Book Review:: Lapwings, Loons & Lousy Jacks

9781784270926The exact moment I became interested in bird names was the day I was walking through a Finnish nature reserve listening to an unfamiliar bird call and searching the trees trying to find it. As I stood looking and listening, an old man walked by, mumbled something in Finnish to my companion and wandered off. I learned from my Finnish speaking companion that the old man had told him the bird singing was a Tikli, which of course meant nothing to me at the time. Fortunately, I had purchased a bird guide in Finnish and was later able to crawl through the pages to discover what a Tikli was. I was thrilled to discover it was a European Goldfinch, a bird I would have loved to see. After that I doubled my birding efforts and finally did find a flock of goldfinches later…

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365 Nature – Day 248

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Learn more about the project and see all the 365 Nature posts.


516qbIR3suL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_It’s frequent, almost always in fact, that I’m behind on the latest books. My to-read stacks usually measure a dozen books high at any given time. But after I made an effort to start reading more diversity of nature writers, my stacks were mixed up a little. It’s partly because of this and partly because I wanted to read something everyone was talking about, which found The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World at the top of my list recently. Written by Andrea Wulf, a British writer and design historian, it quickly became a New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year and was nominated for and won a multitude of prizes.

Over time, I’ve read…

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365 Nature – Day 112

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Whenever I go to Seattle Goodwill I browse through the books and almost without fail I find something worthwhile. Yesterday I came upon a few children’s books, some familiar and some new and we’ve read nearly all of them together already. Among those, here are three of our favorite nature books.

Wild Fibonacci – A book from Joy H. Hulme with illustrations by…

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Book Review:: Baby Birds – An Artist Looks into the Nest

514UJ7sdSeL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_I sat at our picnic table and watched the Bewick’s Wrens going in and out of our nest box carrying sticks, grass, feather – materials for building a nest. The box was red and solid, hiding the mysteries of what was transpiring inside those walls. As the wrens stopped bringing materials and acted more mysterious, silently slipping out of the box and dropping to the ground, curiosity consumed my mind. What was going on in there? Were there eggs? Was the female inside sitting on eggs, laying them? What were they doing inside? How many eggs were there? The best I could do was watch the hole and listen for any sounds.

It was while sitting and watching that box I first looked at Julie Zickefoose’s new book, Baby Birds, An Artist Looks into the Nest. Over the course of…

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365 Nature – Day 101

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


Local Washington author Thor Hanson released his first children’s book this week, Bartholomew Quill: A Crow’s Quest to Know Who’s Who. I’ve read two of his books for adults, Feathers: The Evolution of a Natural Miracle and his most recent, The Triumph of Seeds. I’ve also been privileged to hear him give talks on both of those books…

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365 Nature – Day 54

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.


9780811875424_largeIn a book on my shelf I found a group who stand for much of what’s captured my attention over the last two months; The Cloud Appreciation Society. I have posted more then a couple spectacularly cloudy skies for my 365 Nature project and I’ve stopped many times along Lake Washington to take photos of…

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