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An Immense World
An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us | Ed Yong
A grand tour through the hidden world of animal senses that will transform the way you perceive the world--from a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every animal is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of an immense world. This book welcomes us into a previously unfathomable dimension--the world as it is truly perceived by other animals. We encounter beetles that are drawn to fires (and fireworks), songbirds that can see the Earth's magnetic fields, and brainless jellyfish that nonetheless have complex eyes. We discover that a crocodile's scaly face is as sensitive as a lover's fingertips, that the planet's biggest eyes evolved to see sparkling whales, and that even fingernail-sized spiders can make out the craters of the moon. We meet people with unusual senses, from women who can make out extra colours to blind individuals who can navigate using reflected echoes like bats. Yong tells the stories of pivotal discoveries in the field, and also looks ahead at the many mysteries which lie unsolved. In An Immense World, author and famed science journalist Ed Yong coaxes us beyond the confines of our own senses, allowing us to begin to perceive the skeins of scent, waves of electromagnetism and pulses of pressure that surround us. Because in order to understand our world, we have not to travel to other places, but to see through other eyes.
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Messiejessie
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Pickpick

Freaking fascinating. I loved every moment of this book. Highly recommend

11 likes1 stack add
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rwmg
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Pickpick

Different animals perceive and experience the world differently due to their different senses. It is difficult and necessary to overcome the biases from how WE perceive the world if we want to really understand other animals. For example, a zebra's stripes are not camouflage because from a distance all a lion can see is a zebra-shaped object and the stripes have no effect on that.

Fascinating.

MariaW I though this was interesting too. My father is a forester, he got this book as a Christmas present. 😊 (edited) 3mo
31 likes1 comment
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rwmg
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Apparently it's called a spoiler. The things you learn from books about animals. But do people worry about spoiler spoilers when waiting for a new car design to be released?

bthegood 🤣🤣 3mo
21 likes1 comment
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rwmg
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vonnie862 Ooh that's interesting! 3mo
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rwmg
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monkeygirlsmama Stacking. This sounds good! 3mo
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rwmg
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I'm not sure how I feel about this

Aimeesue 😵‍💫 3mo
Ruthiella But first they insult the lady mice by telling them they are merely tolerable. (edited) 3mo
rwmg @Ruthiella but they do have a pair of fine eyes 3mo
27 likes4 comments
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rwmg
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rwmg
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Tamra I started this on audio and realized I need to read it in print. So much to learn! 3mo
rwmg @Tamra Yes, I'm taking it rather slowly. So difficult to imagine (a visually-based metaphor 🙄) these other perceptual worlds. (edited) 3mo
24 likes2 comments
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AnneCecilie
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#12Booksof2023 December

This book full of fun stuff about different animals and how they see the world

I also have an honorable mention this month:
Paris the Memoir by Paris Hilton. A reminder that no one is what they seem

Megabooks Both were really good! 5mo
AnnR 👍 to An Immense World! 5mo
Deblovestoread Reading this now. It‘s fascinating 5mo
Andrew65 Thanks for playing long, a great way to review 2023. See you for #12Booksof2024 on Christmas Day. 5mo
51 likes1 stack add4 comments
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AnneCecilie
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Pickpick

Amazing 🤩

During the pandemic I started going on works in the forest and I got a appreciation for the trees, birds, butterflies and other animals.

That is what was so great about this book that in order to understand to world of other animals, Yong find research on animals we‘re already familiar with like dogs, birds, butterflies, octopus and whales and more.

And it‘s so interesting to learn more about the world of other animals and try

AnneCecilie to understand it, at least some more. I‘m definitely going to reread this some time in the future since I know I missed things. #Adventathon @BookmarkTavern #RushAThon @Andrew65 @DieAReader @GHABI4ROSES 6mo
DieAReader 🥳🥳🥳 6mo
Andrew65 Brilliant 🎄🎄🎄 6mo
Tamra I started this on audio, but it was richly dense so I knew I needed to read it in print. Thanks for the reminder! (edited) 6mo
64 likes4 comments
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Caryl
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I had the good fortune to hear Ed Yong speak last week. He says, “All of my work is about curiosity and empathy. It‘s about trying to take the perspective of lives that are very different from ours on the grounds that those lives are worth understanding and knowing, and that our lives are richer for making the effort.” His work is a generous, wonderful gift to us all. (Photo credit: Friends of the Hennepin County Library.)

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zahra7

Perhaps people who experience the world in ways that are considered atypical have an intuitive feeling for the limits of typicality.

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zahra7

Our species and our culture are so driven by sight that even people who are blind from birth will describe the world using visual words and metaphors.

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zahra7

I want to know what it is like for a bat to be a bat,” Nagel wrote. “Yet if I try to imagine this, I am restricted to the resources of my own mind, and those resources are inadequate to the task.

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zahra7

How many senses are there? Around 2,370 years ago, Aristotle wrote that there are five, in both humans and other animals—sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. This tally persists today. But according to the philosopher Fiona Macpherson, there are reasons to doubt it.

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zahra7

The senses constrain an animal‘s life, restricting what it can detect and do. But they also define a species‘ future, and the evolutionary possibilities ahead of it.

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zahra7

Light is just electromagnetic radiation.Sound is just waves of pressure.Smells are just small molecules.It‘s not obvious that we should be able to detect any of those things,let alone convert them into electrical signals or derive from those signals the spectacle of a sunrise,or the sound of a voice,or the scent of baking bread.The senses transform the coursing chaos of the world into perceptions and experiences things we can react to and act upon

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zahra7

They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth.

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zahra7

They move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

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zahra7

There are animals with eyes on their genitals, ears on their knees, noses on their limbs, and tongues all over their skin.

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zahra7

There are animals that can hear sounds in what seems to us like perfect silence, see colors in what looks to us like total darkness, and sense vibrations in what feels to us like complete stillness

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zahra7

It is all that we know, and so we easily mistake it for all there is to know. This is an illusion, and one that every animal shares.

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zahra7

Trees of green, red roses too, skies of blue, and clouds of white—these are not part of its wonderful world. The tick doesn‘t willfully ignore them. It simply cannot sense them and doesn‘t know they exist.

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zahra7

Earth teems with sights and textures, sounds and vibrations, smells and tastes, electric and magnetic fields. But every animal can only tap into a small fraction of reality‘s fullness. Each is enclosed within its own unique sensory bubble, perceiving but a tiny sliver of an immense world

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perfectlywinged
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This is packed with facts about how different animals use the five senses. While having a lot of information the prose is very accessible and not overly scientific.

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ellarebee
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Pickpick

I am 36% into this book.

Everyone should read this. This isn't just a “pick“ this is an “I'M SHOUTING AT YOU RIGHT NOW TO READ THIS.“

Ed Yong is so passionate and his narration is so humorous and deeply thoughtful. My whole world perception has been challenged and changed without feeling overwhelmed. It's beautiful.

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currentlyreadinginCO
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Pickpick

I absolutely loved this. This book explains the umwelt concept -- which basically supposes that we can't imagine the experience of other animals because we can't know their sensory world. Essentially we would need to know everything about another animal to understand how they perceive their environment and we don't even know what organs that animals use for magnetoreception, etc. I really enjoyed learning more about some of my favorite animals ⬇️

currentlyreadinginCO We can't fully understand birdcalls bc birds perceive sound faster than us and it sounds like they're singing together when they're just talking back and forth?? Everything about octopus and whales?? Animals that can't see yellow would consider it ultra-red if they were the ones making the color charts?? Tell me more. 12mo
rwmg It does sound intriguing. Wishlisted 12mo
kelli7990 This book sounds interesting. I have bird feeders in my backyard and I‘m always hearing birds singing. I have songbirds and they sing more than the other birds do. They have pretty songs but I always wonder what they‘re saying to each other. Sometimes, I hear the songbirds singing in the middle of the night when I go outside with my dog and sometimes, they‘re quiet. They have a pretty song but my dog starts barking when she hears them singing. 12mo
currentlyreadinginCO I learned recently that birdwatching is actually more of birdlistening because it's all about identifying and separating the calls and I am INTRIGUED! @kelli7990 12mo
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Cortg
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Mehso-so

There‘s been a lot of love for this book so I‘m in the minority for this one. There were definitely interesting parts, but some parts were a bore. It‘s well researched, an interesting overall book but too long for me. I am looking forward to discussing it at book club and I‘m pretty sure I know the readers of the group who will have enjoyed the book and those who DNF 😂

SamAnne I was a so-so,on this as well, but maybe because the subjects are well known to me. I much preferred his earlier book We Contain Multitudes. (edited) 13mo
Cortg @SamAnne I‘ve heard good things about We Contain Multitudes! Thanks 😊 13mo
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rabbitprincess

On the difficulties of providing numbers for comparing humans‘ and dogs‘ olfactory systems: “It is easy to find estimates, and vey hard to find primary sources for them; after an hours-long search that included a university paper that sourced a factoid to a book in the For Dummies series, I fell into an existential void and questioned the very nature of knowledge.” 🤣

Karisa 🤣🤣🤣 13mo
22 likes1 comment
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DrexEdit
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Chapter One: Leaking Sacks of Chemicals
“I don't think he's been in here before, “ Alexandra Horowitz tells me, “So it should be very smelly.“

#FirstLineFridays
@ShyBookOwl
#WeekendReading

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BookBelle84
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Pickpick

This was fantastic! I cannot recommend it strongly enough. I learned so much, and I'd like to get a physical copy now to read because there's so much fascinating information. The final chapter alone should be required reading. #highlyrecommend #mustread

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actualdisneyprincess
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A patron recommended this to me - I don‘t think I have the attention span, even though it‘s really kind of cool. This is probably going to be a “read a chapter, then read something else, then read another chapter” kind of thing for me. #animmenseworld #edyong #animals #biology #science

actualdisneyprincess I couldn‘t do it. It was too much for me; I felt like I was reading a science textbook. 😬 1y
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Christine
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Pickpick

Such a fantastic book! Been meaning to get to it since well before it came out bc I love Ed Yong (his previous book I Contain Multitudes, plus his Atlantic writing in general and his pandemic pieces in particular). Endless cool facts about how animals sense the world (as best we can tell!). And a wonderful reminder that humans' perceptions of the world are limited by our own senses and perspectives...but learning can expand both of these. 💚

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mjtwo
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Pickpick

3-9 Feb 22 (audiobook)
Thought-provoking book about ‘umwelt‘ how the world of each living creature is shaped by their differing senses and capabilities. Fascinating to consider how different creatures experience the world, although as the author concedes it is quite impossible for humans to really step out of their umwelt.
My return to a pescatarian diet was short-lived. There is always an element with these books of preaching to the converted.

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nikirtehsuxlol
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Check out this footnote to text ratio

readingjedi That's giving me flashbacks to Infinite Jest - not good ones either! 1y
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RamsFan1963
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Playing catch up since I forgot to post yesterday. For August, it's definitely Ed Yong's amazing book An Immense World. I recommend it to everyone who's interested in nature, animals or ecology. September choice is Douglas Wolk's All The Marvels. It is a detail dissection of the story Marvel Comics has been producing since the 1960s. The mere idea of reading every Marvel Comic ever published boggles the mind.
#12Booksof2022 @Andrew65

Andrew65 More great choices. 1y
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Eyelit
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Another year of great reads in the books! Here are my top ten nonfiction reads of this year. I wasn‘t able to get my nonfiction/fiction ratio exactly 50/50 like I wanted (it ended up being 47% nonfic which isn‘t too shabby) - but I‘ll work on that next year for sure. 😄

Will also try to read more broadly in topic/type of nonfiction in 2023 (as there tends to be some themes in my current nonfic selections).

If you‘ve got any recs send my way!

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Sarahreadstoomuch
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Pickpick

I found this fascinating. It‘s all about how different animals sense the world…. while I probably couldn‘t pass a quiz on the vast amount of material and recent research & discovery I just listened to.. I was was constantly thinking “wow that‘s cool”

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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Utterly amazing what animals are capable of, how we‘ve figured out a small bit of it, and how much more we have to learn! I already love animals and this epic work of science writing gave me a much deeper appreciation and understanding of the way animals interact with our world. Completely eye-opening, life-changing. A top pick for me and deserving of the many “best of 2022” lists it appears on. Also, fabulous audio narration! #NYTTopTen2022

Texreader Awesome review! 1y
psalva I heard about this on one of my favorite podcasts, A Way with Words. They were talking about oripulation which manatees use, from what I understand, when they meet an unfamiliar creature/object or for finding food. Great review. Stacked! 1y
Hooked_on_books This will be on my personal best of the year list. I LOVED it! 1y
See All 7 Comments
Megabooks 💯 agree! 1y
TheKidUpstairs I'm SO excited for this one. I've got a gift certificate from my local that I'm going to use for this. 1y
Chelsea.Poole @TheKidUpstairs I believe @monalyisha is ok with adding to #auldlangspine lists and this 💯 would have made my list had I read it sooner!! So you could consider this a part of my list! Hope you enjoy. Fascinating stuff here. 1y
monalyisha @Chelsea.Poole I‘m definitely cool with that! I‘m also definitely adding this to my list of audio TBRs. Great review, Chelsea! 1y
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wanderinglynn
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It‘s hard to pick a fave when there are so many amazing animals.

This is Doldol, the tiniest elephant newborn Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has ever rescued. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is focused on the conservation of these amazing creatures. https://sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

And the tagged book is a wonderful read on seeing the world through the lens of the amazing creatures we share this planet with

#winterreadathondailychallenge

Andrew65 This is a sweet picture. 🐘🐘🐘 1y
DieAReader ♥️♥️♥️ 1y
74 likes2 comments
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TheKidUpstairs
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❄️ Getting out after a snowfall and seeing the trees all dressed in white

☃️ All I want for Christmas is the first female director for Encouragement.

📚 the tagged, and Shakespeare and Co by Sylvia Beach

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vivastory
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Anyone planning on participating in Nonfiction November? I set a goal a handful of nf books last November & if I recall correctly I ended up reading around 6, including graphic memoirs. I would like to read at least 3 & plan on having a small pile with options for graphic memoir, true crime, essays & a nature book.

vivastory (Image taken from Google Images) 2y
BookNAround Most of my November bookspin is going to be NF but I rarely follow my bookspin list so who knows if I‘ll actually end up doing it. 😂 2y
RaeLovesToRead Ooh! I shall arrange my Nov bookspin accordingly... 2y
See All 12 Comments
vivastory @BookNAround I'm a big mood reader & lately my concentration has been pretty shoddy, so I've been focusing on shorter form works like essays, stories and poetry. I'm hoping that nf November will help rejuvenate some of my reading focus 2y
vivastory @RaeLovesToRead 👏👏 I look forward to your stacks! I'm going to be posting mine once I get the books from the library over the next few days 2y
Soubhiville I love nonfiction November! I usually read quite a few, I think I had about 6 last year as well. 2y
vivastory @Soubhiville You have some good selections lined up! 📚📚 2y
SamAnne I have a few in the queue! 2y
vivastory @SamAnne Looking forward to your posts! 2y
Deblovestoread I have 9 nonfiction choices on my November BookSpin list. My reading is all over the place lately so hope some of them stick. 2y
vivastory @Deblovestoread You have some great ones on your list! Empire is a bit too big for my concentration at the moment but I think I'm going to add PR Keefe's latest to my list of potentials 2y
Deblovestoread Rogues is good and can be read in small doses. 2y
55 likes12 comments
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Floresj
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Pickpick

Excellent, interesting, well researched, cheeky, readable and informative- this book by Yong explores a wide variety of animals and how they sense the world. Each chapter explores a different sense like hearing, echolocation, electric fields, UV rays, touch, seismic waves, etc. It changed how I‘ll teach the electromagnetic spectrum to my high school class. Great book!

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encinarus
Pickpick

This book was an amazing look at the world of senses that animals have. I couldn't possibly do it justice, but one passage jumped out at me more than others: that the platypus has electro sensors in its bill that it uses for detecting hidden food. My friends were subscribed to animal facts as I read them, leading 4 of them to go and get the book themselves. If you've wondered how your pet perceives things, you'll learn that and a whole lot more.

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encinarus
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This book has been mind blowing, finding out about the senses and hidden worlds in our own, but this one really got me this morning. The idea that cats might be getting low to sense prey? (Unlike most of what this book covers, this part is a guess, other content is strongly supported with research, but this is plausible enough that now I'll keep an eye out for research!)

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underground_bks
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Pickpick

I loved I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong‘s book about the microbiome, so I had to try his newest even though the subject wasn‘t as exciting to me. An Immense World is a dizzying tour through daily life on our planet through the vastly different senses of animals. A great reminder that our view of the world is but a fragment of the picture. I do wish Yong had done more editorializing as sometimes I got lost in the science but definitely worth reading!

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RamsFan1963
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📚 Tagged! Amazing book, I highly recommend it to everyone, no matter your interest in science or nature.
📚 I learned so much from this book, it changed the way I view nature and the animals in it.
Thanks for the tag @TheSpineView #Two4Tuesday

TheSpineView Thanks for playing! 2y
44 likes1 comment