The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into The Heart Of The Woods by Robert LlewellynThe Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into The Heart Of The Woods by Robert Llewellyn

The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into The Heart Of The Woods

byRobert Llewellyn, Joan Maloof

Hardcover | October 4, 2017

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“With precise, stunning photographs and a distinctly literary narrative that tells the story of the forest ecosystem along the way, The Living Forest is an invitation to join in the eloquence of seeing.” —Sierra Magazine

From the leaves and branches of the canopy to the roots and soil of the understory, the forest is a complex, interconnected ecosystem filled with plants, birds, mammals, insects, and fungi. Some of it is easily discovered, but many parts remain difficult or impossible for the human eye to see. Until now. 

The Living Forest is a visual journey that immerses you deep into the woods. The wide-ranging photography by Robert Llewellyn celebrates the small and the large, the living and the dead, and the seen and the unseen. You’ll discover close-up images of owls, hawks, and turtles; aerial photographs that show herons in flight; and time-lapse imagery that reveals the slow change of leaves. In an ideal blend of art and scholarship, the 300 awe-inspiring photographs are supported by lyrical essays from Joan Maloof detailing the science behind the wonder. 
Robert Llewellyn has been photographing plants and landscapes for almost 40 years. His photographs have been featured in major art exhibits, and more than 30 books featuring his photography are in print. His 2007 book Empires of the Forest won five national awards in nonfiction and photography and The Capital was an official diplomatic...
Title:The Living Forest: A Visual Journey Into The Heart Of The WoodsFormat:HardcoverProduct dimensions:266 pages, 11 × 11 × 1.25 inShipping dimensions:11 × 11 × 1.25 inPublished:October 4, 2017Publisher:Timber PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1604697121

ISBN - 13:9781604697124


Read from the Book

Preface It is our intention that this book be a reminder that the living part of our planet, the biosphere, is just a thin and lovely membrane. We have harmed much of this membrane, but because it is alive it has the ability to heal. Here we celebrate the part of the biosphere known as the temperate deciduous forest, and all the life it contains. It is our wish that increased understanding will provide motivation for allowing the forest to continue unimpeded on its wild trajectory. Although the photographs on these pages are stunningly beautiful and we can witness such views, it’s impossible to really see the whole of a forest. A forest is a complex web of energy and matter that reaches far beyond the confines of identified acreages. Much of what a forest does, and is, is invisible and can never be captured by the camera. At other times, the energy and the matter align on the scale of human perception and we see: oh, a blossom, a salamander, a mushroom, a bear! All amazing, all wonders to be studied forever and, even then, to be felt more than fully understood. Take any one of these photographic images and spend some time with it, and you will understand what the poet William Blake meant about seeing “the world in a grain of sand.” These nodes of matter show us the never-ending flow of energy right here, right this moment. And the shutter clicks. The pen is slower, but it can include a bit more of the intersections. It can tell of strand pulling strand in the web of life. It can hint at the dimension of time. And then, finally, beyond the camera and the pen is the energy and matter that you, reader, bring to the equation. For aer you douse yourself in the images and the words, you must go a step beyond and add the dimension of experience. It is only then that you will truly start seeing the forest. And the forest will see you, too. There are plenty* of eyes in these photos and, as you will read here, even the eyeless trees sense your light. But how do we organize this discussion of a place where everything is happening at once? We chose to start with the largest bones, the trees—the living structures that define a forest—and to move from the canopy to the ground. There is much life in the canopy, but primarily it is a surface for catching light—the source of energy that powers the entire forest. Trees are creators of rain. And many forest creatures depend on the water held in and released by the forest. So we look closely at that. As we move through the forest, and through these pages, we witness animals that are wholly dependent on the habitat created by the towering trees even though they will never have the experience of being in the top of one. Other animals use the trunks as highways, and their movements may reach from the ground to the treetops. Given the size and upright posture of humans, the sight of tree trunks is the most common way we experience the forest, too. We must also consider the invisible fourth dimension of time in order to truly understand a forest. Tree chapters capture how a forest changes throughout the year: from fall’s spectacle to winter’s silence, from spring’s emergence to summer’s ripeness. Next, and perhaps most important, we take a peek at the forest parts that are intimately intertwined with the soil. This is the (mostly) underground life of the forest—roots and fungi. While we’re down there, we take a close look at the primitive plants. They will never make buds or flowers or fruit, but they are the green ones we always associate with the forest: moss and fern, playground of the faeries. And finally, no discussion of the forest is complete without acknowledging how the forest makes us feel. Few words do justice to those feelings, so Llewellyn’s images stand alone at the end to convey a most precious resource provided by forests.

Editorial Reviews

“This celebration of forests’ many layers of beauty is a gift for the senses, intellect, and emotions.” —David George Haskell, author of The Songs of Trees and The Forest Unseen (Pulitzer finalist), professor of biology at University of the South “This ode to the forest—an epic prose poem against a backdrop of wildly intimate imagery—lets us truly know it at last.” —Margaret Roach, creator of A Way to Garden website and podcast “Arresting photographs combine with musings about the web of life in deciduous forests in this coffee-table book. . . . A beautiful view of woodlands through the seasons.” —Publishers Weekly “Llewellyn is a master of revealing the intricacies of the small-scale elements of such big creatures, things such as the winged fruit of the maple or the male catkins of the red oak, spilling over their twigs like waterfalls.” —The Washington Post “Beautiful photographs accompanied with text that borders on poetry. . . . Get caught up in landscape photographs that are transportive and contemplative.” —NYBG’s Plant Talk “Lovely, Dark, and Deep. . . . Leaf through this book and you’ll be transported to a world of soaring branches, misty mountains and a treasury of living things that includes acorns, fungi, eagles, coyotes, snakes and millipedes.” —BookPage  “The latest masterpiece from the team of Robert Llewellyn and Joan Maloof. . . This is a presentation-type book that won’t sit gathering dust on a table. It is one people will want to pick up to peruse and return to again and again.” —Smith Mountain Laker “With precise, stunning photographs and a distinctly literary narrative that tells the story of the forest ecosystem along the way, The Living Forest is an invitation to join in the eloquence of seeing. . . . Browsing through the book, one gets the sense that each image and anecdote is the snapshot of a moment of pure discovery. What consistently shows up in those moments, whether through Llewellyn’s lens or Maloof’s eloquent writing, is an all too obvious truth: Within this biosphere, all around us is an intelligence we don’t fully understand, that is alive to the world and in a relationship to that world. And to us.” —Sierra Magazine “By immersing readers in the serene, dreamlike world of the forest ecosystem, The Living Forest is sure to make future strolls through the woods a much richer experience.” —The American Gardener “Attempting to present a complete portrait of an ecosystem is a challenge, but photographer Robert Llewellyn endeavours to achieve just that in his latest book, which takes us to all corners and heights of deciduous forests. From looking the diverse range of wildlife to different tree species, 300 vividly colourful photographs reveal the complex web of energy and matter that make up a woodland full of life.” —Outdoor Photography Magazine “The Living Forest is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever experienced. The stunning photographs and the exquisite prose come together to capture the interest, intellect and heart of a reader.” —The Oregonian “If you have to go over the river and through the woods to get to grandmother's house this Christmas, having read this illustrated work will do nothing but enhance the journey.” —The Columbian “This book is a beautiful journey through ancient woods that make up only 1% of our eastern forests. . . . explains why they’re different and why they matter.” —Triangle Gardener