#BookBingoNW2020: Nature

Today we unveil yet another Book Bingo category: nature. As someone who loves the outdoors as much as I love reading, I’m very excited for this square! Whether you’re a nature lover or not, here are some different ways to find a book that best suits your reading interests:

Think Local: If you’re taking daily walks around your neighborhood, you may be noticing local plants and animals more. Learn more about Emerald City wildlife with books from Seattle authors. Kelly Brenner’s fantastic Nature Obscura highlights creatures and plants in our urban environment that most of us overlook, from musk rats to lichens to dragonflies. Have you become an armchair birder during quarantine? Check out Lyanda Lynn Haupt’s thoughtful observations on ordinary birds like starlings and crows. UW wildlife professor John Marzluff has also written a modern classic on corvid behavior. And if you’re wondering how we’ll survive when the grocery stores run out of food, urban forager Langdon Cook has got some hot tips for you. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Nature”

Cultivating a Love of Nature with Children

The clouds are disappearing and the temperatures are warming, which means the summer months are just within reach in the Pacific Northwest! Take a book or two along as you and your kiddos head to the park or the beach. You’ll satisfy the curiosity of those little scientists and enhance your family’s appreciation for our astounding natural world. Just take care to keep those library books from falling into Puget Sound!

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn by Kenard Pak
Recommended for ages 2+
Revel in the warm glow of these stunning illustrations as you and your child read about summer’s gradual transition to autumn. The main character chats easily with the elements and creatures of the natural world, creating a sense of friendliness and compassion between humans and nature. Continue reading “Cultivating a Love of Nature with Children”

Art Books in Nature

West Seattle’s Camp Long will be hosting another fabulous event Aug 20-21. Visit the park to walk in the woods, witness musical performances across diverse genres, or participate in art activities, writing workshops and open mics, juggling, costumed hikes through the forest, and naturalist events. The festival also features the “Museum of Sound” where artists will occupy Camp Long’s eight rustic cabins with installations of sound, music and art. For two whole days Camp Long will be a hotbed of creative energy sure to inspire artists and nonartists alike. Continue reading “Art Books in Nature”

Extreme outdoors

Although I’m fairly wimpy in “real life,” I enjoy the vicarious experience of reading about other peoples’ travails in harsh climates. Here are some favorite tales of true adventure and survival (with a bit of history thrown in):

Cruelest MilesThe Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury
When isolated Nome, Alaska, was struck by a diphtheria epidemic in 1925, the serum needed to treat the disease was 1,000 miles away. Twenty teams of sled dogs raced through minus 60-degree temperatures to transport the medicine. This gripping account describes their epic quest, a journey that later inspired the annual Iditarod race. Continue reading “Extreme outdoors”

Mushroom Mania

Chanterelles picked by me from an undisclosed location. Photo by Abby B., used with permission

Autumn in Seattle means rain and lots of it. While many Seattle residents are indoors moaning about the miserable weather, a few of us are rubbing our hands with glee as the drops fall. We are the wild mushroom hunters, and this is our favorite time of year. On any given fall day after it rains, we’ll be out in the woods stalking chanterelles (pictured above), hedgehogs, king boletes (commonly known as porcini) and many other delicious wild edibles found in abundance throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Some people think it’s crazy to pick and eat wild mushrooms; “Aren’t  you afraid of getting poisoned?” is a common question. My response is that I only eat mushrooms that I am 100% sure are tasty edibles. A good rule of thumb is: When in doubt, throw it out! The Seattle Public Library owns many helpful guidebooks Continue reading “Mushroom Mania”