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A Sand County Almanac

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Question 1. The book called “A Sand County Almanac” because it was about Leopold’s family experiences when they bought a house built on 120 acres on a washed-out sand farm on the Wisconsin River. This is his own words about life on his farm.

Question 2. Page 6 Today, few people live on farms or in wilderness. In “The Good Oak,” Leopold states that there are two spiritual dangers from not owning a farm. They are thinking that food comes from the grocery and that heat comes from a furnace. What does he mean? Everyone should raise a garden instead of buying food from a grocery store. With heat, people should cut, split, haul and stack wood so they don’t think heat magically appears. There is a certain self fulfillment in using the earth to supply our basic needs. What does the author learn from cutting his oak? How old the tree is by the rings. He gives a review of each year as he cuts through them rings. What can we learn from a close association with nature? That nature provides all man needs. It gives a tree for man to use for heat and after we use it for heat we return it to the earth as compost and it provides nutrients for fruit a tree will produce.

Question 3. What does Leopold learn from watching “The Sky Dance”? That this may or may not be about the lady bird. The males do the dancing and he is not sure if they are competing for the lady or if she is participating in the dance. What does he gain from having woodcock on his farm? The woodcock provide free entertainment for the owners. They do not have to go to the theatre, all they have to do is watch in the fields. Why does he have more than his neighbors? His neighbors hunt woodcock each October. He wants to watch them dance, he doesn’t kill very many, only 1 or 2 a year. P34.

Question 4. p. 44 What does Leopold learn during the month of July? More species of wild flowers bloom in the month of July than any other. What “history books” are “burned” every day in our country? Selphium flowers Why are they burned? For progress…we clear roadways and burn the ditches and burn the land. This cuts back the flower and eventually, over years, kills the Selphium. Can they be recovered? Yes, We cannot dig them up to transplant them, but if we do not mow them or burn them year after year, they will come back. They have large, deep roots that can recover and withstand a lot of abuse.

Question 5. p51 Who is the artist in “The Green Pasture”? The river. What are his paints? Silt that brushes the Eleocharis sod on the bank of the river. Then the animals walk through it giving it a lace pattern. Then after a few weeks, it is scattered in wild flowers and dew. What values does Leopold place on nature? Nature is a greater possession than progress. Nature will paint a more beautiful picture than man can imagine.

Question 6. page 68 In “Axe-in-Hand,” what makes a good conservationist? One who is humbly aware that with each stroke he is writing his signature on the face on his land. How do we decide what to change in nature and what not to change? It depends on what we value in nature. What tree feeds or shelters the animals. (p 71-2) Are we disturbing nature, or are we simply a part of nature? We can disturb nature if we do not use our axes to be good conservationists. We must study the land to know what trees to cut and which ones to save.

Question 7. In “A Mighty Fortress,” Leopold states that “every farm woodland..,.should provide its owner a liberal education. What is the author talking about? A liberal education is provided by watching the land. There is a balance in the disease of trees that provide a haven for larvae and food for animals. Just watching the animals and the way they use the land to sustain them provides that education. Why did diseases make Leopold’s woodlot a “mighty fortress”? His forest had every disease known to trees. Without diseased trees, the food chain would not be able to survive. The decay in trees will provide a nest for larvae and the larvae in turn become food to other animals. The cycle provides a “mighty fortress” that can sustain life in the woods for the animals and plant life. How do we destroy this fortress? If we cure the diseases in the trees, we destroy the fortress for the animals. They would not have food or shelter from the decaying wood and downed limbs and trees. They could not seek shelter in the roots of a fallen tree. Disease and dying is a natural process in the plant and animal world and one could not survive without the other.

Question 8. Describe at least three things Leopold learned from number 65290. He lived longer than any of the other chickadees. The second thing he learned was that a chickadee that chooses a roost that is dry from all sides will awaken safe after a blizzard. A third lesson is the chickadees come to see if loud noises will provide them with dinner. Why did he band chickadees? To monitor the age of birds and to see if chickadee 65290 would survive the winter.

Question 9. In “Odyssey,” what is X? p.104-6 soil What happens to it? It



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