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Books > Sport & Leisure > Natural history, country life & pets > General

Pollinators, Predators & Parasites - The Ecological Roles Of Insects In Southern Africa (Hardcover): Clarke Scholtz, Jenny... Pollinators, Predators & Parasites - The Ecological Roles Of Insects In Southern Africa (Hardcover)
Clarke Scholtz, Jenny Scholtz, Hennie de Klerk 2
R590 R420 Discovery Miles 4 200 Save R170 (29%) In stock

Pollinators, parasites, predators, decomposers – insects arguably play the most important roles in the functioning of the Earth’s ecosystems.

This lavishly illustrated and highly authoritative book is structured around southern Africa’s 13 distinct biomes; it

  • reflects the essential role insects play in most ecological processes such as pollination, predation, parasitism, soil modifi cation and nutrient recycling;
  • details how they serve as food for multitudes of other organisms, including bacteria and fungi, as well as specially adapted plants, insect-feeding arthropods, reptiles, birds and mammals;
  • depicts the insects and phenomena described in some 1,600 photographs that accompany the accessible text;
  • highlights the crucial role insects play as ecosystem service providers, giving intimate insight into the beauty and importance of insects in the natural world.
  • includes a guide to each of the 25 insect orders found in southern Africa, with images showing their diagnostic characters.

This key publication detailing the latest research in the field of entomology will appeal to academics and nature enthusiasts alike.
Big Pharma, Dirty Lies, Busy Bees And Eco Activists - 20 Environmental Stories From South Africa (Paperback): David Bristow Big Pharma, Dirty Lies, Busy Bees And Eco Activists - 20 Environmental Stories From South Africa (Paperback)
David Bristow
R260 R224 Discovery Miles 2 240 Save R36 (14%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

This exciting third book from David Bristow covers everything environmental in South Africa that you always wanted to know about.

The topics in this book include pesticides, poaching, petrol, plastics, population, pollination, pollution, pods, politics, pharmaceuticals, people, prophets, power and poop. Find out what industrially manufactured foods and large-scale farming are doing to us; how state capture has derailed our civil service and triggered sewerage spills, oil slicks and air pollution; who benefits most from health supplements; and what are the real costs of generating power and what works best – coal, nuclear, fracking, solar or wind.

You will also read about the good deeds of our eco heroes: those who bring water and hope to stricken towns; who farm regeneratively and sell us wholesome foods; who clean up other people’s messes; as well as individual superheroes who nurture their own back gardens. This book celebrates some of them. Written in the same engaging style as his previous two books in the series Stories from the Veld series (The Game Ranger, the Knife, the Lion and the Sheep and Of Hominins, Hunter-Gatherers and Heroes), this book is a journey into unravelling the environmental landscape of South Africa.

Sky Guide Africa South 2021 - Astronomical Handbook For Southern Africa (Paperback): Struik Nature Struik Nature Sky Guide Africa South 2021 - Astronomical Handbook For Southern Africa (Paperback)
Struik Nature Struik Nature
R150 R120 Discovery Miles 1 200 Save R30 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Sky Guide Africa South – 2021 is a practical resource for all astronomers, whether novice, amateur or professional. It covers the upcoming year’s planetary movements, predicted eclipses, meteor showers – any events and facets of the night sky that change annually. Star charts plot the evening sky for each season, facilitating the identification of stars and constellations. The guide contains a wealth of information about the Sun, Moon, planets, comets, meteors and bright stars, with photos, diagrams, charts and images. There’s also an excellent list of useful websites and a comprehensive glossary.

This annual publication is an invaluable guide for anyone with an interest in the night skies of southern Africa, from beginner through to professional.

The West Coast - From Melkbos To The Orange River (Paperback): Leon Nell The West Coast - From Melkbos To The Orange River (Paperback)
Leon Nell 1
R300 R240 Discovery Miles 2 400 Save R60 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Leon Nell’s sixth book to explore another captivating part of South Africa reveals a bounty of treasures that give the West Coast, or Weskus as locals call it, its particular allure.

Beginning at Melkbosstrand just north of Cape Town, and ending where the Orange River meets the Atlantic Ocean, the book divides the coastal stretch into four discrete and easily explored regions. Coastal and inland towns are described, together with their main
attractions, offering glimpses into early human history, local culture and traditions, nature and wildlife, and modern-day economic pursuits.

  • SOUTH encompasses the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve, various wildflower reserves, Darling, Evita se Perron and !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre
  • CENTRAL covers Yzerfontein and the West Coast National Park, including Langebaan Lagoon, Eve’s Footprints, Postberg Flower Reserve and Saldanha
  • NORTH explores the celebrated fishing industry at Velddrif, St Helena Bay and Elands Bay, and archaeological discoveries in the area
  • DIAMOND COAST spans Doringbaai, Vredendal, Port Nolloth, Kleinzee and Alexander Bay.

Framed by the Atlantic in the west and the winding N7 highway in the east, the West Coast is a place of varied landscapes and vast contrasts: from moody and at times tempestuous seas and windswept beaches, to verdant vineyards and kaleidoscopic swathes of wildflowers in spring. Wild yet tranquil, playful yet contemplative, dramatic yet understated – its eclectic offering beckons residents and travellers alike.
Wild As It Gets - Wanderings Of A Bemused Naturalist (Paperback): Don Pinnock Wild As It Gets - Wanderings Of A Bemused Naturalist (Paperback)
Don Pinnock
R300 R258 Discovery Miles 2 580 Save R42 (14%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

What’s your cat up to when you’re not around? Do dragons exist? Are clouds alive? Why did three men risk their lives for a single penguin egg?

These are just a few of the questions and stories puzzled over by award-winning travel writer and naturalist Don Pinnock. Assembled from years of wandering around Africa, this is a funny, entertaining and thought-provoking book.

Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa (Paperback, 2nd Revised Edition): John Manning Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa (Paperback, 2nd Revised Edition)
John Manning
R450 R359 Discovery Miles 3 590 Save R91 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

This fully updated edition of Field Guide to Wild Flowers of South Africa covers more than 1,100 species of flora, focusing on the most common, conspicuous and ‘showy’ plants around the region.

An informative introduction discusses plant diversity, vegetation types, and includes a key to identifying plant groups. The species descriptions follow and each is accompanied by:

  • a vivid photograph,
  • a distribution map showing range, and
  • an indication of the plant’s flowering season.

This invaluable, up-to-date guide provides the tools and information needed to identify flowering plants across South Africa.

A Life On Our Planet - My Witness Statement And Vision For The Future (Paperback): David Attenborough A Life On Our Planet - My Witness Statement And Vision For The Future (Paperback)
David Attenborough
R350 R277 Discovery Miles 2 770 Save R73 (21%) Ships in 7 - 10 working days

In this scientifically informed account of the changes occurring in the world over the last century, award-winning broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough shares a lifetime of wisdom and a hopeful vision for the future.

See the world. Then make it better.

I am 93. I've had an extraordinary life. It's only now that I appreciate how extraordinary.

As a young man, I felt I was out there in the wild, experiencing the untouched natural world - but it was an illusion. The tragedy of our time has been happening all around us, barely noticeable from day to day -- the loss of our planet's wild places, its biodiversity. I have been witness to this decline. A Life on Our Planet is my witness statement, and my vision for the future. It is the story of how we came to make this, our greatest mistake -- and how, if we act now, we can yet put it right.

We have one final chance to create the perfect home for ourselves and restore the wonderful world we inherited. All we need is the will do so.

Sasol Birds Of Southern Africa (Paperback, 5th Revised Edition): Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey Sasol Birds Of Southern Africa (Paperback, 5th Revised Edition)
Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey 1
R390 R312 Discovery Miles 3 120 Save R78 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

ow in its fifth edition, Sasol Birds of Southern Africa has been brought fully up to date by its expert author panel, with additional contributions from two new birding experts. Greatly enhanced, this comprehensive, best-selling guide is sure to maintain its place as one of Africa’s most trusted field guides.

Key features of the 5th revised edition:

  • More than 800 new illustrations
  • Scan and play bird calls using free downloadable app
  • Fully revised text (with latest species records), maps and plate annotations
  • Fresh input from new contributing authors
  • Comprehensive coverage of the region’s birds
The Larger Illustrated Guide Sasol Birds Of Southern Africa (Paperback): Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey The Larger Illustrated Guide Sasol Birds Of Southern Africa (Paperback)
Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey
R480 R383 Discovery Miles 3 830 Save R97 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

This larger edition is based on the updated and expanded fifth edition of Sasol Birds of Southern Africa, which has been brought fully up to date by its expert author panel, with additional contributions from two new birding experts.

Greatly enhanced, this comprehensive, best-selling guide is sure to maintain its place as one of Africa’s most trusted field guides.

Key features of the 5th revised edition:

  • More than 800 new illustrations
  • Scan and play bird calls using free downloadable app
  • Fully revised text (with latest species records), maps and plate annotations
  • Fresh input from new contributing authors
  • The larger format allows for better appreciation and easier use of the plates.
Scenic Cape Town (Hardcover, Revised Edition): Mark Skinner Scenic Cape Town (Hardcover, Revised Edition)
Mark Skinner
R260 R208 Discovery Miles 2 080 Save R52 (20%) Ships in 5 - 10 working days

Scenic Cape Town takes the reader on a photographic tour of the City, starting with Robben Island and Table Mountain, running through the City Centre, the Malay Quarter, Gardens and the Waterfront. Then along the Atlantic Seaboard through to Cape Point, back along the False Bay coastline to Constantia, Kirstenbosch and Southern Suburbs. The West Coast, Stellenbosch and the Winelands are also featured ending with Hermanus, Gordons Bay and Cape Agulhas. Mark Skinner’s photography is outstanding, and all the photography featured has been specially commissioned for this book. Mark contributed most of the Cape material for the highly successful Scenic South Africa.

A concise introduction and extended captions are provided by Sean Fraser who wrote the text for Scenic South Africa, and Seven Days in Cape Town.

The Weather Machine - How We See Into The Future (Paperback): Andrew Blum The Weather Machine - How We See Into The Future (Paperback)
Andrew Blum 1
R240 R190 Discovery Miles 1 900 Save R50 (21%) Ships in 7 - 10 working days

Shall we take an umbrella... or evacuate the city? The Weather Machine is about a miraculous-but-overlooked invention that helps us through our daily lives - and sometimes saves them - by allowing us to see into the future.

When Superstorm Sandy hit North America, weather scientists had predicted its arrival a full eight days beforehand, saving countless lives and astonishing us with their capability. Their skill is unprecedented in human history and draws on nearly every major invention of the last two centuries: Newtonian physics, telecommunications, spaceflight and super-computing.

In this gripping investigation, Andrew Blum takes us on a global journey to explain this awe-inspiring feat - from satellites circling the Earth, to weather stations far out in the ocean, through some of the most ingenious minds and advanced algorithms at work today. Our destination: the simulated models they have constructed of our planet, which spin faster than time, turning chaos into prediction, offering glimpses of our future with eery precision.

This collaborative invention spans the Earth and relies on continuous co-operation between all nations - a triumph of human ingenuity and diplomacy we too often shrug off as a tool for choosing the right footwear each morning. But in this new era of extreme weather, we may come to rely on its maintenance and survival for our own.

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (With PVC Cover) (Paperback, 5th Revised Edition): Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey Sasol Birds of Southern Africa (With PVC Cover) (Paperback, 5th Revised Edition)
Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey
R420 R335 Discovery Miles 3 350 Save R85 (20%) In stock

Now in its fifth edition, Sasol Birds of Southern Africa has been brought fully up to date by its expert author panel, with additional contributions from two new birding experts. Greatly enhanced, this comprehensive, best-selling guide is sure to maintain its place as one of Africa’s most trusted field guides.

Key features of the 5th revised edition:

  • More than 800 new illustrations
  • Scan and play bird calls using free downloadable app
  • Fully revised text (with latest species records), maps and plate annotations
  • Fresh input from new contributing authors
  • Comprehensive coverage of the region’s birds
Sasol VoŽls Van Suider-Afrika (Met PVC-Omslag) (Afrikaans, Paperback, 5de Hersiene Uitgawe): Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick... Sasol VoŽls Van Suider-Afrika (Met PVC-Omslag) (Afrikaans, Paperback, 5de Hersiene Uitgawe)
Ian Sinclair, Phil Hockey, Warwick Tarboton, Niall Perrins, Dominic Rollinson, …
R420 R335 Discovery Miles 3 350 Save R85 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Die vyfde uitgawe van Sasol VoŽls van Suider-Afrika is tans volledig bygewerk deur die deskundige skrywerspaneel, met bykomende bydraes van twee nuwe voŽldeskundiges. Hierdie omvattende topverkopergids is grootliks verbeter en sal beslis sy plek behou as een van die mees betroubare veldgidse in Afrika.

Belangrike kenmerke van die nuwe uitgawe:

  • Meer as 800 nuwe illustrasies
  • Skandeer en speel voŽlroepe deur die gratis aflaaibare toep te gebruik
  • Omvattende hersiening (met mees onlangse spesierekords), verspreidingskaarte en plaatbyskrifte
  • Nuwe toevoegings van bydraende skrywers
  • Omvattende dekking van die streek se voŽls
The Magic Of Reality - How We Know What's Really True (Hardcover): Richard Dawkins The Magic Of Reality - How We Know What's Really True (Hardcover)
Richard Dawkins 5
R795 R654 Discovery Miles 6 540 Save R141 (18%) Ships in 12 - 17 working days

What are things made of? What is the sun? Why is there night and day, winter and summer? Why do bad things happen? Are we alone? Throughout history people all over the world have invented stories to answer profound questions such as these. Have you heard the tale of how the sun hatched out of an emu's egg? Or what about the great catfish that carries the world on its back? Has anyone ever told you that earthquakes are caused by a sneezing giant? These fantastical myths are fun - but what is the real answer to such questions?

The Magic of Reality, with its explanations of space, time, evolution and more, will inspire and amaze readers of all ages - young adults, adults, children, octogenarians. Teaming up with the renowned illustrator Dave McKean, Richard Dawkins answers all these questions and many more. In stunning words and pictures this book presents the real story of the world around us, taking us on an enthralling journey through scientific reality, and showing that it has an awe-inspiring beauty and thrilling magic which far exceed those of the ancient myths.

We encounter rainbows, our genetic ancestors, tsunamis, shooting stars, plants, animals, and an intriguing cast of characters in this extraordinary scientific voyage of discovery. Richard Dawkins and Dave McKean have created a dazzling celebration of our planet that will entertain and inform for years to come.

Good Walks - Rediscovering the Soul of Golf at Eighteen of the Carolinas' Best Courses (Hardcover): Lee Pace Good Walks - Rediscovering the Soul of Golf at Eighteen of the Carolinas' Best Courses (Hardcover)
Lee Pace
R784 R623 Discovery Miles 6 230 Save R161 (21%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

This book celebrates the beauty, tradition, and variety of golf across the Carolinas, featuring eighteen beloved courses as experienced by the walking golfer. One of golf's earliest appeals was its health-giving benefits, with players walking some four miles over varied terrain, making stamina and endurance an important part of the sport. Most recreational players today choose motorized carts. But Lee Pace believes that the slower pace and on-the-ground view associated with walking gives one an opportunity to savor the experience, understand the nuances of course design and landscape architecture, and appreciate the small touches that make our region's best clubs and courses special. The Carolinas are a cradle for the game in the United States, making walking its courses an ideal way to connect past and present. Attractively illustrated with full-color photography, each essay tells the story of a course and how it is experienced on foot. Guiding readers around fabled courses like Pinehurst No. 2 and new classics like Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, private clubs and municipal courses, resort destinations and urban gems, Pace reflects on legendary course architects, famous tournaments, notable players, ties between the game's founders and the Carolinas, and more. Whether you're a committed traditionalist or new to the game, this book will inspire you to slow down and enjoy the best of what golf has to offer.

Southern African LBJs Made Simple (Paperback, Updated & Expanded Edition): Doug Newman, Gordon King Southern African LBJs Made Simple (Paperback, Updated & Expanded Edition)
Doug Newman, Gordon King
R260 R208 Discovery Miles 2 080 Save R52 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Now updated and expanded, Southern African LBJs made simple o ers a unique method for identifying and distinguishing the cryptic little birds that are known as‘little brown jobs’. Using a three-stage process, the book guides readers through successive stages, each of which takes them closer to identi ying the bird in question. As calls play a critical role in identi cation of these birds, individual calls and comparative tracks are included.

The book features:

  • NEW BIRD CALL ACCESS – instant access to calls using free downloadable call app to scan barcodes on the species pages
  • Concise text describing key ID criteria (such as size, habitat, habits, call and similar-looking and -sounding birds)
  • Updated distribution maps and carefully labelled illustrations.  is enhanced and updated new edition will be an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to be able to tell one LBJ from another.
Mountain Madness - Found and Lost in the Peaks of America and Japan (Paperback): Clinton Crockett Peters Mountain Madness - Found and Lost in the Peaks of America and Japan (Paperback)
Clinton Crockett Peters
R478 R391 Discovery Miles 3 910 Save R87 (18%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Field Guide To Renosterveld Of The Overberg (Paperback): Odette Curtis-Scott, Mike Goulding Field Guide To Renosterveld Of The Overberg (Paperback)
Odette Curtis-Scott, Mike Goulding
R450 R359 Discovery Miles 3 590 Save R91 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Part of the Fynbos biome, Renosterveld is one of the world’s most threatened vegetation types, with just 5% of its original extent remaining. Focusing specifically on the Renosterveld of the Overberg region in the Western Cape, this field guide is the first of its kind to cover this highly endangered ecosystem, characterised by nutrient-rich soil which has been exploited for agriculture. An in-depth introduction sets the scene, defining what Renosterveld is and giving some historical background to the ecology of the area. The plants section follows, featuring over 980 plant species from the common and ‘showy’ to the weird, obscure and often-overlooked. A shorter section of 140 animal species showcases the diversity of creatures found here despite severe habitat loss and fragmentation. Additional features include a glossary with supporting illustrations, guidelines for landowners and farmers, and a comprehensive index. Field Guide to Renosterveld of the Overberg promises to be an enduring record of this unique and severely threatened ecosystem. It will be a vital addition to any nature lover’s bookshelf. Sales points: Comprehensive coverage of Renosterveld species, identification at a glance, full-colour photographs of all species described, expert author team.

Avian Architects - Quick ID Guide To Nests And Eggs Of Southern African Birds (Paperback): Chris & Mathilde Stuart Avian Architects - Quick ID Guide To Nests And Eggs Of Southern African Birds (Paperback)
Chris & Mathilde Stuart
R90 R72 Discovery Miles 720 Save R18 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Another title in the ‘Quick Guide’ series, this compact little book is a handy identification guide to the surprising variety of nests built by southern African birds. Covering multiple species, it is arranged according to nest type - ground, woven, stick, cup, mud-pellet and
domed, as well as nests in tree holes, on water, on cliffs and in scrapes on the ground. It is packed with photographs and illustrations showing the ingenuity of the designs, the birds that built them, and the eggs that are laid in them. In pithy fashion, the text – matched to the photographs – describes:

  • nesting site and nest structure
  • building materials used to construct outer and inner layers
  • nesting habits of the architects
  • clutch size

A simple key to nest types on the inside front cover directs readers to the relevant section in the book.
Ocmulgee River User's Guide (Paperback): Joe Cook Ocmulgee River User's Guide (Paperback)
Joe Cook; Maps by Andy Carroll
R507 R420 Discovery Miles 4 200 Save R87 (17%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Skullduggery - Quick ID Guide To Southern And East African Mammal Skulls (Paperback): Chris & Mathilde Stuart Skullduggery - Quick ID Guide To Southern And East African Mammal Skulls (Paperback)
Chris & Mathilde Stuart
R90 R72 Discovery Miles 720 Save R18 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

In this short but informative guide, trusted authors Chris and Mathilde Stuart turn mammal ID on its head – literally. The identification of mammal skulls is the subject of this latest addition to the quirky ‘Quick Guide’ series, and covers the most common skulls readers are likely to encounter in the wild – from easily recognisable species such as elephant, hippo, rhino, baboons, antelope, whales and dolphins, to the more challenging family groups: dogs, cats, hyaenas, equids, pigs, civets and genets, mongooses, rats and mice, bats, sengis, shrews, moles, hares and rabbits, hyrax, and squirrels.
 
Each entry features:

  • Close-up photographs showing the entire skull, teeth and, where available, upper and lower jaws
  • Pointers to diagnostic features
  • Average measurement for skull length
  • Short description highlighting main features of each skull and tooth structure
  • Dental formula for teeth in upper and lower jaws

A brief introduction, with labelled photographs, covers anatomy as well as dentition; and a quick-reference photographic key to the main animal groups appears on the inside front cover.
Flying Mammals - Quick ID Guide To The Bats Of Africa (Paperback): Chris & Mathilde Stuart Flying Mammals - Quick ID Guide To The Bats Of Africa (Paperback)
Chris & Mathilde Stuart
R90 R72 Discovery Miles 720 Save R18 (20%) Ships in 11 - 16 working days

Following the success of earlier ‘Quick Guide’ books, this slim little volume tackles one of the few groups of mammals that can fly. Divided into large fruit bats and smaller insecteating bats, this ultimate quick identification guide covers Africa’s 12 bat families. An informative introduction touches on evolution, flight, echolocation and reproduction, demystifying an animal that is all too often misunderstood. The text describes the facial characteristics and wing shapes common to each family and points out features that can help to distinguish between them. But it is the photographs and annotated line drawings that are most useful for identification. They include bats in flight and roosting sites, and close-ups of facial structures and wings that highlight key diagnostic attributes. An added extra is a photographic section showing the skulls of a variety bats.

This is a valuable guide for anyone with an interest in wildlife and its less common members.

Skuif - Die Evolusie Van Ons Wereld Vanaf Die Begin Van Lewe Tot In Die Toekoms (Afrikaans, Hardcover): Martin Ince Skuif - Die Evolusie Van Ons Wereld Vanaf Die Begin Van Lewe Tot In Die Toekoms (Afrikaans, Hardcover)
Martin Ince; Translated by Esta Grobler
R480 R452 Discovery Miles 4 520 Save R28 (6%) Ships in 10 - 15 working days

Skuif handel oor die evolusie van ons wÍreld vanaf die begin van lewe tot in die toekoms. Die boek gee ’n ongelooflike oorsig van elke tydperk in die aarde se tektoniese geskiedenis. Hierdie verstommende visuele voorstelling van die aarde se geologiese geskiedenis beskryf die verskuiwing van landmassas en die ontwikkeling van die kontinente soos ons dit vandag ken.

Met pragtige wÍreldkaarte en illustrasies wat die oorsprong van lewe uitbeeld en die aarde se moontlike toekoms vorspel, is Skuif die ideale gids tot ons planeet se geskiedenis. Martin Ince beskryf op toeganklike wyse wat die impak van geologiese veranderinge op die lewe op aarde is.

Why Are We Here? - The Story of the Origin, Evolution, and Future of Life on Our Planet (Paperback): Bruce Brodie Why Are We Here? - The Story of the Origin, Evolution, and Future of Life on Our Planet (Paperback)
Bruce Brodie
R522 R444 Discovery Miles 4 440 Save R78 (15%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days
Totch: a Life in the Everglades (Hardcover, New): Loren Totch Brown Totch: a Life in the Everglades (Hardcover, New)
Loren Totch Brown
R383 R325 Discovery Miles 3 250 Save R58 (15%) Ships in 7 - 11 working days

"Totch Brown's memoirs of vanished days in the Ten Thousand Islands and the Everglades--the last real frontier in Florida, and even today the greatest roadless wilderness in the United States--are invaluable as well as vivid and entertaining, for Totch is a natural-born story-teller, and his accounts of fishing and gator hunting as well as his life beyond the law as gator poacher and drug runner are evocative and colorful, fresh and exciting."--from the foreword by Peter Matthiessen In the mysterious wilderness of swamps, marshes, and rivers that conceals life in the Florida Everglades, Totch Brown hung up his career as alligator hunter and commercial fisherman to become a self-confessed pot smuggler. Before the marijuana money rolled in, he survived excruciating poverty in one of the most primitive and beautiful spots on earth, Chokoloskee Island, in the mangrove keys known as the Ten Thousand Islands located at the western gateway to the Everglades National Park. Until he wrote this memoir--recollections from his childhood in the twenties that merge with reflections on a way of life dying at the hands of progress in the nineties--Totch had never read a book in his life. Still, his writing conveys the tension he experienced from trying to live off the land and within the laws of the land. Told with energy and authenticity, his story begins with the handful of souls who came to the area a hundred years ago to homestead on the high ground formed from oyster mounds built and left by the Calusa Indians. They lived close to nature in shacks built of tin or palmetto fans; they ate wild meat, Chokoloskee chicken (white ibis), swamp cabbage, even--when they were desperate--manatee; and they weathered all manner of natural disaster from hurricanes to swarms of "swamp angels" (mosquitoes). In his grandpa's day, Totch writes, outlaws and cutthroats would "shoot a man down just as quick as they'd knock down an egret, especially if he came between them and the plume birds." His grandparents were both contemporaries of Ed J. Watson, the subject of Peter Matthiessen's best-selling Killing Mr. Watson, and Totch is featured in the recent award-winning PBS film Lost Man's River: An Everglades Adventure with Peter Matthiessen. He also appeared in Wind Across the Everglades, the 1957 Budd Schulberg movie in which Totch and Burl Ives sing some of Totch's Florida cracker songs. Loren G. "Totch" Brown was born in Chokoloskee, Florida, in 1920. After purchasing his first motorboat at the age of thirteen (and retiring from formal schooling after the seventh grade) he worked as an alligator hunter, commercial fisherman, crabber, professional guide, poacher, marijuana runner, singer, and songwriter.

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