Book Review – “In the Shadow of the Carmens: Afield with a Naturalist in the Northern Mexican Mountains”
A reader comments, “It’s like getting a personal tour of a spectacular area that not everyone gets to see. Chapter after chapter, the author put me there with her. You might think it would be boring reading about flora and fauna but this book is never boring! There’s humor, hardship, weather extremes, excitement, and fantastic descriptions. And lots of great photos!”
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Just across the Rio Grande from West Texas in the state of Coahuila, México, the mountain ranges of the Maderas del Carmen rise majestically. Often called magical or mystical, they have stirred imagination for centuries. Stories of bandits, Indians, ghosts, incredible flora and fauna, cool forests, waterfalls, and vast woodlands filter across the Rio Grande.Many people have dreamed of exploring this vast ecosystem, but few have made the trip. Bonnie McKinney is among the fortunate. In 2001 McKinney and her husband, Billy Pat McKinney, moved to the Carmens to manage the large conservation project spearheaded by CEMEX, the Monterrey-based cement and building materials conglomerate. Like those before her, she had been enthralled by the massive mountains with their cliffs of purple and gold in the sunset, and by horizon views of high forests. She, too, wondered what treasures the mountains held. Having lived and worked in the Carmens for nearly a decade, McKinney has never been disappointed by these mountains, which never fail to surprise her. In lavish photographs and loving words McKinney takes readers on a fascinating armchair journey, Introduction byducing them to the incredible biodiversity of this jewel of northern México.