Tracking Giants: Big Trees, Tiny Triumphs, and Misadventures in the Forest (Paperback)

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Tracking Giants: Big Trees, Tiny Triumphs, and Misadventures in the Forest By Amanda Lewis, Diana Beresford-Kroeger (Foreword by) Cover Image
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Staff Reviews

Amanda is chatty, full of energy, and funny. Intelligent? Initially, I’m doubtful. Amanda moves to Vancouver and, at the suggestion of a friend, takes up a quest to see every Champion tree (the largest of its species) in British Columbia. She heads off with no plant identification experience, either a lousy ID book or complete inability to use it, no measuring tools, and location guides often 10 to 20+ years old with wrong or missing reference points and/or badly written directions. At first, Amanda is happy to cross a tree off her list even if she’s not certain it’s a match; it might not be big enough, or maybe it’s an entirely different tree. As she gains ID skills and brings proper tools, she finds some Champions, but also discovers others have fallen or been damaged and therefore no longer count. Her enthusiasm seems about to wane just as she finds fun, skilled tree people to go Champion hunting with; ironically, by now she seems happy just hiking. Join this very intelligent woman on her adventures!

— Kay Wosewick


"I learned, I laughed, I sighed, I swooned. What an absolutely delightful romp through the forest."--Kate Harris, author of Lands of Lost Borders

"Intimate, open-hearted. . . A personal introduction to one of the most profoundly alive places on earth."--John Vaillant, author of The Golden Spruce

A funny, deeply relatable book about one woman's quest to track some of the world's biggest trees.

Amanda Lewis was an overachieving, burned-out book editor most familiar with trees as dead blocks of paper. A dedicated "indoorswoman," she could barely tell a birch from a beech. But that didn't stop her from pledging to visit all of the biggest trees in British Columbia, a Canadian province known for its rugged terrain and gigantic trees.

The "Champion" trees on Lewis's ambitious list ranged from mighty Western red cedars to towering arbutus. They lived on remote islands and at the center of dense forests. The only problem? Well, there were many. . .

Climate change and a pandemic aside, Lewis's lack of wilderness experience, the upsetting reality of old-growth logging, the ever-changing nature of trees, and the pressures of her one-year timeframe complicated her quest. Burned out again--and realizing that her "checklist" approach to life might be the problem--she reframed her search for trees to something humbler and more meaningful: getting to know forests in an interconnected way.

Weaving in insights from writers and artists, Lewis uncovers what we're really after when we pursue the big things--revealing that sometimes it's the smaller joys, the mindsets we have, and the companions we're with that make us feel more connected to the natural world.

About the Author

Amanda Lewisis a big-tree tracker and an award-winning book editor. Born in Dublin, Ireland, she now divides her time between the internet and a small island in British Columbia, Canada. Tracking Giants is her first book. Visit her at Beresford-Kroeger is a botanist and medical biochemist whose work uniquely combines western scientific thinking and the traditional concepts of the ancient world. Her most recent book is To Speak for the Trees: My Life's Journey From Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781771646734
ISBN-10: 177164673X
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication Date: May 30th, 2023
Pages: 256
Language: English