Outdoor Conservation Book Club discussion

Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival
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Book of the Month Discussions > Winter World (Sept 2020)

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Rachel | 211 comments I picked this book because I think the way animals have evolved to adapt to a wild range of environmental conditions is interesting and I wanted to know more, honestly. From the back of the book: "Because winter drastically affects the most elemental component of all life - water - radical changes in a creature's physiology and behavior must take place to match the demands of the environment. Some creatures survive by developing antifreeze; others must remain in constant motion to maintain their high body temperatures. Even if animals can avoid freezing to death, they still must manage to find food in a time of scarcity or store it from a time of plenty."

I've never read a book by Bernd Heinrich before but he has a bunch of them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernd_H...


message 2: by Michael (last edited Sep 01, 2020 08:04PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Michael Powell (mikepowell) | 45 comments I will be joining in on this one too. It looks very good. I am looking forward to it. I have not read any other books yet by Bernd Heinrich, but it looks like there may be another candidate or two from his collection of work; the Summer companion to this book for example.

After finishing the Penguin Rescue book, I started in on Where the Wild Things Were. So far, it is very good. I figure to put that one on hold and will start up Winter. I am getting Winter through interlibrary loan, and so I figure I had better read that while I have access to it. :) Plus this way I will be reading it in the corresponding month of the club. :)


Rachel | 211 comments Michael wrote: "I will be joining in on this one too. It looks very good. I am looking forward to it. I have not read any other books yet by Bernd Heinrich, but it looks like there may be another candidate or two ..."
Yes! I think probably we will read the summer one next summer maybe. I picked this one in anticipation of summer finally ending here in the northern hemisphere, while winter is ending in the southern hemisphere. I've not read anything by him yet either but I've heard great things and I'm excited!


Michael Powell (mikepowell) | 45 comments I have finished Winter World. It was quite good. There are a lot of amazing things that organisms do to increase their odds in the winter. Some I had heard of before, but most were either completely new to me, or the details given here were much more. I have certainly gained a greater appreciation for how nature finds a way. I also found it very interesting to learn of how Bernd Heinrich approached his study of all of this. How he just kept a slow steady burn. For example, how it took three years to find that the kinglets were eating geometrid worms. Each time something went wrong, he just waited until next winter season to pick it back up and try again. I realize he was doing other things as well, and that kinglets were not his only focus over that time, but it was just really indicative of his personality and how it worked in his passion for understanding nature, I am guessing anyway. :) It was a fun and informative read.


Rachel | 211 comments Great review Michael! I feel the same way. I also just finished the book. His enthusiasm reminds me of how kids are relentlessly curious but it's not a habit often carried into adulthood. I loved reading about the kinglets and the butterflies, in particular. I'm definitely going to read more of his books too! His writings about ravens are particularly interesting to me.


Michael Powell (mikepowell) | 45 comments You hit it spot on, Rachel! I could not quite think of what it was, but you have it exactly. It is his kid-like enthusiasm for it all. You are right, that often does not carry into adulthood, but it clearly has with him. I too look forward to reading more of his works.


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