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A guide to listening to songbirds—the key to observing nature in a whole new way. Includes audio of bird vocalizations! A lifelong birder, tracker, and naturalist, Jon Young is guided in his work and teaching by three basic premises: the robin, junco, and other songbirds know everything important about their environment, be it backyard or forest; by tuning in to their vocalizations and behavior, we can acquire much of this wisdom for our own pleasure and benefit; and the birds’ companion calls and warning alarms are just as important as their songs. Birds are the sentries of—and our key to understanding the world beyond our front door. By learning to remain quiet and avoid disturbing the environment, we can heed the birds and acquire an amazing new level of awareness. We are welcome in their habitat. The birds don’t fly away. The larger animals don’t race off. No longer hapless intruders, we now find, see, and engage the deer, the fox, the red-shouldered hawk—even the elusive, whispering wren. Deep bird language is an ancient discipline, perfected by Native peoples the world over. Finally, science is catching up. This groundbreaking book unites the indigenous knowledge, the latest research, and the author’s own experience of four decades in the field to lead us toward a deeper connection to the animals and, in the end, ourselves. “He can sit still in his yard, watching and listening for the moment when robins and other birds no longer perceive him as a threat. Then he can begin to hear what the birds say to each other, warning about nearby hawks, cats, or competitors. Young’s book will teach you how you, too, can understand birds and their fascinating behaviors.” —BirdWatching “Here is the ancestral wisdom passed down from Apache elder Stalking Wolf to renowned tracker Tom Brown to Jon Young himself, who in turn passes on to the reader the art of truly listening to the avian soundscape. With all senses more finely tuned, you’ll find yourself more aware of your surroundings, slowing down, and reconnecting with a native intelligence and love of the natural world that lies deep within each of us.” —Donald Kroodsma, author ofThe Singing Life of Birds and Birdsong by the Seasons
A hiking trail through majestic mountains. A raw, unpeopled wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. These are the settings we associate with our most famous books about nature. But Gavin Van Horn isn’t most nature writers. He lives and works not in some perfectly remote cabin in the woods but in a city—a big city. And that city has offered him something even more valuable than solitude: a window onto the surprising attractiveness of cities to animals. What was once in his mind essentially a nature-free blank slate turns out to actually be a bustling place where millions of wild things roam. He came to realize that our own paths are crisscrossed by the tracks and flyways of endangered black-crowned night herons, Cooper’s hawks, brown bats, coyotes, opossums, white-tailed deer, and many others who thread their lives ably through our own. With The Way of Coyote, Gavin Van Horn reveals the stupendous diversity of species that can flourish in urban landscapes like Chicago. That isn’t to say city living is without its challenges. Chicago has been altered dramatically over a relatively short timespan—its soils covered by concrete, its wetlands drained and refilled, its river diverted and made to flow in the opposite direction. The stories in The Way of Coyote occasionally lament lost abundance, but they also point toward incredible adaptability and resilience, such as that displayed by beavers plying the waters of human-constructed canals or peregrine falcons raising their young atop towering skyscrapers. Van Horn populates his stories with a remarkable range of urban wildlife and probes the philosophical and religious dimensions of what it means to coexist, drawing frequently from the wisdom of three unconventional guides—wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold, Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, and the North American trickster figure Coyote. Ultimately, Van Horn sees vast potential for a more vibrant collective of ecological citizens as we take our cues from landscapes past and present. Part urban nature travelogue, part philosophical reflection on the role wildlife can play in waking us to a shared sense of place and fate, The Way of Coyote is a deeply personal journey that questions how we might best reconcile our own needs with the needs of other creatures in our shared urban habitats.
A concise and inspirational book for anyone dealing with chronic or acute pain by a long time palliative care doctor who is greatly inspired by Native American wisdom and the natural world. This book is a celebration of impermanence and what it means to be awake, alive, and connected to the world. The Nest in the Stream is an encouraging and inspiring book for the times we live in. Michael Kearney, a physician whose day job is alleviating the pain and suffering of others, shows that how we live with our pain matters hugely, as it affects our quality of living and our capacity to find healing for ourselves, for others, and for our world. Drawing on engaged Buddhism, the indigenous wisdom of Native American and Celtic spirituality, and the powerful teachings he gained by observing nature, Kearney presents a new model for resilience and self-care. Traditional models of self-care emphasize the importance of professional boundaries to protect us from stress, and time out to rest and recover. The Nest in the Stream offers a way of being with pain that is infused with mindfulness, openness, compassion, and deep nature connection that encourages us to act for the freedom and welfare of all. It will appeal to those whose everyday occupation involves dealing with pain, such as healthcare workers, environmental activists, or those working on the front lines of trauma, but it will also be of interest to everyone who longs to live in our wounded world with an open heart.
Children will see the natural world around them with brand new eyes, as they learn to follow its signs, hear its language, and understand its secrets. With this unique and compelling book written by expert environmental educator Devin Franklin, kids aged 8 to 13 will build their own relationship with nature through finding a “Sit Spot” — an outdoor space in the backyard, in a field or in the woods, in a vacant lot or a city park — where they can stop, observe, and become familiar with the flora and fauna that live there. From the Six Arts of Tracking (Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How) and making a habitat map to walking in smooth silence like a fox and learning the basics of bird language, exploration exercises lead young readers on a fascinating journey of discovery as they watch, listen, map, interpret, and write about the sounds, sights, scents, and patterns they encounter. With journaling prompts, map-making activities, and observational tracking practice throughout, Put On Your Owl Eyes is an interactive and thought-provoking guidebook. This publication conforms to the EPUB Accessibility specification at WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
Step outside your door and reconnect with nature. From the author of Writing and the Spiritual Life comes a guide that will replenish your connection to the earth and inspire you to develop and strengthen your imagination. The natural world has inspired artists, seekers, and thinkers for millennia, but in recent times, as the pace of life has sped up, its demands have moved us indoors. Yet nature’s capacity to lead us to important truths, to invigorate and restore our imagination and equilibrium, is infinite. Step into Nature makes nature personal again by stimulating awareness and increasing our understanding of the environment. But being in nature doesn’t mean flying off to remote, faraway places. Nature is as close as opening your front door—and opening your heart to the sky above, the miniature gardens that push their way up between the sidewalk cracks in our cities, and the small stream just down the road. Patrice Vecchione demonstrates how nature can support and enhance your creative output, invigorate your curiosity, and restore your sense of connection to and love of the earth. Included throughout the book is “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” exercises and suggestions for practical and unexpected ways to stimulate your imagination, deepen your relationship with nature, and experience the harmony between creativity and the natural world.
This essay collection explores the concept of human nature and how it influences human perceptions of nature or the environment. Historians and other writers have tended to assume that all humans share specific basic responses to the natural environment. Over time, interpretations of human nature have ranged from rigid biological determinism to subtle and fluid evolutionary ecology. The authors open interpretive doors into how biology, sociobiology, gender, race, culture, society, and other variables shape human discourse on nature and the environment. These essays were first delivered at the New Mexico Environmental Symposium held at the University of New Mexico in April 1996. In addition to the volume editors, contributors are Dan Flores, Virginia Scharff, Vera Norwood, Max Oelschlaeger, William deBuys, and Paul Hirt. Carolyn Merchant and Timothy Moy have penned respectively the foreword and afterword.

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