The Last Stand: A Journey Through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment Paperback – May 31 2007
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's easy to read and provides a great review of the research completed by the Cliff Ecology Research Group.(Lesley McDonell)
The Last Stand is a beautiful book, shot through with full colour, striking photographs of cliffs, cedars and those who discover them. It's an adventure story, a lesson in ecology and a close up look at the cliffs that surround us every day. After reading it, you will never again take that rampart of rock for granted.(Andrew Armitage)
This is a fascinating book about the discovery of old-growth trees where they were least expected.(Gloria Hildebrandt)
The most ancient and least disturbed forest ecosystem in eastern North America clings to the vertical cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. Prior to 1988 it had escaped detection even though the entire forest was in plain view and was being visited by thousands upon thousands of people every year. The reason no one had discovered the forest was that the trees were relatively small and lived on the vertical cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment. The Last Stand reveals the complete account of the discovery of this ancient forest, of the miraculous properties of the trees forming this forest (eastern white cedar), and of what is was like for researchers to live, work and study within this forest. The unique story is told with text, with stunning colour photographs and through vivid first-hand accounts. This book will stand the test of time as a testament to science, imagination and discovery.
About the Author
Peter E. Kelly completed his M.Sc. at the University of Western Ontario before joining the Cliff Ecology Research Group in the Department of Botany at the University of Guelph. He has devoted the last fifteen years to studying the ecology of the old-growth cedar forests of the Niagara Escarpment. He is co-author, with Douglas W. Larson of Cliff Ecology, published in 2000 by Cambridge University Press.
Douglas W. Larson completed his Ph.D. at McMaster University and is currently a Professor of Botany at the University of Guelph. He founded the Cliff Ecology Research Group at the University as a vehicle for the studying of structure and function of the Niagara Escarpment cliff ecosystem. He has also taught ecology for over 25 years. He is co-author, with Peter E. Kelly of Cliff Ecology, published in 2000 by Cambridge University Press.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is on a species of tree that grows on faces of cliffs withstanding centuries of bombardment by severe natural elements like wind, ice, snow, hail, rain, and intense heat and cold. However, it is written in such a manner that it makes a pleasant reading for novices.
The book is very informative. It describes in a very easy to read manner the features of the Niagara Escarpment and the biological characteristic of the eatern white cedar, of its medicinal and other uses by first nation people and by the early settlers, the Cliff-Face Forest, comparison with the oldest trees found elsewhere in the world, adventures in discovering ancient living trees in the Escarpment, the technicalities of measuring tree age (scientific terminology: Dendrochronology) and of exploring them by rappling down from the cliff tops, and finally the details of the 10 oldest eastern white cedars in the Escarpment. The 10 oldest cedars have been creatively given characteristic names on the basis of their appearances like The Ghost, The Cliff Giant, The Bowspirit, The Alien, The Hunchback, The Snake, The Ancient One, etc.
The background writing (apart from one jarring typographical error in the foreword by Sarah Harmer) is easy reading and not pedantic. The anecdotes about how tricky it is to explore this forest are nicely interspersed with history and geology of the area.
Most recent customer reviews
An amazing guide to one of Canada's irreplaceable wonders. I keep giving my copy of this beautiful book away - no hardship, this message needs to be spread. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Bob Reeves
I live on the Bruce Peninsula and only a few mile from the ancient cedar mention in this book. I found the book informative and a great coffee table book for guests to review while... Read morePublished 20 months ago by lakewood
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