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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365 Nature – Day 41

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.


When my daughter was born I entered the world of children’s books. As a naturalist I gravitated towards books with a nature theme and I was pleasantly surprised at how many there are. Over the last four years we’ve read many, many picture books and quite a few have ended up on our shelves permanently. Recently I was looking at our library loan history…

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Book Review:: Real Gardens Grow Natives

518XvBKJTwL._SX410_BO1,204,203,200_We’re lucky to live in a region with bountiful books on creating wildlife habitat and Pacific Northwest gardeners now have one more choice to add to their bookshelves. Real Gardens Grow Natives: design, plant & enjoy a healthy northwest garden by Eileen M. Stark is the latest offering on this topic. The book is packed full of useful information and focuses not only on creative a landscape  using native plants for wildlife, but delves deeper into more detailed content such as the soil, propagation and sharing the benefits of native plants.

Stark gives a useful overview on ecology and explains some key ideas such as ‘habitat’ and ‘diversity’. The first chapter explains the elements of habitat – from water and food to the benefit of dead trees. With the groundwork laid, Stark moves swiftly onto the basics of design and…

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Book Highlights 2013

This post was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens.

This year I had the opportunity to read several excellent books ranging in topics from vampire squids to garden insects. Here are five of my favorites, some which are older, some newer, but all very interesting.

The Urban Bestiary

830eaa3251c03fc3142a1562e93c3708 (1)Lyanda Lynn Haupt
Little, Brown and Company
September 17, 2013

When I heard the author of one of my favorite books, Crow Planet had a new book in the works I was very excited. This new book was as fascinating and really fun read. It’s written in the form of the ancient bestiaries and features a great many urban animals that we admire, hate, see and don’t see. There is a great deal of information about each animal featured, some of which you will find very surprising. The author…

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