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Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban…
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Crow Planet: Essential Wisdom from the Urban Wilderness

by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
The author/naturalist lives in West Seattle and, in this book, writes as much about how to observe and think about nature in an urban setting as she does about crows. I loved the parts about crows. ( )
  gbelik | Aug 26, 2017 |
Good book by an author living in West Seattle. First half was excellent and the send half too preachy. ( )
  ronsea | Aug 23, 2013 |
“Once I saw a crow sitting on a wire as a gentle breeze loosed a cloud of cherry blossom petals. She tried, like a playful cat, to catch the petals one at a time with her bill as they drifted by. Once after a rare Seattle snow, I saw two crows standing up to their bellies in snowfall. They gathered the snow on their heads and tossed it up, then jumped after it with their bills as it fell around them, enjoying the novelty in very much the same manner as Claire and I were. These stories might not be suitable for a scientific journal, but they are fitting for our own field notebooks, for our naturalist’s diaries, for the tales we tell, and for the private places where we keep and treasure our own observations of the wild earth’s wonders, whether they occur thousands of times over or are written only once.” (page 82)

Haupt writes lyrically and personally about the intelligence and adaptability of crows, yet she also tells her own story of life in the “urban wilderness.” As a naturalist and writer, I resonated with her list of naturalist qualities, including the propensity to “name things,” to “cultivate an obsession,” and to “carry a notebook.” I name flora and fauna and even keep lists of favorite road names for future stories. I cultivate an obsession for the natural history and community of a small island in the Salish Sea. I always carry a notebook to record my observations and keep lists, from the mundane of groceries to the excitement of a birding expedition.

She delves into the ways of naturalists and poets and the inspiration that walking brings: “Walker-thinkers have found various ways to accommodate the gifts of imagination that their walking brings.” Henry David Thoreau, Meriwether Lewis, and Mary Oliver all walked to both observe and to inspire writing. I, too, find walking or wandering jump-starts my muse.

Most of all, I admire Haupt’s focus on the fact that we can “naturalize” anywhere, be it our back gardens, neighborhood parks, or city streets. We can all cultivate a respect for the wild beings who share our world, by learning about them and devising humane ways to discourage them from getting into trouble in our ever-expanding human sprawl. We can live alongside crows and raccoons, slugs and spiders, allowing them to help us by consuming pests, allowing them to live their lives as co-inhabitants of our planet. Read Crow Planet and learn not only about crows and other urban wildlife, but about yourself as well. ( )
  bookwren | Jul 17, 2013 |
Perhaps the best book on our relation to everything else on earth I have read since reading "A Sand County Almanac", which Haupt refers to more than once in these reflective essays. I am watching the world out my window, and on my walks, more closely and more contemplatively since reading this book. ( )
  nmele | Jul 8, 2013 |
First the nitpicky bits: an editor should have picked up on the fact that Haupt calls crane flies 'cane flies' throughout. And there was one wincing 'tales' for tails.

This isn't really a book about crows at all. It's a memoir, a book about Haupt being alert to her surroundings, a book about waking from depression. I wanted to read about crows, so my impressions of this book are colored by my disappointment in finding a philosophical treatise in place of a natural history of a species. Not that there aren't crows on every page, just that they are all anecdotal crows. The entire book is anecdotal.

There were lovely passages, and interesting insights. There were knee-jerk reactions disguised as philosophy (one can, in fact, feed backyard birds responsibly and well). There were judgments and quirks and digressions. It was interesting but not compelling to me - it took me almost 3 months to finish as I kept putting it down and picking something else up.

Two stars- it was okay. Not bad, but not something I'll re-read.
( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
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For my radiant daughter, Claire

--a friend to slugs, spiders, birds, and the wild earth
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By all rights, I should never see the crow who perches almost daily on the electrical wire just beyond my study window.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316019100, Hardcover)

There are more crows now than ever. Their abundance is both an indicator of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. CROW PLANET reminds us that we do not need to head to faraway places to encounter "nature." Rather, even in the suburbs and cities where we live we are surrounded by wild life such as crows, and through observing them we can enhance our appreciation of the world's natural order. CROW PLANET richly weaves Haupt's own "crow stories" as well as scientific and scholarly research and the history and mythology of crows, culminating in a book that is sure to make readers see the world around them in a very different way.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

There are more crows now than ever. Their abundance is both an indicator of ecological imbalance and a generous opportunity to connect with the animal world. Crow Planet reminds us that we do not need to head to faraway places to encounter "nature." Rather, even in the suburbs and cities where we live we are surrounded by wild life such as crows, and through observing them we can enhance our appreciation of the world's natural order. Crow Planet richly weaves Haupt's own "crow stories" as well as scientific and scholarly research and the history and mythology of crows, culminating in a book that is sure to make readers see the world around them in a very different way.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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