Paper pub. date
April 2009
ISBN 9780870715686 (paperback)
6 x 9 inches, 160 pages. Index.

The Way of the Woods

Journeys Through American Forests

Linda Underhill

In The Way of the Woods, Linda Underhill explores some of our nation’s most extraordinary forests, from the magnificent old growth groves of western Pennsylvania's Cook Forest to the endangered hemlock forests of eastern Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, from the giant sequoias of California's Sierra Mountains to the rainforest of Washington State's Olympic Peninsula. Along the way, she also walks in ordinary woodlands, state parks, private nature preserves, and the woods surrounding her family cabin in western New York.

Part natural history, part travelogue, and part meditation, The Way of the Woods examines how forests and woodlands contribute to the life and health of the planet. Each of the forests Underhill visits has a story to tell, and together, these stories show how forests and woodlands inspire us with a sense of the sacred. Underhill's lyrical narratives reveal insights about forest conservation, including the importance of preserving old growth and wildlife habitat, the significance of urban forests, and the role of fire in the regeneration of forests. The Way of the Woods is a beautifully written mix of science and personal reflection for anyone intrigued by the magnificence and mystery of American forests.

About the author

Linda Underhill is the author of The Unequal Hours: Moments of Being in the Natural World. Her essays have appeared in such journals as Fourth Genre, Under the Sun, ISLE, and the Pennsylvania Review. She is former Chairperson of the Humanities at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and is currently a Visiting Professor of English at Gettysburg College. She lives in Wellsville, New York.

Read more about this author

"Skillfully weaving together scientific fact and philosophical reflection on the value of forests to the human spirit, the book is an eloquent plea for the protection of forests."

—Lorraine Anderson, editor of Sisters of the Earth: Women's Prose and Poetry About Nature

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