In the Pines, In the Pines: An Excerpt from Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American Forest, by Lawrence S. Earley
A longleaf pine forest on a bright day is a light and sound show.
There's the verdant ground cover, mostly grasses that sway to each
hint of breeze. The forest is open with widely scattered trees, and
the early morning sun casts angled shadows from the pine trunks; by
midday each tree will be standing in its own small pool of shadow.
Here and there, dense groups of young pine saplings gather and the
tufts of infant pines are nearly indistinguishable from the
wiregrass. Above, the sky burns azure. The sound emanates from the
treetops, a low and constant tone like the surf crash of a distant
sea. Even on a perfectly still day you may hear this roar in the
distance, as if somewhere an individual tree was gathering and
amplifying some ambient sound. The great eighteenth-century explorer
William Bartram described it as "the solemn symphony of the
steady Western breezes, playing incessantly, rising and falling
through the thick and wavy foliage."
Looking for Longleaf: The Fall and Rise of an American
Lawrence S. Earley
The University of North
Carolina Press, $27.50
"Penguins are 10 times older than humans and have been here for a very, very long time," said Daniel Ksepka, Ph.D., a North Carolina State University research assistant professor. Dr. Ksepka researches the evolution of penguins and how they came to inhabit the African continent.
Because penguins have been around for over 60 million years, their fossil record is extensive. Fossils that Dr. Ksepka and his colleagues have discovered provide clues about migration patterns and the diversity of penguin species.
to view all of our Pizza Lunch Podcasts!
A free daily summary of the latest news in scientific research. Each story is summarized concisely and linked directly to the original source for further reading.
An early peek at each new issue, with descriptions of feature articles, columns,
and more. Every other issue contains links to everything in the latest issue's table of contents.
News of book reviews published in
and around the web, as well as other noteworthy happenings in the world of science books.
To sign up for automatic emails of the
Update and Scientists' Nightstand issues, create an
online profile, then sign up in the
My AmSci area.