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.
The main reason though is that these books go into such extreme detail, the absolute minutae of the natural life and explain it in well-written prose and his own pen & ink drawings. His world is one where evolution is beautiful and following the development of the animal life and their adaptions that dovetail into the plants, the weather that year and the seasons overall is wondrous. Something beautiful. He doesn't see a difference between us and the animals, we are all one and go to make this great humming planet of life, Gaia, the earth.
*Actually he's not quite the balanced man, apart from being a professor of biology he's was also a champion ultra-marathoner, holder of the American records for running both the 156 miles in 24 hours race and the 100 miles one.
I wouldn't think his books appeal to everyone, you have to like reading non-fiction, nature books in particular, but if you do, then I can't think of any writer more enjoyable than Bernd Heinrich.read more