One need not read too far back into the history of natural history to encounter the idea of spontaneous generation – the idea that life could be created directly out of rotting material. It was a widely held, even thoroughly tested, theory that stood the test of a far longer period of time than many of our present scientific ideas have existed.
News of newly published or forthcoming books.
One of the great treats of attending scholarly events is the presence of university presses and other academic publishers who – on occasion – will have with them a copy of a highly anticipated forthcoming book for examination. Such was the good luck I had recently at Entomology 2017 with the forthcoming second edition of “Garden Insects of North America” by Whitney Cranshaw and David Shetlar.
“No man is an island entire of itself; every man / is a piece of the continent, a part of the main” So wrote John Donne in his oft-quoted Meditation XVII. Theodore Fleming, we can assume has, at least at some point in the past, likely read Donne’s famous meditation, and perhaps was even thinking about it as he examined the discoveries he made in his study of cactus pollination and pollinators near Sonora, Mexico.
When it comes to field guides pertinent to the United States and Canada, while the massive full country editions are often very helpful for study and reference, the breath-taking variety of eco-regions to be found within the continent’s temperate zone renders such volumes often far too large and cumbersome for field use.