A region as well as a river, the Allagash's vast watershed forms the center of the wild land that blankets northwestern Maine. Because of its remoteness, these half-million acres, once the hunting ground of the Abnaki, remain a woodsman's world. The history of the Allagash is filled with loggers, poachers and inventors-all seeking to conquer the wilderness. But there were also the naturalists, the game wardens, the guides, the mapmakers and finally the conservationists who in 1966 created the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and gave Maine the honor of being the first state to preserve an entire river. A skillful writer of history and natural history alike, Lew Dietz evokes the sights, sounds and smells of the river, the great stands of evergreens and the animals. Originally published in 1968. Paperback. 272 pgs.
The character of Baxter State Park and the great mountain at its heart can be powerfully conveyed through two words: forever wild. The mountain was known as Ktaadn, or "the greatest mountain," to native peoples who first frequented Maine's interior northern forest. They were followed by colonial adventurers who explored its cirques and massive granite walls, by those who studied its geology and flora and fauna, and later by loggers who came to extract the virgin timber from nearby valleys. Finally, recreational climbing and camping led to an effort to protect the rugged beauty of these mountains, lakes, and valleys. When calls for preservation went unheeded, former governor Percival P. Baxter, beginning in the 1930s, purchased some 201,000 acres over a period of 30 years and gifted them to the state. Today, Baxter State Park is the guardian of this vast wilderness area for all to enjoy. Baxter State Park and Katahdin draws on rich collections of archival images dating back to the 19th century. Paperback 128 pages
Make bird watching in Maine even more enjoyable! This book contains 119 species of Maine birds, with range maps showing where in Maine you'll find the bird in summer, winter, all year, or during migration. Also includes an easy-to-use color guide and compare feature. Full-page photos accompany full-page descriptions. Compact paperback, 295 pages.
What happens when the last son leaves the farm, and the farmer grows old? Do the stories of six generations whisper into silence, as dust darkens the windows of the empty barn? Or can a young boy, running in yellow boots through abandoned fields, bring new life back to the farm? There is much to explore, and time to wonder. There is also, for a short while, a gentle old man, atop a faded John Deere tractor, and the possibility of connection... An unforgettable true story of history and hope on a small family farm in Somerville, Maine, from its settling in the early 1800s to its perilous transfer to a new farm family in 2008. Chronicling the history of seven generations, it is a reminder of the role small farms have played in our national and family histories, and a challenge to find innovative ways to re-connect our communities to this rich but threatened resource. Hardcover. 223 pgs.
One of the most respected sports writers of her time, Cornelia "Fly Rod" Crosby used her abilities as an angler, hunter, and writer to share, conserve, and promote the abundant beauty of the Maine woods for women as well as men. From her early days as a sickly yet feisty little girl, through her lifelong struggle with illness, this story explores and illuminates Cornelia's persistence and strength. Colorful illustrations throughout. Paperback. 35 pgs.
Here is the untold story of the making of Acadia National Park and the critical role of George Dorr in making it all come to be. A wonderful gift of all who love Acadia, this book brings to life the man who, more than any other, was responsible for the park's creation and early growth. Contains endnotes, an index and black & white photos. Paperback. 393 pgs.
Part of a series of state-by-state pocket guides designed for kids but useful for anyone wanting information on 50 of Maine's “critters” including birds and mammals. Inside The "Critters of Maine Pocket Guide," you’ll find:
- Large color photo of each critter
- Only Maine critters: if it's in this book, it's in Maine!
- Concise descriptions
- Interesting "Did You Know" facts
- "Wild Words" glossary
2002 paperback, 128 pages.
A chronologically-arranged compilation of selected quotations from hard to-find-sources this publication makes accessible wildlife writings of early biologists, naturalists, and woodsmen from northern New England and eastern Canada. Hardcover 524 pages
A glorious new centennial edition in full color printed on coated stock sporting phone numbers of Maind District Foresters, a glossary, an index, summer and winter identification keys and much, much more. For the general public and woodlot owners in the northeast. Softcover Spiralbound 176 Pages
FROM STUMP TO SHIP, filmed in 1930, survives as the best, most vivid and complete film record of the long log business. People who know the business and those who see it here for the first time, agree that this film brings to life the priceless heritage of generations of woodworkers and their families. remarkably detailed scenes, filmed year-round, are uniquely enhanced by the original script, written to be read with the silent footage of the 1930s.
The soundtrack is brought to life by Tim Sample, narrator and renowned Maine humorist, and in the role of filmmaker, Alfred Ames. B/W 28 minutes. DVD.
Ice was one of northern New England's most important industries at the end of the 19th century. Although modern refrigeration technology ended the large scale export of river and lake ice, cutting and storing ice was still widely practiced in the 1940s. This compilation shows newsreel and amateur footage harvesting on rivers and lakes for commercial and private use. The narration by Philip C. Whitney, president of the New England Tool Collectors Association, enhances our understanding of the process and brings these moving images to life. 33 minutes, b&w, silent with narration, DVD.
This 23-minute documentary presents a detailed account of spruce-wood harvesting in northern New England, detailing the hazards and techniques of lumberjacking. It climaxes with a mind-boggling logjam, cleared first by men and then by dynamite. DVD.
This half-hour program from Maine PBS centers upon the last log drive down the Kennebec River in 1976. The impact of the end of the log drives -- on jobs, the environment, highway safety, and the tourist trade -- are discussed. DVD
"Lumberjack Sky Pilot" shares true life experiences of lumberjacks during the 1930s and 1940s as filmed by Reverend Frank Reed, one of many itinerant preachers or "sky pilots," who visited lumber camps in the North Country. DVD. 60 minutes.
This book traces three trips Thoreau made through the largely unexplored woods of Maine -- climbing mountains, paddling a canoe, drinking cedar beer, eating moose lips, and making notes all the while. With the grace of a prose master, Thoreau captures a wilder side of America. Paperback, 442 pages.
Heinrich involves us in his quest to get inside the mind of the raven. But as animals can only be spied on by getting quite close, Heinrich adopts ravens, thereby becoming a "raven father," as well as observing them in their natural habitat. He studies their daily routines, and in the process, paints a vivid picture of the ravens' world. At the heart of this book are Heinrich's love and respect for these complex and engaging creatures, and through his keen observation and analysis, we become their intimates too. Heinrich's passion for ravens has led him around the world in his research. Mind of the Raven follows an exotic journey—from New England to Germany, and from Montana to Baffin Island in the high Arctic—offering dazzling accounts of how science works in the field, filtered through the eyes of a passionate observer of nature. Each new discovery and insight into raven behavior is thrilling to read, at once lyrical and scientific. Paperback. 380 pgs.
"My Life in the Maine Woods" recounts Annette Jackson's north woods experiences during the 1930's when she, her husband, and their children lived in a small cabin on the shore of Umsaskis Lake. She is an avid sportswoman and nature lover and writes of hunting, fishing, campfire cooking, and the sounds of wilderness throughout the seasons. This 2007 edition expands on Jackson's original, including not only new photographs, author biography, and foreword, but also new material from Jackson and revisions she made following its original 1954 publication. Black & white photos throughout. Paperback. 216 pgs.
From one of the finest scientist/writers of our time comes an engaging record of a life spent in close observation of the natural world, one that has yielded “marvelous, mind-altering” (Los Angeles Times) insight and discoveries. In essays that span several decades, Heinrich finds himself at home in Maine, where he plays host to visitors from Europe (the cluster flies) and more welcome guests from Asia (ladybugs); and as far away as Botswana, where he unravels the far-reaching ecological consequences of elephants’ bruising treatment of mopane trees. The many fascinating discoveries in Naturalist at Large include the maple sap harvesting habits of red squirrels, and the “instant” flower-opening in the yellow iris as a way of ensuring potent pollination. Heinrich turns to his great love, the ravens, some of them close companions for years, as he designs a unique experiment to tease out the fascinating parameters of raven intelligence. Finally, he asks “Where does a biologist find hope?” while delivering an answer that informs and inspires. Hardcover. 288 pgs.
Become a more attentive observer and deepen your appreciation for the natural world. The unique five-year calendar format of The Naturalist’s Notebook helps you create a long-term record and point of comparison for memorable events, such as the first songbird you hear in spring, your first monarch butterfly sighting of summer, or the appearance of the northern lights. Biologist Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and best-selling author Bernd Heinrich teach nature lovers of all ages what to look for outdoors no matter where you live, using Heinrich’s classic illustrations as inspiration. As you jot down one observation a day, year after year, your collected field notes will serve as a valuable record of your piece of the planet. This deluxe book, with a three-piece case, gilt edges, a burgundy ribbon bookmark, and a belly band with gold foil stamping, is a perfect gift for all nature lovers. Illustrations throughout. Hardcover. 208 pgs.
Why do ravens, generally understood to be solitary creatures, share food between each other during winter? On the surface, there didn’t appear to be any biological or evolutionary imperative behind the raven’s willingness to share. The more Bernd Heinrich observed their habits, the more odd the bird’s behavior became. What started as mere curiosity turned into an impassioned research project, and Ravens In Winter, the first research of its kind, explores the fascinating biological puzzle of the raven’s rather unconventional social habits. Paperback. 379 pgs.
In this odd and spectacular north country, contorted rocks reveal the strain of colliding continents, the heat of molton intrusions, and the weight of relentless glaciers. From the swarm of dikes along the rugged coast to the glacially polished granite of Mt. Katahdin, this book explores the fascinating geologic history of Maine's storied rocks. Detailed maps and roadlogs guide you through the woods to such hidden wonders as 100-mile-long eskers, frozen patterned ground, tourmaline-rich pegmetites, pillow basalts, and ice-age delta mud. Paperback, 318 pages.
Although Gerd Heinrich, a devoted naturalist, specialized in wasps, Bernd Heinrich tried to distance himself from his "old-fashioned" father, becoming a hybrid: a modern, experimental biologist with a naturalist's sensibilities. In this extraordinary memoir, the award-winning author shares the ways in which his relationship with his father, combined with his unique childhood, molded him into the scientist, and man, he is today. From Gerd's days as a soldier in Europe and the family's daring escape from the Red Army in 1945 to the rustic Maine farm they came to call home, Heinrich relates it all in his trademark style, making science accessible and awe-inspiring. Paperback. 460 pgs.
This is a collection of pulpwood industry training films from the mid-1940s. "It Pays to Be Trained" commically compares a skilled woodsman and a stubborn and untrained lumberjack who discovers that a small paycheck is his reward. "Helpful Hints in Preparing Pulpwood" details proper techniques in felling trees, the use of a pulp hook and axe, as well as setting up pickets and skids to stack a cord of wood. "Use and Care of a Bucksaw" gives a straightforward look at assembling, sharpening, and the proper use of maintenance of the versatile bucksaw. "Twitching" shows the strength of twitch horses and the cooperation between the horses and their teamsters in the woods. "Your Cord of Wood" gives a broad overview of what becomes of a cord of wood after leaving the woodlot. Total running time: 58 minutes. DVD.
How can cicadas survive—and thrive—at temperatures pushing 115°F? Do hummingbirds know what they're up against before they migrate over the Gulf of Mexico? Why do some trees stop growing taller even when three months of warm weather remain? With awe and unmatched expertise, Bernd Heinrich's Summer World never stops exploring the beautifully complex interactions of animals and plants with nature, giving extraordinary depth to the relationships between habitat and the warming of the earth. Black & white illustrations and color plates. Paperback. 253 pgs.
When astonished Europeans first spotted the vast pine forests of North America, the economic and military potential was immediately evident. In that pre-industrial age, the lumber and pitch that could be harvested from these forests represented resources worth fighting for. Here, Andrew Vietze turns his attention to the part that these evergreens played in peace, war, the building of cities, and forming laws. Black & white photos and illustrations in the center of the book. Fully indexed. Paperback. 186 pgs.
Five years in the making,Widerness & Spirit, A Mountain Called Katahdin captures the spirit of Katahdin and the people who have been drawn to Maine's "Great Mountain." The film explores ways of thinking about the wilderness and how people from many walks of life, past to the present, have found spiritual solace and strength in this mountain called Katahdin. DVD 2002,100mins.
Wildflowers of Maine presents a selection of the color paintings of pioneering botanist Kate Furbish (1834-1931). Including some of the more prominent flowers to be found in Maine, plus a few rarities, this delightful gift formatted edition is a treat for the senses and a testament to Kate Furbish’s lifelong passion to record all of Maine's plants and flowers in meticulous watercolor paintings. Color illustrations throughout also with a map of Maine indicating where the flowers were found. Hardcover. 127 pgs.
From flying squirrels to grizzly bears, and from torpid turtles to insects with antifreeze, the animal kingdom relies on some staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who must alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, animals are adaptable to an amazing range of conditions. Examining everything from food sources in the extremely barren winter land-scape to the chemical composition that allows certain creatures to survive, Heinrich's Winter World awakens the largely undiscovered mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter's harsh, cruel exigencies. Paperback. 350 pgs.
This is the story of a vanished American industry - a tale of woodsmen and river drivers active before 1930 - in the Machias River Valley of down east Maine. The survivors of a world of almost inconceivable danger and discomfort share their lives, and their story unfolds with exceptional 1930s footage from the Machias Lumber Company.
"Woodsmen and River Drivers" carries us back to winter life in rough-hewn lumbercamps, a spring of raging waters, frozen boots, and life-threatening log jams. We hear of drivers drowning in the icy flood. We witness summer in the deafening mill as bare hands hold wood from unguarded saw blades. Finally, we accompany the lumber to port for loading aboard the last of the Machias schooners.
A vivid historical chronicle, "Woodsmen and River Drivers" is also an emotional experience. You will long remember the pride of people whose everyday life took ingenuity, raw muscle and skill. DVD. 30 minutes, 1989.
Escapist fantasies usually involve the open road, but Bernd Heinrich's dream was to focus on the riches of one small place—a few green acres along Alder Brook just east of the Presidential Mountains. The year begins as he settles into a cabin with no running water and no electricity, built of hand-cut logs he dragged out of the woods with a team of oxen. There, alone except for his pet raven, Jack, he rediscovers the meaning of peace and quiet and harmony with nature—of days spent not filling out forms, but tracking deer, or listening to the sound of a moth's wings.Throughout this year when “the subtle matters and the spectacular distracts,” Heinrich brings us back to the drama in small things, when life is lived consciously. His story is that of a man rediscovering what it means to be alive. Paperback. 258 pgs.