A Hiker’s Notebook about the Flora, Fauna and Fungi of a Healthy Mind and Body
The Compleat Ambler is a seasonal roadmap of discovery – about the history, lore, fables, and superstitions that surround us at every step. And more than that, it is a prescription to escape from the physical concrete of the cities and the mental entrapment of electronics in a renaissance of spirit outside in the wind and the rain. The intent is to inculcate an understanding of ecology, how everything fits together in interdependence. This then leads to where humans fit in, and to the necessity of balancing our needs with the physical limitations of our one and only home. If enough younger people come to appreciate the delicate balance of what evolution created for us to enjoy, they will vote to save it, for all of our sakes. Philosophically, this book is intended to be what Isaac Walton’s classic Compleat Angler was to fishing; the result of a long period of learning about the hiking world of the outdoors and a desire to share the knowledge thus acquired with the like-minded. Over the course of the last twenty-five years, a generation has come and gone; where there were few there now are many. Young people have returned to the forests and mountains in what may well be a diaspora, a break from the past toward a new future; every generation seeks its own path. These young adults are evident everywhere, hiking in ones, twos, and dozens in the newfound freedom absent the devices of connectivity. This book is for them. It goes beyond the physical mechanics and the details of boots and packs to the marvel of what nature has to offer – flora, fauna, fungi and fossils. It is equally for those retired from the paycheck continuum of all work and no play seeking a new start; there is nothing better than nature’s canvas of greens and browns with a splash of red now and then. The mental and physical health of those who walk in the woods is here, a tonic for the ready, willing and able.
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