An over-compressed survey of the succession of life on a fallen tree, in heavy block print and inky black illustrations that together do nothing to vivify the text. One life form follows another on the fallen log, and Newton merely lists them, sometimes packing in compound adjectives ("". . . a network of thread-thin, rootlike parts of the fungi. . ."") as if he hasn't the patience to be truly descriptive. Toward the end, new trees sprout on the decaying log and send their roots down its sides into the soil; when the log is gone, one sees a ""colonnade"" of hemlocks standing ""as if on stilts, their roots wrapped around the hollow spot where the old log once lay."" This makes an impressive image in itself, but not a book, and Newton provides neither the treatment nor the context required.