"Crow Planet" book giveaway!
We’re extremely excited to welcome Lyanda Lynn Haupt and Martyn Stewart to kick-start our Fall 2009 Sourdough Speaker Series at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center. Join us at the Learning Center September 26-27 for a special evening celebrating Darwin and his theory of evolution, the wonders of bird life in the Pacific Northwest and the wild music of bird song.
Martyn Stewart will share with us some of his vast library of recorded bird songs, displaying the equipment with which he has recorded them and sharing stories from a life spent in the field recording natural soundscapes. Martyn has been recording nature, some of which can be heard at www.naturesound.org, for more than 35 years. He recently collaborated with nature photographers Paul Bannick and Subhanker Banerjee, enhancing their books by producing accompanying CDs of bird songs and music from wild landscapes.
Lyanda Lynn Haupt, a Seattle-based writer, naturalist and educator, is the award-winning author of books including Rare Encounters with Ordinary Birds and Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent: The Importance of Everything and Other Lessons from Darwin’s Lost Notebook. Her new book, Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness, uses the fascinating natural history of crows as a window for exploring the human relationship with the natural world, even in seemingly “unwild” places. LyandaÂ will explain Darwin’s own evolution as a naturalist and show us how he was deeply influenced by birds beyond the famous finches. She’ll share her insights in to the surprising connections between birds and humans and remind us of the many ways that the birds in our midst can bring our lives into rich conversation with the wild, no matter where we live.
“With her sensitivity, careful eye and gift for language,” the LA Times crowed, “Haupt tells her tale beautifully, using crow study to get at a range of ever-deepening concerns about nature and our place within it, immersing us in a heady hybrid of science, history, how-to and memoir.”
We’ve got a copy of Crow Planet to give away to one lucky reader — just leave a comment after this post or on our Facebook page that shares what natural element keeps you “in rich conversation with the wild.” We’ll let them accumulate for a week andÂ randomly choose a winner from the submissions next week.
Crow Planet looks fabulous! I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
“What natural element keeps you ‘in rich conversation with the wild’?”
I was going to respond the mountains, but after spending six crazily full days straight in downtown D.C., it was watching birds that provided touchstone moments to sanity. Standing in a courtyard bounded by a Metro station and three skyscrapers, I watched a warbler catch an insect, lose it, re-catch it, sing, and then hide in the bushes to eat the prize. This tiny bird was a connecting thread to the wildlands that I had felt so far removed from until that moment, and the relief it gave me was as tangible as a cool breeze on a stiflingly hot day.
Wherever I am, the day starts with a look at the sky, a sniff of the air. Then I know how to get ready for the day.
It is those unexpected encounters with birds. Yesterday I was walking with a friend along a road in a semi rural area talking about how to prune redtwig dogwoods to keep good color. There were some native redtwigs along the road with berries and a piliated woodpecker was eating them in a horizontal position….lazy lunch? red twigs too thin for his weight? anyway, a big thrill for us! And then this morning I walked by the forcythia in my yard where flocks of little birds like to visit and hang out. There was a little squak and a small hawk flew up and out. It fanned it’s tail….what a pretty show….but nothing in its talons. As much as I love the little birds I know that everyone needs to eat, so in a way I was a little disappointed. Too bad none of them seem to be interested in rotten pears.
I guess the connection to the wild is in observing all the parts to the circle of life.