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The Southern Swamp Explorer

From the bayous of Louisiana to subtropical Florida, the Deep South is vitally alive and full of surprises for the unprepared, some of them potentially deadly. Irene Brady, the writer and illustrator behind The Southern Swamp Explorer (Nature Works Press, 978-0-915965-05-2) builds more interest than a simple cataloging of common species could by focusing on forty-six of them in a linked narrative of predation and interaction. Along the way she comments on both general marshland conditions and curiosity-stoking details.

The author stresses the interdependency of swamp species, pointing out aspects of symbiosis that aren’t obvious. For example, alligators save more lives than they end. Their habit of digging deeper pools is a key to survival during the peak of the dry season, as those places end up being the sources of drinking water for many other species, only a few of whom are picked off for food. Brady points out that swamps aren’t static, they’re places in long-term transition: “…all habitats are changing from one type to another depending on fire, rain, drought, flood, and wildlife or human activities.”

Reviewed by Todd Mercer

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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