California is a place of intense and immediate tectonic activity, varied climate, and diverse habitats, and it is a place where stunning arrays of life meet and intermingle. California is also one of the newest places on Earth, freshly hewn, young and full of vitality, a place where one can literally watch the world in the making. Rise of the Ranges of Light combines captivating first-person narrative with science writing to tell the story of the ever-changing landscapes of California. Picking up where John Muir left off in the classic The Mountains of California, Gilligan takes the reader on a tour of California’s mountain landscapes to show how forces of expansion and contraction have manifested themselves for over five hundred million years to create everything we know. From plate tectonics and devastating glaciers to mass extinction and species competition, the formation of the world is a dramatic and dynamic process. Rise of the Ranges of Light allows readers to witness a world ever in the throes of creation.