Finding Clarity in the Alaskan Wilderness

Book review: The Sun is a Compass, by Caroline van Hemert (Amazon / Book Depository) Biologist and ornithologist Caroline Van Hemert was burning out. PhD completed, nothing about the next steps into work or research felt right. She was happily paired with Pat, the man she’d bonded with over their mutual love of the outdoors and adventure. But she grappled with bigger issues — would … Continue reading Finding Clarity in the Alaskan Wilderness

Nonfiction Classic: A “Young Writer’s Book” on the Natural World

Book review: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, by Annie Dillard (Amazon / Book Depository) I used to have a cat, an old fighting tom, who would jump through the open window by my bed in the middle of the night and land on my chest … And some mornings I’d wake in daylight to find my body covered with paw prints in blood; I looked as … Continue reading Nonfiction Classic: A “Young Writer’s Book” on the Natural World

The Strange and Sad History of Humans and Orcas

Book review: Orca, by Jason Colby (Amazon – Book Depository) Author Jason Colby’s father was one of the last orca hunters in Washington state, capturing the apex predator from its natural habitat to fill orders for aquariums worldwide. Colby writes this detailed, descriptive but very readable history of human-orca interactions from a place of lifelong personal interest, having witnessed his father’s deep regret over his … Continue reading The Strange and Sad History of Humans and Orcas

America’s Plant and Agricultural Immigrants

Book review: The Food Explorer, by Daniel Stone (Amazon / Book Depository) One of the humbling parts of being an American is the regular reminder that no matter how swollen America’s pride or power, nothing has been American for very long. A few years ago, it occurred to me that the same way immigrants came to our soil, so did our food. I was at … Continue reading America’s Plant and Agricultural Immigrants

Tales from Yellowstone: Triumphs and Struggles of Wolf Reintroduction

Book review: American Wolf, by Nate Blakeslee (Amazon / Book Depository) Maybe you’ve seen this video that made the social media rounds awhile back, about the effects wolf reintroduction has had on Yellowstone National Park:   It’s a beautiful, almost heartwarming story of humans helping nature to right itself (after humans messed it up in the first place): a feared and misunderstood predator reintroduced to a park … Continue reading Tales from Yellowstone: Triumphs and Struggles of Wolf Reintroduction

Secrets and Stories from the American Museum of Natural History

My photo of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. I don’t know why I took the picture from that angle with the tree barging in. It looks spooky. Book review: Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History, by Douglas Preston (Amazon / Book Depository) This magnificent granite pile, this Museum on the west side of Central … Continue reading Secrets and Stories from the American Museum of Natural History