Krafel gets his insights while exploring granite basins deep in the Rockies that once cradled Ice Age glaciers, or while watching a million heliotropic buttercups' synchronized turning toward the sun on the Arctic tundra, or while climbing into an ancient cliff dwelling that housed the Hopis' ancestors. His deeply personal, lyrical meditation beckons readers to see the world as a spiral of coevolution, whereby life forms grow symbiotically through small, accumulating changes, rather than in linear cause-and-effect fashion. A former park ranger and naturalist with the National Park Service for eight years, Krafel is now a teacher in Northern California, where he and his wife founded Chrysalis, a chartered public school operating out of a natural science museum, with emphasis on nature study outdoors. Originally self-published 10 years ago under the title Shifting, this quietly ambitious book is an individualistic attempt to reorient everyday observation along the lines of the Gaia hypothesis formulated by scientists James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis, who envision Earth as a single, gigantic, self-regulating organism. The book unfolds as a series of perceptual exercises and intense interactions with the natural world. Though Krafel seems to aspire to the soaring lyricism of Annie Dillard or Loren Eiseley, he seldom achieves their profundity, and while some of his examples are illuminating, others are murky or pedestrian. Nevertheless, his inquiry beautifully underscores his central message that we tend to become what we practice: hope spirals into new possibilities, while cynicism restricts one's range of vision and begets more cynicism. Line drawings.
This is exactly what I needed for my classes. It looks great and will work well for my school classes!Published 23 months ago by Erin
I first read this book years ago and just reread this retitled edition. This book has always touched me with the attention to detail that present us with a different view of the... Read morePublished on November 24, 2012 by Vanston Shaw
I am a nature nut like this author, but he has a real knack of telling stories that reveal nature as an on-going experiment. What he has discovered is that people as groups (e.g. Read morePublished on March 7, 2011 by William F Rogers
This is an outstanding account of observation and the understanding of processes that an enlightend thinker can find in those observations. Read morePublished on October 18, 2002
Paul Krafel's Seeing Nature is one of those rare little books that change people's lives. Like The Little Prince and Jonathan Livingston Seagull, it has the power to capture the... Read morePublished on December 6, 2000 by caspar davis
At first I was concerned this might be no more than a foofy nature book, but by the end, I was way into it. Read morePublished on July 23, 2000