Natural Encounters

Happy Summer! This week's review tracks outdoor adventures along the East Coast, encouraging us to check these green spaces off our bucket list

Natural Encounters: Biking, Hiking, and Birding through the Seasons

Beehler, Bruce McP. Yale, 2019
283p bibl index, 9780300243482 $30.00, 978030024489

Natural Encounters: Biking, Hiking, and Birding through the Seasons book cover

Organized around the calendar into twelve chapters beginning with the month of July, this book proceeds through the months of crisp fall, icy winter, and muddy spring, leading the reader on a 365-day reminiscence of the seasons as observed in and around Washington, D.C. Ornithologist Beehler (Smithsonian Institution) has been prolific in documenting exotic birds and their environments (CH, Oct’08, 46-0856)as well as migratory North American species (CH, Aug’18, 55-4462). Here, he pays homage to a postwar classic by Louis Halle in which the former State Department official described the natural environment he observed while bicycling to and from work in and around the US capital. Climbing onto his own bicycle some seventy years later, Beehler likewise recalls his own observations while biking along the towpath of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. But this book, written in the shorthand style of a journal account, is not limited to the immediate area of metropolitan Washington. Beehler also details fossil trips and other field excursions in and around the greater Eastern seaboard, at many points drawing specific comparisons to Halle’s earlier observations. A charming account, this is a book that any amateur naturalist will gladly own.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.
S. E. Brazer, Salisbury University
Subject: Science & Technology – Sports & Recreation
Choice Issue: Nov 2019

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