Calaveras Enterprise

New nature books blossom in Arnold



Because she wishes to continue to educate Calaveras County residents about the natural environment and its need for care and respect, Verna Johnston, naturalist, photographer, author, teacher, and Camp Cornell resident for two decades, has donated more than a hundred nature-related books to the Calaveras County Library.

Johnston, who taught biology at San Joaquin Delta College for 37 years, is known widely as a natural-history writer and photographer.

The books, selected by Steven Stocking, San Joaquin Delta College biology instructor, Arlene Mueller, Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch member, and Maurie Hoekstra, Calaveras County librarian, include juvenile and adult books n first field guides, animals, picture books, art, literature, biographies, and environmental awareness. A selection of audio and videotapes will be added later.

Johnston’s books, “Sierra Nevada: The Naturalist’s Companion” (UC Berkeley 1970, 1998) and “California Forests and Woodlands: A Natural History” (UC Berkeley, 1994) have been popular among general readers seeking a better understanding of California’s natural environment.

Her photographs have appeared in numerous exhibitions, and more than a hundred of her articles have been printed in “Audubon,” the “Christian Science Monitor,” “Encyclopedia Britannia,” the “New York Times,” and other publications. “Life” magazine profiled her in 1998.

A celebration was held at the Arnold Library on May 8 to welcome the book donation and express thanks from the community. Johnston now resides in the health center at Carmel Valley Manor. A sculpted bust of her by Murphys artist Marlene Wiley Bradford and some of the new books were put on display.

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