New England’s Roadside Ecology:  Explore 30 of the Region’s Unique Natural Areas

by Thomas Wessels

Published by Timber Press on September 14, 2021

Attention hikers of all skill levels!  Have you ever wondered about the landscape and plant life you see around you?  What stories would they share if you could read their messages?

If you live in New England or plan to visit, Thomas Wessels offers an indispensable guide that deciphers those messages.  Wessels has identified 30 short hikes (no longer than 4 hours) each with distinctive flora and features.  You will learn, for example: 

      • how to recognize a pillow and cradle;
      • where to find one of the largest bearberry patches in New England;
      • where the Fibonacci sequence is hidden in nature;
      • where to find a krummholz;
      • what a border tree is;
      • where to find the cave that inspired Herman Melville’s Moby Dick.

Several of these hikes are not typically highlighted in other guidebooks.  Furthermore, they represent fragile or unique landscapes within the region.  As such, Wessels gently reminds the reader to stay on the prescribed paths.  Bravo!

New England’s Roadside Ecology is likely to become a perennial reference for years to come, as long as we don’t destroy the very attractions we seek.

Why you should not miss this one:

  • Who knew there was so much ecological diversity in New England?
  • The many captioned photos enrich the stories even if not hiking.
  • If you already have Reading the Forested Landscape and Forest Forensics, both by Tom Wessels, this book seems to complete a trilogy. 


Thanks to NetGalley, Timber Press, and the author, Thomas Wessels, for the opportunity to read a digital copy in exchange for this review.   

#NetGalley  #NewEnglandsRoadsideEcology

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