The magnificent “Sweetheart in Tooth and Claw” offers hope that nature can endure

With hurricanes ravaging our coasts and wildfires destroying our forests, a book like former Cleveland resident Christine Ohlson’s terrific Sweet in Tooth and Claw: Stories of Generosity and Cooperation in the Natural World is the best kind of medicine.

Ohlson’s research takes him to Oregon, where he helps measure and tag hundreds of trees while shadowing scientists and students tracking the spread of fungi in tree roots. In Colorado, he observes that bees chew holes at the bottom of flowers to get nectar, instead of going through the top of the flower to pollinate them.

A major effort by scientists to save life on this planet extends to a Mexican coffee plantation and farmers in Nevada who are learning about pasture management. Logging, beekeeping: Everything is connected. Ohlson addresses the issue of chemical conglomerates buying up farms and seed companies and the rise of genetically modified organisms through heirloom seeds. He interviews a marine microbiologist who makes the delicious revelation that fragile corals are protected by fish bones.

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