Each week for an entire year, biologist and author David Haskell visited and observed the same 1-square-meter plot of land—about 10 square feet—in an old-growth forest in Tennessee. In his book, The Forest Unseen, Haskell escorts us on a journey through the four seasons as he zooms in on the life cycle of flowers and critters and the machinations of miniature ecosystems: complex communities that form our world as a single organism of living and nonliving things.
Haskell, a professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., offers the reader more than august observation; he is bearing witness to the marvel of life. In very down-to-earth terms, Haskell lyrically expounds on the science of photons and sunlight, the interdependence of root systems and even the philosophy of consciousness: When it comes to pain, we are not so different from the caterpillar. So please, step lightly.
These are not field notes. They are poetry. Hear more of it at 11 a.m. when Haskell speaks at Windows on the World Theater as part of the museum's Science on Saturdays series. This event is suitable for all ages. Admission is free. —Lisa Sorg