Category Archive: books

Weird Science

I love to read old books written by naturalists.  When I am reading about, for example, a woman riding out on horseback to spend a long lazy afternoon watching the nesting habits of… Continue reading

The Beauty of Little Brown Birds

This winter I have been very inspired by the work of nature writer Florence A. Merriam.  She was the first to write about observing birds alive in the field, rather than relying on… Continue reading

A Comforting Poem

I have been reading a little book I bought for a dollar from the used book shed of the Marfa Public Library, out in West Texas.  The title is Earth Prayers, and it… Continue reading

Armchair Homesteading – Grace McCance Snyder

Grace McCance Snyder moved with her family to homestead in Nebraska in 1885, when she was three years old.  She lived there all her life, (except for four years in Oregon) and wrote… Continue reading

So You Think You Know Your Bird Names

I love complicated and ridiculous bird names — Marbled Godwit, Ruddy Turnstone, and Flammulated Owl are a few of my favorites. But when I am reading very old bird books, I sometimes come… Continue reading

Favorite Nature Writers – Florence A. Merriam

I love the tone of old nature guide books.  Reading one is like sitting by the campfire, chatting with a nature expert, after taking a long hike in their company. One of my… Continue reading

Sparrow Cheat Sheet

A tiny bird caught my attention the other day.  From one set of weeds it would dive into another, always just a few feet from me but never clearly visible.  Finally it landed… Continue reading

The Moral Sense of Dogs

This time of year when it’s hot outside, I love to stay inside and look at old books.  We have access to an interesting collection from the late 1800s, because my husband’s grandparents… Continue reading

The Joys of Out-dated Reference Books

The other day, I was walking in the woods and noticed this spider in the top of a young pine tree.  I couldn’t tell whether it had caught and eaten something, or it… Continue reading

Favorite Books: Of a Feather

As much trouble as I have identifying birds using an array of binoculars, guidebooks, apps, and websites, I am particularly awed by the people who first explored North America and identified its birds… Continue reading