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By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas

One of our best literary naturalists turns her famed observational eye on herself during this eye-catching memoir.
How is it that an untrained, self-taught observer and author may perhaps see issues that pro anthropologists frequently overlooked? How is pioneering girl, operating in male-dominated fields, with no sponsors or credentials, may possibly accomplish greater than such a lot of extra celebrated and professionally knowledgeable males may deal with? How do we all release the knowledge of the realm just by paying shut attention?
With their intelligence and acute perception into different cultures and species, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's many books have received a large and loving viewers. In A Million Years with You, this mythical writer stocks tales from her lifestyles, displaying how a formative event in South West Africa (now Namibia) within the Nineteen Fifties taught her tips on how to be aware of the traditional knowledge of animals and humankind.
As a tender girl, Marshall Thomas joined her relations on an anthropological day trip to the Kalahari wasteland, the place she carried out fieldwork one of the Ju/wa Bushmen, later publishing her findings as The innocuous People. After university, a marriage, and the start of 2 childrens, she lower back to Uganda presently prior to Idi Amin's bloody coup. Her talents as an observer and a author will be placed to the attempt on many different events operating with canines, cats, cougars, deer—and with extra own struggles. A Million Years with You is a strong memoir from a pioneering lady, an icon of yankee letters.

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Extra resources for A Million Years with You: A Memoir of Life Observed

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The waved albatross. The courting ritual of this elegant seabird is an intricate affair, captured in these sketches by Frederick Peabody Drowne in October 1897. ‘They have a manner of fencing with their bills that is ludicrous and remarkable,’ wrote Charles Harris, chief naturalist on the expedition. Reproduced from Walter Rothschild and Ernst Hartert, Novitates Zoologicae 6, no. 2 (1899): 7–205; see Drowne’s entry for 26 October 1897. indd 41 1/28/14 10:26 AM 42 The Galápagos Once the chick is strong enough to be left alone, it stands a good chance of surviving.

Treading water beside the flat-bottomed research boat, just about to duck into the helmet to commence the dive, he saw a huge shark, ‘a giant of a generous eleven or twelve feet, cutting the water with his great dark fin’. The sight would have been enough to send most people scrambling back up the ladder and into the boat, but this was not an option. Beebe had been forever telling his colleagues that sharks are harmless; he could hardly bottle out now. On the bottom, with the shark still on his mind, he found the restricted field of vision imposed by the helmet somewhat alarming.

Indd 32 1/22/14 10:11 AM Seabirds 33 communicates something about the male’s nutritional status. We know this because if a male blue-footed booby is deprived of food for just forty-­ eight hours, the colour will rapidly drain from his feet. This is because he’s no longer getting the natural carotenoid pigments from his diet that he uses to gloss his feet. Give him back his food, and the colour will flush back into them in a matter of hours. Second, foot colour may also reveal something about health.

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