Among the Ancients
In her new book, Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests, biologist and nature writer Joan Maloof takes readers on both a practical and lyrical journey to some of the oldest and least known forests in the land. On this journey, from giant hemlock groves in Pennsylvania to a lonely stand of pines in Wisconsin, readers will delight in the web of life as observed by a scientist with a poet’s sensibility.
In Among the Ancients, Maloof chronicles her journey to twenty-six forests—one in each state east of the Mississippi—and provides detailed directions and practical field advice for travelers wishing to craft their own adventure. Her keen scientific mind and sheer joy in being part of our planetary home will also appeal to armchair adventurers as they camp with her under “the Big Tree” in Alabama, dodge poisonwood sap in Florida’s Lignumvitae Key, and tangle with a bat in the Michigan wilderness. The book is printed on 100% post-consumer waste paper.
“Among the Ancients is a gift for people from all walks of life. It is a guidebook not only to beautiful, sacred places, but also to reconnecting to the reverence for our beautiful planet we call home.” —Julia Butterfly Hill, activist and best-selling author
“This is a guide that could change your life, or at least the way you see America. In lucid, elegant prose, Joan Maloof takes you on ecological, spiritual, and aesthetic tramps through the very best that remains of the eastern forest that existed before humans had much say over the landscape.
“Among the Ancients laments all we’ve lost through centuries of plunderous logging, and critiques the narrow, ‘production’ viewpoint of all too many modern foresters. But it’s never heavy-handed and is ultimately uplifting, celebrating the wonder and beauty still available to those willing to hike a bit, and to let Maloof expand their sensibilities.” —Tom Horton, winner of the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing
Joan Maloof, Ph.D., is a professor of biology and environmental studies at Salisbury University in Salisbury, MD, and is also the author of Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest, published by the University of Georgia Press in 2005.