Winter World

 

Winter World **** by Bernd Heinrich

I’m joining Jain with my Edible Book Review at Food for Thought, a delicious blog for readers with an appetite for the written word.

The weather outside is frightful . . . while we thankfully have not had as much snow as the Northeast, it’s been colder than normal here in the sunny South. Snowbound, I had the perfect excuse to stay indoors and read a couple of weeks ago. This book provided *interesting reading while I was tucked away, cozy indoors, watching the birds and wondering how nature adapts to the frigid temperatures and winter landscape.

(*interesting reading for those defined as a bit of a Discovery Channel or Animal Planet geek :-)

“From flying hot-blooded squirrels and diminutive kinglets to sleeping black bears and torpid turtles to frozen insects and frogs, the animal kingdom relies on staggering evolutionary innovations to survive winter. Unlike their human counterparts, who alter the environment to accommodate physical limitations, most animals are adapted to an amazing range of conditions. In Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival, biologist, illustrator, and award-winning author Bernd Heinrich explores his local woods, where he delights in the seemingly infinite feats of animal inventiveness he discovers there.”

“Because winter drastically affects the most elemental component of all life — water — radical changes in a creature’s physiology and behavior must take place to match the demands of the environment. Some creatures survive by developing antifreeze; others must remain in constant motion to maintain their high body temperatures. Even if animals can avoid freezing to death, they must still manage to find food in a time of scarcity, or store it from a time of plenty.”

“Beautifully illustrated throughout with the author’s delicate drawings and infused by his inexhaustible enchantment with nature, Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival awakens the wonders and mysteries by which nature sustains herself through winter’s harsh, cruel exigencies.”

  I set a Winter World-inspired table with pine cones, lichen covered branches, moss & a few nuts for foraging squirrels. . . on a landscape made of a jute runner layered on a snowy white quilt.

“Perhaps none depends on snow more than the snowshoe hare. The size of this hare’s tracks are out of proportion to the animal’s size. As a result of its low foot-loading, the hare can walk, hop and run very near the top of the fluffiest snow. As a consequence, the more that snow accumulates, throughout the winter, the more easily the hare can reach its food, the fresh twigs of small trees and brush.”

Woodland botanicals, snowy white orbs, and branches fill my lanterns on the table. . .

Rock Salt is sprinkled to mimic an icy coating, rather than to melt the snow on the sidewalk :-)

I was surprised to learn that Crossbills often lay their eggs in winter, so they are able to raise their young when the seeds of spruce or pine cones are most plentiful.

Heinrich is a scientist with a talent for relating his love for nature, his appetite for discovery, and his humorous insights in a fashion that is enjoyable for the reader.

My appetite led me to Pine Cone Cheese for Food for Thought, you can find a recipe here.

Winter can be difficult for birds when the days are short and nights are often cold and long. The natural food supply has been consumed or is hidden by snow.  Water can be hard to find, and food needed to provide the energy to keep birds warm might be scarce.

Food for Thought also led me to make pine cone bird treats for our feathered friends. . . snowy day fun for kids if you have the materials on hand, with a recipe found here.

I hope you will fly over to join the fun as I co-host Food for Thought with Jain here, Feb. 1st.

You’re invited to nosh your way thru your novel, munch upon a memoir, take a bite out of a biography, digest the pages of a decorating book, or feast upon a favorite cookbook. . .sharing an edible passage or food-inspiration from your book~

Rate your book & link it to Amazon:

***** EXCELLENT!
**** good read
*** average read
** so-so
* just skip it~

Other Winter World Table details:

Bird Dishes: Gracie China/Home Goods

White Plates: Oneida Westerly Basket

Jute Runner & Napkins: Pottery Barn

Thank you for your visit & to my hostesses:

55 responses to “Winter World

  1. A most perfect and beautiful table that so perfectly compliments the book you have reviewed. Love the pine cone cheese!

  2. Love it! I love your woodsy tablescape…I love the way you tie your reading with Food for Thought and Tablescaping all in one…..it is absolutely enchanting and mimics the snow and cold outdoor but the lanterns just ‘warm it all up’…..
    I’ve made the cheese pinecone spread recipe in the past and had forgotten all about it… thanks for the reminder.

  3. hi there, love your new header~

    oh you are brave with another animal book… thank goodness they have a warm table to take shelter in! you know i love this so much, reminds me of my woodland table i did earlier, except the seasons have changed :)

    brilliance again with the rock salt… i could marvel over you every single day!

    the pinecone is pretty, i did that one year too, all my old food, never to be seen again unless it comes in a lc box :( waaaaaaaaaaa, but wait this is your life, its still fresh and pretty, THANK GOD!

    love seeing your feeder with the brilliant blue, stunning… and they are even using the covey! wow how wonderful for them!!! the pine cones are so wonderful for them, i used to do that when i lived at tahoe, never tried it here but i need some cheaper bird feeders, my finches keep growing and growing, i have around 200 a day now, they eat 3 feeders a day, i cannot afford all the thistle they can eat, it turning into a second mortgage!

    beautiful beautiful post, you are my favorite blog, always prettty, tasty and readable!

  4. Great post! You created a lovely, creative and informative post. I love your mosaics. That took some time. I am just learning how to do them. What program did you use? Your pine cone spread is pretty and inviting for winter time with your winter tablescape. Love the bird dishes and real nests with the branches and lanterns. I admired the napkins in Pottery Barn just last week. They look great with your selections.
    Very nice book. I would like to know more about birds.

  5. Mary, your table is one of my favorites. I’m in love with those sweet bird plates. I’m rushing over to Home Goods tomorrow in hopes that I might find a set. How perfect they are on the white plates that are much like my Nantucket Basket plates. You always offer a feast for the eyes. And it is touching to see you offering a feast to all the birds in your yard. Beautiful, beautiful post! ~ Sarah

  6. The bird dishes caught my eye, so elegant but whimsical. And I love your jute table runner over the quilt. You really know how to accessorize! The rock salt is a great touch. Thanks for sharing a beautiful tablescape!

    XO,
    Jane

  7. Mary,
    On Crooked Creek is another of your blog friends who believe that we are the keepers of our wildlife environment. We now reside in an urban setting, yet keep our birdfeeders full to feed our birds, bunnies and squirrels that frequent our backyard. I adore your tablescape! Rock salt as ice crystal, and almonds on cream cheese as a pinecone. Your creativity is, truly, inspiring! Thank you for this lovely post and it’s gentle reminder to” Feed the Birds”!
    Fondly,
    Pat

  8. Gorgeous “winter world” Mary.
    I also enjoyed Oogy’s story.

  9. Unreal gorgeous. I love the use of the lanterns, the bunny and all of your fabulous china and accessories. The dishes with the birds are stunning. Beautiful tablescape. Love it all. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  10. Lovely photos as always, Mary!
    It will be a record breaking cold and snowy winter here in the NE. I have to admit I am not disliking it as much as I disliked the very hot and humid summer we had.
    I love the little bird dishes! If I see those at my local Home Goods they will go home with me :)
    ♥ Pat

  11. Beautiful Winter Tablescape. Bright white with the touch of green and the filled lanterns make for a lovely setting. The little bird saucers are so pretty. My cheese filled cracker served from the very creative “pinecone” can be rested on this plate between bites. Is that acceptable?
    I so appreciate your efforts to post the perfect setting and review. The hours it takes to achieve this are very evident in the finished product. The winter lake pics and the bird pics are stunning. CGE

  12. Wonderful post! Your table setting looks amazing!

  13. Those green glasses, just fabulous!

  14. Sounds like a fascinating book. I love how you’ve taken the book as your inspiration for the table scape. I’m not usually a fan of table scapes, but I love how you have tied everything together.

  15. I love the table deco.. really brings the warmth into the icy cold winter.

  16. FANTASTIC!! Again, I see the creativity you possess when those beautiful black lanterns are decorated for another season! The white quilt adds such a terrific texture and “snowy” feel to the table and the rock salt looks like the real thing! The bird plates go so well with your snowshoe hare and theme. The green stemware provides a striking contrast to the white. Then, the terrifically decorated cheese/cracker plate is the “icing on the cake”! LOVE it all!

    DD

  17. You set the most beautiful tables and then take the most gorgeous photos of them. Those bird dishes are absolutely to die for. I can’t believe they were from Home Goods. The earthy materials and the white paired with the green are just exquisite. I loved hearing about the animals and their adaptations for winter. Thanks for sharing and I will have some of the pinecone appetizer before I leave.

  18. Deligthful post and your pinecones are a perfect addition to the pretty winter themed table setting.

  19. Happier Than A Pig in Mud

    What a beautiful table! Love your bird dishes and the pinecone cheese is just such a fun idea-enjoy:@)

  20. The books looks wonderful. I love the illustrations. The table top is wonderful too.

  21. I have just spent the most delightful time looking at each photo and each element in each photo. Your photography skills are amazing and the table is most beautiful. I loved those bird plates – sad to say no home goods in this neck of the woods – I also loved the charges and the jute with the white quilt. Most wonderful. Thanks for sharing all the detailed info too. I love learning.

  22. Gorgeous!! Your photos and tablescape are beautiful. I love the nature inspired table.
    Hugs,
    Sherry

  23. These book-related posts of yours are always beyond lovely.

    Thanks.

    =)

  24. This was a lovely, educational post. I love the spin you put on your reading! The illustrations in the books were just incredible — so detailed and sweet. Your table scape was one of the nicest I’ve seen — and brilliant use of rock salt, I might add. And to wrap it all up with pine cone feeders? Perfect. I have to tell you the story of how my children and I used to make bird valentines every year, with bread cut into hearts, and peanut butter, and seeds. One year, we came home from errands to discover feathers everywhere near the bird valentine tree! We were so upset, and on closer inspection, discovered that our new kitty was lying at the base of the tree, just waiting for new birds to arrive. We discovered she could jump several feet into the air and catch an unsuspecting bird in mid flight! Needless to say, we took down the valentines, and stopped the tradition. Our little huntress applied her skills to mice, and kept our home and yard mouse free for many years after that. She’s now eighteen, retired, and living the beautiful life in a sunny window.
    ~Amanda

  25. This is a very pretty table scape! I would like to invite you to link this up to my new link party, Masterpiece Monday, at Boogieboard Cottage. The link will be up all week. Take care, Mary :O)

  26. What a stunning table, Mary! Your photography is wonderful, too — those photos look magazine-ready! I love the white and deep green with the rustic elements on your table. Just gorgeous!

  27. What an inspiring post, both beautiful and a good reminder to think about our wild friends….

  28. Mary, this is one of my favorites, of all the tables you have done…♥♥♥ it! The bird dishes are so unique…bet they are hard to store, though…LOL. The centerpiece is fabulous. Thanks for sharing this wonderful table.

  29. This table is just beautifully set. I loved reading about the book too. Those bird plates are so pretty and your centerpiece is stunning!

  30. Mary! I just love all of these beautiful tablescapes!! Absolutely awesome!!

  31. Hi Mary…

    Ohhh my…this is truly one of the sweetest and most beautiful winter tables that I have ever laid eyes on! Such thought and care went into creating this unique table…I love it! I love that you used a beautiful white quilt for the table covering…and then layered that with the burlap runner…so pretty! Your place settings are gorgeous! I love the sweet little bird plates…wished you could have heard all my ooohs and aaahs when looking at them! Hehe! I love all the white and this pretty shade of green that you paired with it. Ohhh…and I could go on and on about your fabulous centerpiece! I would love to dine at this beautiful table…I could spend hours just enjoying the scenery! Ohhh…and then there is that darling little bunny…who simply stole my heart! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous table with us…as well as the beautiful book and interesting facts about a few of our furry and feathered friends!

    Warmest winter wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  32. Oh this is so beautiful! I love seeing those lanterns too. I just got one very similar for Christmas and love seeing the different ways you decorated them for your centerpiece. Very inspiring!

  33. Oh! such a “P”lethora of “P”retty “P”ictures! I am stopping by through Alphabe-Thursday. Love the illustrations in this book you shared and the recipe for the pinecone cheese.
    Your tablescape is so beautiful.

    Blessings & Aloha!
    I am unexpectedly off from work! yay!!! getting to do some blog visiting, catching up and completing some art orders!

  34. What a perfect stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday’s letter ‘P’.

    I’ve used rock salt in glass luminarias before, but never as a substitute for snow in a table setting. Absolutely brilliant idea.

    And the pinecone cheese ball is particularly precious!

    Thanks for another lovely link. I am always excited to open up the link and see yours…I know I will be ooohing and aaaahing in no time.

    A+

  35. A+ Enough said. I would covet those bird/leaf plates if God looked kindly on it. Thank you for sharing your marvelous design. Cherry Kay

  36. Really beautiful table settings!

  37. Thank you for the wonderful review and tribute to our Winter World! You did a fantastic post and I am definitely going to be buying the book… I’m in HARD HIT Connecticut and we seem to be in a “BULLS EYE” this year with LOTS and LOTS more snow to come! I am a naturalist and live in Their world, They do NOT live in mine! We are the species on the earth that look for constant change NOT THEM, therefore it’s up to use to adapt and make them comfortable… The other evening we had a little mouse sitting on an upstairs outside windowsill… I took pictures of him, BUT we could not get the window open(my windows open OUT and the snow was piled about 24″ on the swoop in front of it… The poor little mouse was looking for shelter… Hubby was determined to save the mouse BUT there was no way to get him… I have noticed UNLIKE other years when I can track the animals footprints and see who comes and goes, there are NO FOOTPRINTS this year…
    I LOVED your tablescape, it is GORGEOUS and the details perfect and becoming to the book… Thank you SO MUCH for this beautiful post… You can see a little of my snow on this post…
    http://conghailecottage.blogspot.com/2011/01/old-man-winterjanuary-12-2011.html
    Have a wonderful Sunday AND great week ahead,
    Hugs, Donna

  38. This has to be hands down one of the most creative and beautiful posts I’ve seen! I have enjoyed visiting with you and your inspirational, and informative books as well as the lovely tablescapes and delicious foods! OMG – you are the complete package! So glad I stopped by.

  39. What a gorgeous table! And the pine cone looks delicious! You are so creative!

  40. A Garden of Threads

    Beautiful table setting, love it, love it!!!.I will be looking for this book, sounds like a great read. Take care.

  41. You have a beautiful table settings. Your mosaic is gorgeous!

    Visiting from Mary’s Mosaic Monday!

  42. What a wonderous table. Love, love, love the pates with the little birds.
    - The Tablescaper

  43. Mary, I absolutely love visiting you. Your sense of style, your creativity always blow me away. It’s one of the wonders of this blog world we share.
    I wish I had seen the bird plates before you did. My daughter has a thing for birds, and they would be so perfect for her.

  44. Those bird bowls on top are absolutely the best!!! Gorgeous and so unusual!!! LOVE ‘em!!! Those are the kind of thing that truly make a statement on a table and make it quite memorable! Now…about the “snowbound” thing. Looks like maybe 2 inches. We are bracing ourselves here in the Kansas City, MO area for 8-14 inches over the next 48 hours!!!!!!!! We’ve recently been hit with up to 8 inches, so I don’t even want to THINK about 14!!! I hope you dig out soon. We’ll most likely be until June getting out of the house if what is forecast really happens! :-( Have a good Monday!

  45. This is an absolutely DELIGHTFUL table and post. That book! It is divine, and when your bird plates rolled up, I was over the moon. Those are the cutest! And the entire table with its textural, layered quality with all of the rustic elements like the burlap and the pine and the bird eggs and the pops of green is perfection. Great job with this. Watching this adorable squirrel who has summered in our yard and visits my fountatin every day and the tree to nap from nursing her young, has made me wonder how creatures surivive in such extreme weather. That book sounds fascinating!

    Thanks for sharing…

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

  46. That table is wonderful. Love those bird plates and all your natural elements! Beautiful~

  47. Wow what a lovely post. So many things to comment on. I went on a nature hike this weekend in a local scientific reserve where a proffessor took us out on the trails and explained to use how the animals survive or don’t survive the winter. It was a fascinating topic and I think your book would explain that so well. I must look for it. Your botanical table setting was devine. Loved the little natural touches and the green and white was tre chic. Loved it.

  48. Such a beautiful post. Everything is gorgeous. Thanks for taking the time to put it all together.

  49. Wow, this is just a great post I really enjoyed it. I love the awesome tablescape and the book review. The pine cone cheese ball looks delicious. And I am sure the birdies love their homemade treats.

  50. Just beautiful – every photo! What a treat to read on a grey day at the end of January.

  51. Wow, wow, wow…gorgeous photos and a great book!!! Loved this wonderful post…!!!
    Have a wonderful week!!!

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