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Using a Tibetan Mandela as an inspiration, DAVID GEORGE HASKELL, Professor of Biology at the University of the South, trekked deep into some old growth forest and drew a small circle on the forest floor only a meter in area. Could repeated close observations of this small circle and all it’s denizens give insights into how the larger forest functioned? Professor Haskell came back time and again to this small circle, in fair weather and foul, in light and dark, in the humidity of the summer and the freezing temperatures of the winter. He typically sat on a rock nearby and watched all the plants, fungi, insects, snails and vertebrates that lived in or went through the circle for an entire year. His observations and thoughts on what he saw and how that related to larger issues of biology, conservation and the environment are recorded in his book THE FOREST UNSEEN: A YEAR’S WATCH IN NATURE, one of the finest books on observing the natural world written in some time.
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