Green Bookshelf

Back to the wild

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Hidden Lives of Trees
By Peter Wohlleben (Greytone)

German forester Peter Wohlleben spent most of his career sizing up trees according to their harvest-readiness and managing forests for profit. But after a life spent in close company with his sylvan neighbors, he began to see their complex lives and interactions with more depth and empathy.

In The Hidden Life of Trees, short chapters explore hidden dimensions of tree lives that science is slowly uncovering, enhanced by Wohlleben’s anecdotal experiences from the woods.

He explores how trees communicate, both internally from the roots to the leaves at the end of branches, as well as to other neighboring trees through mycelial networks. He applies concepts like love, community and learning to trees, and finds myriad ways they benefit the forest community, from pumping, storing and respirating water to serving as a “community housing project” for countless bugs, birds, bats and other creatures.

“When you know that trees experience pain and have memories and that tree parents live together with their children,” the amiable author concludes, “then you can no longer just chop them down and disrupt their lives with large machines.”

Boundary Layer: Exploring the Genius Between Worlds
By Kem Luther (Oregon State University Press)

“To make a boundary layer, all we need is a pair of large stable systems of regularity that rub against each other,” writes Vancouver Island naturalist Kem Luther. “Where they come into contact, the two systems create a third region that is unstable.”

Luther finds these thin, dynamic and unexplored margins making sand dunes in Tofino, BC, producing moss in Cypress Provincial Park, and sending out mycorrhizal networks beneath the forest surrounding Victoria.

Revealing a hidden world that thrives beneath our feet, Luther champions the small and overlooked in nature, species that, though little-understood, make the world go around.

Being a Beast: Adventures Across the Species Divide
By Charles Foster (Metropolitan)

“Earthworms taste of slime and the land. They are the ultimate local food and, as the wine people would say, have a distinct terroir,” Charles Foster explains. “Worms from Chablis have a long, mineral finish. Worms from Picardy are musty…worms from Somerset Levels have a stolid, unfashionable taste of leather and stout.”

But why is the British writer—who is also a veterinarian, holds a doctorate in law and bioethics and teaches at Oxford—eating worms?

“I want to know what it is like to be a wild thing,” he explains. “I want to have a more articulate talk with the land.”

Being a Beast chronicles his experiment in trying to live like animals do—burrowing, rooting, pooping, swooping, swimming and sniffing. He chooses a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer and a swift and sets out to inhabit their unique worlds as close as he can.

The tools he chooses to aid him in his quest are psychology, natural history, neuroscience, sensory enhancement and even shamanic transformation. A fool’s errand? Perhaps, but it’s a pleasure to follow the resulting discoveries and disasters in this bestselling book.

Whether trying to catch fish with his teeth, sleeping in an underground burrow, snacking on bugs, lying on the bottom of rivers or being pursued by bloodhounds, Foster’s hands-on account is by turns funny, philosophical and full of interesting tidbits of information from the forefront of natural science. He is an engaging storyteller, self-deprecating and clever as he shares with readers his own personal process of re-wilding.

3 Oms 8th Anniversary (Spotlight)
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Beyond No
When small steps are not enough

Rarely have man and the moment collided so ferociously than in the presidency of Donald J. Trump. And few writers have the framework to understand the collision and the shockwaves to follow more than Naomi Klein. The acclaimed journalist, activist and bestselling author has spent two…

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Radium Girls
The dark side of liquid sunshine

Imagine yourself a working-class woman in 1917 in New Jersey.

Your family is depending on you to contribute to the household income. You’ve held other jobs, but the work was unglamorous and the pay low. Then you land a coveted position at the Radium Luminous Materials Corporation,…

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City Action on Global Climate
Want to support the Paris agreement? Improve housing policy

President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate accord last week is a betrayal of our planet and our children’s future. Bolivian president Evo Morales said it best: “Retiring from the Paris agreement is high treason to Mother Earth, which is the common house of life and…

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Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

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The Nix

7:00pm|Village Books

Arete Quartet

7:00pm|Unity Spiritual Center

Classical on Tap

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Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

9/11 Truth

6:00pm|Alternative Library

Concerts in the Columbia


Ales N' Sails

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Elizabeth Park Concert Series

6:00pm|Elizabeth Park

Italian Summer Menu

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

Commedia in the Park

7:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Balkan Folk Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Movie Trivia

7:00pm|Bayou Annex Bar

GPS Navigation and Tour Planning

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

Trove Bellingham Farmer’s Market
Sounds by the bay


Sounds by the bay


Skagit Tours

12:00pm|Highway 20

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

5:00pm|Vanier Park

Commedia in the Park

7:00pm|Maritime Heritage Park

Wild Things

9:30am|Marine Park



Plover Ferry Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Plover Rides

12:00pm|Blaine Harbor

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Ferndale Farmers Market

3:00pm|Centennial Riverwalk Park

Food Not Bombs

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Sin & Gin Tours

4:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Salmon Dinner Sail

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

’80s Dance Party

6:00pm|Squalicum Boathouse

Telescopes in the Park

6:30pm|Boulevard Park

The Dwellers

7:00pm|BP Heron Center

Dancing on the Green

7:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

An Improvised Musical

9:00pm|Upfront Theatre

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