152 pp., 10 x 14, 136 color illus., 1 map, index
In Praise of Ancient Mountains, Old-Growth Forests, and Wilderness
With this stunning collection of images of the Southern Appalachians, James Valentine presents an enduring portrait of the region's unique natural character. His compelling photographs of ancient mountains, old-growth forests, rare plants, and powerful waterways reveal the Appalachians' rich scenic beauty, while Chris Bolgiano's interpretive text and captions tell the story of its natural history.
Over four decades, Valentine has hiked hundreds of miles across mountainous parts of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia to photograph some of the last remnants of original forest. These scarce and scattered old-growth stands are the most biologically diverse temperate forests in the world. By sharing these remaining pristine wild places with us, Valentine and Bolgiano show that understanding these mountains and their extraordinary biodiversity is vital to maintaining the healthy environment that sustains all life.
Featuring an introduction by the late, longtime conservationist Robert Zahner and a foreword by William Meadows, president of The Wilderness Society, this visually entrancing and verbally engaging book celebrates the vibrant life of Southern Appalachian forests.
Chris Bolgiano uses solar power to write from her home in a Virginia mountainside forest, which is under a conservation easement. She is author or editor of five books, including Living in the Appalachian Forest: True Tales of Sustainable Forestry, which won the Phillip D. Reed Memorial Award for Outstanding Writing on the Southern Environment. Her articles on nature and travel have appeared in American Forests, Sierra, Audubon, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and many other publications.
"This fine book is not only a collection of stunning photographs but also a natural history of a singular region. It will appeal to those who love Appalachia and appreciate fine nature photography as well as anyone interested in conservation and the environment."
"Celebrates the best of the region in all four seasons. . . .This coffee table book presents not only scores of stunning images from the camera of naturalist and artist James Valentine, but also the fine writing of Chris Bolgiano."
--Blue Ridge Country
"Valentine has captured the beauty that can't be seen through a casual drive. His passion and respect for nature is evident in every photograph. . . . Each photo [is] a testament to the wonder of the region."
"Valentine has captured the many wonders of this region in large-format photos of great color, detail, and beauty."
--The Bloomsbury Review
“With the help of thought provoking text, [Valentine] makes a strong case for preserving the priceless natural heritage of these mountains before it’s too late. . . .Beautiful as it is, this book is much more than a collection of photos.”
"No book of my experience has ever caught the natural beauty and richness of southern Appalachia with greater exactitude."
--Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
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