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The Last Stand: A Journey Through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment Paperback – May 31 2007


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The Last Stand: A Journey Through the Ancient Cliff-Face Forest of the Niagara Escarpment + The Great Lakes: The Natural History of a Changing Region + Ontario Rocks: Three Billion Years of Environmental Change
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Natural Heritage (May 31 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1897045190
  • ISBN-13: 978-1897045190
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 19.8 x 24.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #221,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lesley Fox on July 6 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for anyone interested in ecology, Canadian heritage, geography, nature, history, science, and adventure. Author Peter Kelly provides the perfect mix all of all these things while he tells the story of how he discovered some of the oldest trees in Canada growing on the cliff faces of the Niagara Escarpment in Southern Ontario. Through the chapters you feel like you are right there with him, dangling from the cliffs, getting hissed at by turkey vultures, stung by bees, bit by ants and tangled in poison ivy. Furthermore, the full colour photos and detailed sketches of the ancient trees will blow you away and boggle your brain. This book is not only educational, but it is surprisingly funny, witty, inspiring and presents a strong case of why we should preserve and maintain our natural environment.
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By lakewood on June 5 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 visiting.
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By Tree Guy on April 2 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent story of the ancient forest on the Niagra Escarpment. Amazing pictures. Written in a way that anyone can understand. Highly recommended for anyone who has a love of trees.
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By Karen Sword on June 1 2010
Format: Paperback
I am really pleased to own this book. I had known for some time that the cedars on the cliff faces of the Niagara Escarpment included some very old specimens, but I had no way to discern which of the trees I saw as I hiked the Bruce Trail would qualify as 'ancient'. This book includes an excellent photograph section.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Although I have hiked a lot on various sections of Bruce Trail and other trails in the Niagara Escarpment, it never occured to me that this UN Biosphere Reserve has on its cliff-faces oldest Eatern White Cedars. The oldest, nicknamed 'The Ancient One' by the researcher and author Peter E. Kelley is 1,320 years old.

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.
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