30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 27- Reading Nature

Knowing I was doing this experiment, I tried to focus my reading to books on nature. I have way too many books in my “to read” pile, but this month I whittled down the list a little. Okay, a smidge. Okay, a fraction of a smidge.

I am a library whore. I’m not even remotely ashamed of it. I have library books coming out of every crevice in my home. Most I don’t read. I don’t have time. Many I peruse through. I get them because they seemed interesting at the time, or they are related to my own books on fitness or humor essays. I am also addicted to cookbooks, and even though I have ten trillion recipes I could try right here, I often find myself getting new ones to look through.

I borrowed a book called Food is the Solution by Matthew Prescott. What I like about the premise of this book is Prescott does maintain the idea eating a plant based diet is best for the earth, he doesn’t shove it down your throat. It’s annoying to me when books say “eating vegan diet is the ONLY way to protect the earth.” No, there are sustainable ways to eat meat, but eating LESS meat is not only good for the planet, it is good for you, too.

I haven’t gotten far into Food is the Solution. That’s because I’ve been super busy at work, and swimming, and cooking, and trying to write. And I’ve been distracted with another book, Ranger Confidential. I got it from Powell’s Bookstore in Portland when I went to the Tualtin River National Wildlife Refuge’s Bird Festival in May. I mostly got it as a competitive title for my book of essays about working with zoos and answering questions, but it’s got some great stories. It is a pretty good comparative title, and when I’m done, I’ll have to share more of my thoughts on it.

I also have a subscription to Scribd. This is a great app for people who like to listen to books. It takes some getting accustomed to, though. For $8 a month, you can listen to as many books as you like. While they do not have the widest selection of books, they have most books I’ve looked for. Not all, but a majority. If you use Scribd, I recommend downloading several books while you are at home. If you find yourself somewhere without an internet connection or WiFi, you can still listen to books from Scribd if they are downloaded.

This is what I did for work, since at Fort Ebey, I don’t have a connection at all. I downloaded several book titles- Truth to Power: An Inconvenient Sequel by Al Gore, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont, The Nature Principle and Vitamin N by Richard Louv, and Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat. I listened to the books while I weed-eat and do yard work for the parks.

I really want to do a full report on The Nature Principle as it is one of my favorite books. It is a follow up book to Last Child in the Woods, which I haven’t read yet, but have as a back-up book in my queue. The Nature Principle talks about Nature Deficit Disorder, not a medical condition, but honestly, I feel it should be one. There are ways to incorporate nature into our daily lives, in play, work, school, home, and even melding nature with technology.

Louv has so much vital and pertinent knowledge about the importance of nature in our lives, from our health and well-being to simply peace of mind, to research showing we perform tasks better when connected to nature. There is also the essence of environmentalism, but honestly, getting outdoors isn’t JUST about saving the planet, it’s about saving ourselves. Which, yeah, sounds a lot like Conservation Fitness and ZooFit. So of course I want to talk about the book.

I’ve been listening to Never Cry Wolf  the last couple of days, and I’m almost finished. I can’t believe I’ve never read this book before. It’s really eye opening. For those who haven’t read it, it’s about Mowat, a scientist for Canadian government in the fifties or sixties, sent to the Arctic circle to research the arctic wolf and report on its hunting habits and affect on caribou populations. At that time, wolves were blamed for the decline of caribou. But what Mowat observes with wolves is they are family oriented, conservative in their hunting, and hold a strong key role in the ecosystem. I haven’t finished it yet, but I am thoroughly enjoying this book. I am wondering how he will relay his true findings in the book, which most of us know nowadays how vital wolves are to the stability of an ecosystem.

There are a lot of great books out there, waiting for us to find them and change our world. What have you read lately which influenced you or inspired you?


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