A Journey Through Time
On the geologic scale, time is truly just a four-letter word. How can we possibly conceive of the two-hundred-million-year interlude between the sea's first wonder -- the sea jelly -- and the Earth's first fern? But bring a wild imagination to this book of Frans Lanting's photographic explorations and you will witness a chronicle of evolution from molten lava and trilobite fossils to mega-mammals on the African plain.
Weighing in at somewhat less than my beagle (but only just -- I checked), this numbingly gorgeous tome captures the beauty of a Brazilian anteater (until now, a creature I've irrationally feared) with the same wonder it bestows on a pollen-skirted ant. And the single raspberry-colored fern in the process of unfolding will break your heart.
Lanting's own vision for these photographs is epic in itself. The book is part of a project that includes a multimedia performance with orchestral music by Philip Glass. That’s not a bad idea, actually. Load up the CD player with spacious music (Glass, Bruckner, you name it) as you dip into this picture-book planet, and behold Lanting's enviable rapport with the world.
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