knows the relevant geology, but his deeper passion seems to be for the plants that grow on or near granite outcrops. Unfortunately, the book has no photographs to help the reader appreciate the plants over which he waxes so rhapsodically. Much of the reading consists of his excitement over seeing this or that plant without visual insight that could be appreciated by ...more
Jun 11, 2007 Annie rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: geologist wannabees
I learned everything I know about Granite from this book. Since I don't know much, I guess that wasn't hard. Wessels makes it interesting and the opening chapter is about a short mountain in Vermont that I've hiked. Since I'm from the midwest, knowing a mountain like that doesn't come along very often in my life. Yup, once again, Wessels does a great job making information accessible to layfolk. I guess he's sort of reminiscent of John McPhee.
Awesome read about the formation of the best examples of granitic landscapes, from original formation through ecological establishment. Favorite section: Primary succession of the abiotic granite surfaces through various stages of lichen and mosses.