I was prompted to obtain Plants: Why You Can't Live Without Them (by B.C. Wolverton & Kozaburo Takenaka) after perusing a mesmerizing article in the New Yorker about plant intelligence written by food guru Michael Pollan. Here's a passage:
Indeed, many of the most impressive capabilities of plants can be traced to their unique existential predicament as beings rooted to the ground and therefore unable to pick up and move when they need something or when conditions turn unfavorable. The "sessile life style" as plant biologists term it, calls for an extensive and nuanced understanding of one's immediate environment, since the plant has to find everything it needs, and has to defend itself, while remaining fixed in place. A highly developed sensory apparatus is required to locate food and identify threats. Plants have evolved between fifteen and twenty different senses, including analogues of our five: smell and taste (they sense and respond to chemicals in the air or on their bodies); sight (they react differently to various wavelengths of light as well as to shadow); touch (a vine or root "knows" when it encounters a solid object); and, it has been discovered, sound.Just an aside, but I still can't believe the New Yorker continues to spell out all of their numbers!
My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir (The 100th Anniversary Edition, illustrated with color photographs by Scot Miller). The black-and-white images are from the original edition by Muir (left), the founder of the Sierra Club.