Our Favorite Wilderness Artist Has a New Book on the Forests of California
Obi Kaufmann has literally written the book on California woodlands.
We’re not shy about our love for the work of Obi Kaufmann, an explorer, naturalist, and artist whose dedication to California is unparalleled among authors today. We’ve covered Obi’s work, and we’ve camped with him throughout California: North of Muir Woods, where a freshwater waterfall cascades onto Wildcat Beach; on a wind-whipped face of Mount Diablo north of the Bay Area as our tents reached near-horizontal in the gusts.
We’ve watched him paint, considered alongside him the largest pine cones in the west and the smallest of insects, stopped and knelt to scan the tracks of busy animal thoroughfares. To Obi, these are all clues to a worldview of nature steeped in wonderment but structured by science, biology, ecology.
Now, in The Forests of California, Obi has synthesized his knowledge of the Earth its many biomes, choosing one of the most complicated, controversial, and endangered ecosystems we have. Braiding colorful watercolors of local flora and fauna with expertly illustrated infographics and maps, Forests is a must-read for anyone who cranes their neck skyward in great groves of Sequoia; for those who wonder how mountains are shaped, how carbon is stored; how fires can replenish—or reduce to ash.
The lush, illustrative tome offers an instant education in one of the West’s greatest assets. From watersheds to wildlife; from micro to macro, Obi leaves no leaf unturned in his quest to capture the wonder and fragility of this important resource.
Read the 2021 Gardening Issue
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