What Should a Clever Moose Eat?
Natural History, Ecology, and the North Woods
On Sale: February 4, 2016
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How long should a leaf live? When should blueberries ripen? And
what should a clever moose eat? Questions like these may seem
simple or downright strange—yet they form the backbone of natural
history, a discipline that fostered some of our most important
scientific theories, from natural selection to glaciation. Through
careful, patient observations of the organisms that live in an
area, their distributions, and how they interact with other
species, we gain a more complete picture of the world around us,
and our place in it.
In What Should a Clever Moose Eat?, John Pastor explores the
natural history of the North Woods, an immense and complex forest
that stretches from the western shore of Lake Superior to the far
coast of Newfoundland. The North Woods is one of the most
ecologically and geologically interesting places on the planet,
with a host of natural history questions arising from each spruce
or sugar maple. From the geological history of the region to the
shapes of leaves and the relationship between aspens,
caterpillars, and predators, Pastor delves into a captivating
range of topics as diverse as the North Woods themselves. Through
his meticulous observations of the natural world, scientists and
nonscientists alike learn to ask natural history questions and
form their own theories, gaining a greater understanding of and
love for the North Woods—and other natural places precious to
In the tradition of Charles Darwin and Henry David Thoreau, John
Pastor is a joyful observer of nature who makes sharp connections
and moves deftly from observation to theory. Take a walk in John
Pastor's North Woods—you'll come away with a new appreciation for
details, for the game trails, beaver ponds, and patterns of growth
around you, and won't look at the natural world in the same way
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