By William Bryant Logan
The writer of Dirt and Oak brings to lifestyles this fastest, such a lot maintaining, such a lot communicative portion of the earth.
Air sustains the dwelling. each creature breathes to dwell, replacing and altering the ambience. Water and mud spin and upward thrust, make clouds and fall back, fertilizing the dust. Twenty thousand fungal spores and part 1000000 micro organism trip in a sq. foot of summer season air. The chemical feel of aphids, the ultraviolet sight of swifts, a newborn’s knowledge of its mother’s breast―all ensue within the medium of air.
lack of awareness of the air is expensive. The artist Eva Hesse died of breathing in her fiberglass medium. millions have been sickened after September 11 through supposedly “safe” air. The African Sahel suffers drought partly simply because we fill the air with commercial dusts. With the passionate narrative kind and wide-ranging erudition that experience made William Bryant Logan’s paintings a touchstone for nature fans and environmentalists, Air is―like the contents of a bag of seaborne dirt that Darwin amassed aboard the Beagle―a treasure trove of discovery. 25 illustrations
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Extra resources for Air: The Restless Shaper of the World
The warmer air of the stratosphere stops them. Instead, the cloud tops bob up and down there, like corks on the ocean waves. The anvil-shaped top of the biggest thunderheads—the flattened crest of clouds that looks like the wave of Elvis Presley’s curls—marks the place where the rising air hits the stratospheric roof. All the action happens below. Oxygen is a major player. So are water vapor and carbon dioxide, though they account for only a tiny fraction of the volume of the air. More than 78 percent of the gas in the air is nitrogen.
She had to pull over. At that moment, a large branch tore loose from an overhanging tree. It landed on the car, crushing the driver’s side of the passenger compartment. Billy Levakis, only slightly wounded, held his wife’s hand as she died. They had changed seats only ten minutes before. For Brandon Smith, the weather was a problem that he had solved admirably. Unfortunately, he could not solve it until a few minutes before it occurred. For me, the weather was first an annoyance and then a matter of wonder.
But the back of the book is stuffed full of color plates, showing the fruiting body in detail and sometimes in cross section, often growing on whatever it feeds on. While accurate, the renderings are amazingly evocative of a whole world that is too small for us to see.
Air: The Restless Shaper of the World by William Bryant Logan