Wednesday, June 6, 2012
1) Heinrich, Bernd. Life Everlasting: The Animal Way of Death. 2012. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Hardbound: 236 pages. Price: $25.00 U.S.
SUMMARY: From one of the finest naturalist/writers of our time, a fascinating investigation of Nature’s inspiring death-to-life cycle.
When a good friend with a severe illness wrote, asking if he might have his “green burial” at Bernd Heinrich’s hunting camp in Maine, it inspired the acclaimed biologist to investigate a subject that had long fascinated him. How exactly does the animal world deal with the flip side of the life cycle? And what are the lessons, ecological to spiritual, raised by a close look at how the animal world renews itself? Heinrich focuses his wholly original gaze on the fascinating doings of creatures most of us would otherwise turn away from—field mouse burials conducted by carrion beetles; the communication strategies of ravens, “the premier northern undertakers”; and the “inadvertent teamwork” among wolves and large cats, foxes and weasels, bald eagles and nuthatches in cold-weather dispersal of prey. Heinrich reveals, too, how and where humans still play our ancient and important role as scavengers, thereby turning—not dust to dust—but life to life.
RECOMMENDATION: This book will help you to stop thinking of death as an end of life but as a recycling to a new life. Fans of Heinrich's other books will also enjoy this book!