Fellow Story

These Trees Tell a Story solves ecological mysteries by reading landscapes


Book cover for These Trees Tell a Story by Noah Charney

These Trees Tell a Story, a new book by Noah Charney, unfolds as a series of natural history vignettes interwoven through time which merge to convey the art of reading landscapes, the principles of conservation and environmental science, and the sacred in nature. 

“The book follows the trail of a course I used to teach, with photographs from the field,” Noah shared in an email announcing the book. “Each chapter begins with an ecological mystery that we set out to solve and each solution becomes a piece of a larger puzzle as we unravel the story of one watershed from marsh to mountaintop.”

Structured as a series of interactive field walks through ten New England ecosystems, this book challenges readers to examine seemingly static landscapes, to see the world through the eyes of a naturalist. With guided questions, immersive photography, and a narrative approach, each chapter adds layers of complexity onto a single scene, revealing the millions of years of forces at play. 

“I hope it helps people to rediscover the sacred in nature, to find meaning and connection, and to enjoy the experience of engaging with the natural world,” Noah says. “Beneath that, I hope to teach some of the broad concepts in environmental science and ecology that shape our world.” 

Tying together the disciplines of geology, forest ecology, wildlife biology, soil processes, evolution, conservation, and more, These Trees Tell a Story shows how and why landscapes appear in their current forms.

Learn more and watch a video trailer on the book website.