Reading / Learning the Land


Does anyone have favorite book or other media recommendations to share on the subject of learning to read and understand the land? For example, understanding soil composition and qualities, changing climate / environmental influences etc. based on what is and is not growing in a specific location, and how? I’m in the PNW so regionally specific recommendations would be ideal, but grateful for any standout resource tips. Thanks!! :grinning:


If you have the time for it, see if you can find a local nature/geography/history volunteer organisation that runs yearlong courses on such topics, say once a month or so, which goes out to visit the surrounding area. When I took such a course (nature guide training) in the next little town, the course leader turned out to have an uncanny knowledge of all aspects of his beloved town and surroundings, as well as of its history, geology, ecology, and much much more!


I’ve always loved Tom Wessells, unfortunately his book is focused on New England, but still wonderful.


A while back I obtained an old book from a free box bin in Ashland OR. that was also written in the same vein as what Willem has recommended.-very cool thnx Willem! I will never forget this peculiar book from the 1980’s because it was a new way of thinking / seeing in nature. At the time I was learning to hang glide and it is also the way h.g. pilots must learn to read weather patterns, clouds, thermals etc… I cannot remember the name of the book but it is the only one I have ever seen on the subject, other than this one written by Tom Wessells. I do remember the author of the book I acquired being Australian writing specifically about the Outback. The Aboriginals honed this skill like no others- Being completely dependent upon what is before them as natural nomadic wanderers. Even more so than the Native Peoples of other regions who migrated seasonally. So my recommendation is research who is teaching the ways of reading the landscape in Australia.


Thanks, Willem! This is going on my reading list, along with another of his books, “Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to Reading the Forested Landscape” :grinning:


Thank you, Anneke, good advice! :grinning:


Thank you, Barefootsage, that sounds interesting, will see what i can find! :grinning: