Seasons with the Extraordinary Wildlife and Culture of Madagascar
St. Martin's Press (2002).
Hardcover Book with Dust Jacket
Text from the Front and Back Flaps
By definition an "Antipode" is a point on the earth diametrically opposite from another.
As a field biologist specializing in reptiles and amphibians, Heather E. Heying has been to some of the most remote places on the globe. Her career consists of trekking through dense forests, sitting for hours at a time observing elusive creatures, and spending weeks on end in remote, sometimes inhospitable locales. But nothing she previously experienced quite prepared her for the three seasons she spent studying the tiny, bright, poisonous frogs found only on what is the antipode of her world, both geographically and culturally - the island-nation of Madagascar.
The majority of Madagascar's wildlife is endemic: found nowhere else. Lemurs rule the forest canopy, while on the ground snakes and lizards search for evening meals of frogs and bugs, all against a gorgeous backdrop of rain forest. It's a biologist's paradise, but at times it can also be a foreigner's worst nightmare. Madagascar in no way resembles what most Westerners know as normal existence. Technologically it is leagues behind the first world. Time shuffles by at a slow gait. Poverty is rampant: People pride themselves on how many pots of rice a day they are lucky enough to eat. Language and culture barriers, combined with bureaucratic red tape, can make travel virtually impossible.
In stories that are in turns moving and insightful, hilarious and beautiful, Heather E. Heying recounts her experiences living and working in this remote region of the world from odd run-ins with naked sailors and unusually hostile lemurs to tropical hurricanes and greedy tourist entrepreneurs. As she carefully navigates an obstacle-strewn path, she gradually uncovers the hidden lives of the beautiful yellow-and-blue poison frogs she is studying. And all the while, she begins to understand her role as a female Westerner in a foreign society and her intense love for and fascination with the stunning cultures and the wildlife of Madagascar.
About the Author (from the Back Flap)
Heather E. Heying was born in Santa Monica, California, and received her Ph.D. in biology from the University of Michigan. She currently resides in Olympia, Washington, where she is on the faculty at Evergreen State College. To learn more about Heather, go to www.bamboofrog.org.
Text from the Back Cover
Madagascar has been separated from all other landmasses for at least 80 million years, and in that time, the biota has become unique and extraordinary unique. There are neon-spotted frogs and fully grown chameleons the size of pocket change; enormous baobab trees looking as if they've been planted upside down; bats with built-in suction cups on their wrists and ankles; carnivorous pitcher plants…. Every time you take a step in what remains of the wilderness of Madagascar, new surprises meet your eyes. And then there are the lemurs. - from Antipode.
"An honest, brave, and compassionate portrayal of life on and off the road in Madagascar, told by a young woman who falls in love with this otherworldly isle, as many do…. Heying describes her passions and predicaments with equal poise. A sharply observed portrait of an extraordinary land." - Peter Tyson, author of The Eighth Continent: Life, Death, and Discovery in the Lost World of Madagascar.
- Map of Madagascar
- Part 1
- You Are Here
- Waiting for Brousse
- Inescapably Vazaha
- Peut-être, Ongomba, Maybe
- Because It Is Natural
- Escapes from Tana
- Part 2
- Maybe Tomorrow
- Cute, Furry, Desperate, and Alone
- Weather Is Everything
- The Good and the Fortunate
- Naked Sailors
- The New Hotel
- A Sea of Moral Ambiguity
- The Dread Rosalie
- Descending to Reality
- Part 3
- A New Launch
- Observer, Observed
- Now We're Cooking with Charcoal
- A Team of Men, and Some Cookies
- But They Are Wild
- Cinema Maroantsetra
- Frogs in Paradise
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