LET'S GO TO THE WOODS by Harriet E. Huntington


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At first glance (author, title, jacket), even on closer examination (endpapers, format), you'll think you've seen this before, so similar is it to the Huntington nature books of the Forties. Then the conjunction of simple descriptive text and large close-up photos was innovative; not only is it common today, not only are there upteen young walks in the woods, but many of them embody an ecological overview that this largely lacks. Neither does going to the woods mean looking at trees, except en masse; this is mostly about plants (ferns, moss, mushrooms, lichens) and insects (slugs, millipedes, moths, beetles, etc) but not about their role in the ectosystem except in scattered instances. For example, the ten pages on the oak moth picture physical changes, note that the caterpillar ""eats many leaves,"" don't mention the effect of this ingestion on the host tree. Explanation is often lacking; the lack can be puzzling: ""She is called a white fly because her wings are white and she looks like a fly."" What the photos show is quite wonderful and the text is a more-than-adequate caption -- it's a pleasant ramble rather than science.

Pub Date: Sept. 6th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday