Three guides for learning in nature and traveling through the Earth’s past

Three guides for learning in nature and traveling through the Earth's past

Books. With the closure of cinemas, theaters, concert halls, and museums, the expression “cultural outing” has sunk into the nebulous depths of memory and is increasingly becoming science fiction, if not. is fantasy. How then to feed his brain outside his home, to satisfy his curiosity, to savor knowledge? A simple suggestion: walk in nature and look at the Earth under your feet …

Publisher specializing in nature, Delachaux and Niestlé has just published two books seeking to arouse interest in this mineral world that we walk around without looking at it. The task is not simple, admits the Swiss geologist Jürg Meyer in his book Identify rocks: “Very young, children learn about animal species. They discover new animals and new plants by reading picture books, listening to stories, but also at school, drawing, or during manual work. Our children therefore truly benefit from training in recognizing plants and animals. Nothing like this is done for the knowledge of rocks and minerals. (…) What an unfair handicap! “

A magnifying glass and a lot of patience

It is true that nature does not help because the concept of species, so practical in the living world, does not exist in the land of pebbles, where the elements mix galore to give innumerable combinations. Jürg Meyer, therefore, delivers “Identification keys” in order to become a real « Sherrock Holmes ». Like Conan Doyle’s detective, the amateur geologist will have to arm himself with a magnifying glass and a lot of patience to distinguish macrocrystalline rocks from microcrystalline, compacts from porous, hard from soft … But, in doing so, he will travel in the world. past of Earth.

Analogous walk in the Guide to fossils. Its author Frank Rudolf offers a catalog of 400 animal and plant species that are most often found in petrified form, making, for each family, the link with its current representatives. Marine species largely predominate with many corals, sponges, mollusks – among which we find the famous spiral ammonites -, arthropods, and fish. But it is not forbidden to dream of the discovery of a cave bear or mammoth tooth …

For those, finally, who prefer the living to the inert, let us point out the series of nature guides of the Franco-Swiss press and publishing group Salamandre. The latter has just published the second version of his Nature guide in the forest which allows you not to be glued by your children when they ask, during Sunday outings, what is a particular tree or bird called. This, you see, is a white service tree and this is a torcol anteater… Who opposed nature and culture?

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