Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

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Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses

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So this book is not really 'a natural and cultural history of mosses', which is what I thought it would be. It is more like the author reflecting on mosses, her life, the meaning of things, and how interconnectivity in biology things (including people and mosses). This book is a series of essays about her life, with mosses playing some role in each.

Her macro approach (the ecology) notes the other life's that rely and use mosses - the snails (as beds), the tree seedlings (as nutrient base), the birds (as lining for nests), the bears (digestives), and the humans (myriad of ways!). There's a particularly insightful essay "The Web of Reciprocity: Indigenous Uses of Mosses" that relates how indigenous groups have used mosses for bedding, for baby diapers, for menstrual padding, for bindings, for food additives. I've noticed a tendency when scientists explain their research that it feels almost incomprehensible to the outsider...but that was never the case.Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering moss is a mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses. In this series of linked personal essays, Robin Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us. Drawing on her experiences as a scientist, a mother, and a Native American, Kimmerer explains the stories of mosses in scientific terms as well as in the framework of indigenous ways of knowing. In her book, the natural history and cultural relationships of mosses become a powerful metaphor for ways of living in the world In one section the author discusses how two different mosses can inhabit the same log. Ecological theory predicts that coexistence is possible only when the two species diverge from one another in some essential way. This theory made me think of men and women. Maybe the only way that we can coexist is because of our differences, which there are many! But in the case of mosses, she is referring to their reproductive strategy. One moss only grows on top of logs she discovered, because this is a pathway for chipmunks who disturb the area and spread the tiny moss propagules along the way. There are always many parts to a puzzle and how curious that moss and chipmunks are linked together!

Digital Reads A Curse For True Love : the thrilling final book in the Once Upon a Broken Heart seriesMeeting with good books makes me feel as happy as can be. I learned the name of Robin Wall Kimmerer in the book review of the Japanese Newspaper, in which they introduced a recently published Japanese version of Gathering Moss. Her essays sometimes sound like a maxim of a philosopher, and in other times like a serious warning from an ecologist. Before everything else, she is a naive botanical scientist. She wrote about her excitement when she found evidence about chipmunks' playing important role in diffusing moss. We can understand her delight without any doubt. She says we cannot understand things until we know them by using all of our four aspect; mind, body, emotion and spirit. We only need attentiveness to understand things. Further she points out finding the words is another step in learning to see. Knowing things' name is the first step in regaining our connection with them. Losing their names is a step in losing respect to them, on the contrary.

But. Please, please, please save me from overwritten memoirs. Maybe I just don't have a lot of tolerance for memoirs or mixing in human interest stuff (meh, humans) into the study of plants, but I found a lot of the extended metaphors in Gathering Moss (e.g. sexual and asexual reproduction is akin to her neighbor's kids, one of whom has grown up to pursue the same interests while the other has chosen a very different path) to be forced, saccharine, and wordy. I have a degree in plant physiology specializing in water relations, so hearing the water cycle and moss adaptations to preserving water described thus was an eyebrow raising experience: Gathering Moss will probably not teach you any mosses. There's a handful of line illustrations of different mosses, but no photos or tips for ID. Instead, it's a collection of essays linked by the subject of moss but ranging widely in topic, from the author's research on a particular aspect of moss ecology to memoir-y reflections on moss and heritage, parenthood, life. By publishing your document, the content will be optimally indexed by Google via AI and sorted into the right category for over 500 million ePaper readers on YUMPU.First, moss is BOSS. Glowing cave moss. Moss as "anal plugs for hibernating bears." Mosses and banana slug races (for research!). Sexual asymmetry in mosses. Moss that ONLY grows on whitetail deer dropping in the swamp. City mosses, which can spread their spores around the globe (including Antarctica) via the jet stream. Moss as a forest for waterbears. Moss is the star, but the book includes other colorful characters, like a multimillionaire obsessed with moss and botanists who stash beer in swamp mosses for next summer. Do plants have rights? Should they be given more protection under the law? She smiles. “My greatest hope for my book is that it will make perfect sense of their rights. Such rights are not for us to bestow. I believe that they have their own inherent rights.” The particular species mentioned by Kimmerer may or may not be present in our Special Administrative Region, I honestly have no idea... but the patterns certainly are. This is a primary adaptation to their role as the first colonisers of the land,” she says. “There was no soil here then – nothing for roots to grab on to, and no way to conserve water – so this was an evolutionary imperative. It’s quite remarkable, though not all mosses have it. Others have evolved to live in continuously wet places.”

The scientific facts, tinged by the author's experiences, were woven into intricate narratives which were both engaging and beautiful. Many times, those facts were used as metaphors for completely different subjects, and still, it all made sense and made a coherent whole. Does she have a favourite moss? Is it, perhaps, Schistostega pennata, otherwise known as goblin’s gold, a moss she describes in her book as “a paragon of minimalism” for its ability to live in caves with little natural light? (It makes use, not of leaves, but of a fragile mat of filaments known as the protonema, and seems almost to shimmer in the gloom.) Kimmerer laughs. “That’s a hard one,” she says. “But I think it would be Tetraphis pellucida, a moss that hedges its bets reproductively [growing almost exclusively on rotten stumps and logs, it has uniquely specialised means of both sexual and asexual reproduction]. I love them. Their architecture is so beautiful.” Kimmerer is amazing at showing how the smallest of things (mosses, in the case) are interconnected with the rest of the ecological system...and humans. And how humans have disrupted the system so much, how out of balance so many of us are with nature. Is Kimmerer surprised by these developments? Yes, and no. “There was no marketing push,” she says. “The books were sold hand to hand. I think it’s almost a case of critical mass. But I also think that the times we’re living in are creating a longing for a connection to land and nature: what I call a longing for belonging. Both books provide a doorway to that kind of belonging, and maybe, too, we’re finally coming to value those things that are not entirely tied up with commerce.” Living at the limits of our ordinary perception, mosses are a common but largely unnoticed element of the natural world. Gathering Moss is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection that invites readers to explore and learn from the elegantly simple lives of mosses.Kimmerer has given me new eyes to see. I don't remember, and maybe never will memorize, the Latinate names. She gave me permission to be okay with eschewing arbitrary data in favor of learning to see life itself. In these interwoven essays, Robin Wall Kimmerer leads general readers and scientists alike to an understanding of how mosses live and how their lives are intertwined with the lives of countless other beings. Kimmerer explains the biology of mosses clearly and artfully, while at the same time reflecting on what these fascinating organisms have to teach us.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
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