The acorn woodpeckers who call “Waka! Waka!” throughout California's oak woodlands unite in marriages of up to ten birds and raise their young cooperatively. California ground squirrels roll in rattlesnake skins to hide their scent from hungry snakes. Manzanita's sensuous red skin peels away in time for summer solstice, allowing trunks and branches to produce extra sugars to fuel growth. Weaving up-to-the-minute scientific findings, personal observations, and flashes of humor into twenty-two masterful chapters, author and naturalist Kate Marianchild explores the intimate lives and interconnections of plants, animals, lichens, and fungi common to California's oak woodlands from woodrats, newts, and California quail to mistletoe, lace lichen, and California buckeye. Suffused with wonder and illustrated with lavish watercolors, this award-winning book is on its way to becoming a classic of California nature writing. Open it and you will be amazed to discover a fascinating world that “rustles, hums, and sings with the sounds of wild things.”
From the Inside Flap
A Californian may vacation in Yosemite, Big Sur, or Death Valley, but many of us come home to an oak woodland. Yet, while common, oak woodlands are anything but ordinary. In a book rich in illustration and suffused with wonder, author Kate Marianchild combines extensive research and years of personal experience to explore some of the marvelous plants and animals that the oak woodlands nurture. Acorn woodpeckers unite in marriages of up to ten mates and raise their young cooperatively. Ground squirrels roll in rattlesnake skins to hide their scent from hungry snakes. Manzanita's rust-colored, paper-thin bark peels away in time for the summer solstice, exposing sinuous contours that are cool to the touch even on the hottest day. Conveying up-to-the-minute scientific findings with a storyteller's skill, Marianchild introduces us to a host of remarkable creatures in a world close by, a world that "rustles, hums, and sings with the sounds of wild things."