So. I have been thinking about the change of seasons. I don’t want to miss spring this year. I want to distinguish the last winter frost from the out-of-season one, the frost of spring. I want to be there on the spot the moment the grass turns green. I always miss this radical revolution; I… Read More Spring


Storm writing

Even in the Northeast, everyone is bracing for Hurricane Sandy. Back on Wednesday, before it had really registered as a force to be reckoned with, I read this episode in The Child from the Sea and thought it was just stunning. I’m not sure why it had such an impact on me, but it’s partly… Read More Storm writing

Nature Study

Feather, Light, and Air

Did you know there’s a whole volume of chickadee poems? I’m apparently one of many fans of this cheerful, talkative, hardy, round little acrobat. Anna Botsford Comstock points out that the winter birds have a special place in the hearts of Northeasterners, and I would agree. Thornton Burgess relates that as a boy practicing with… Read More Feather, Light, and Air


A Wing in the Door

A Wing in the Door by Peri Phillips McQuay is by turns a beautiful and a frustrating book. It narrates the fate of a female red-tailed hawk taken illegally by a would-be falconer from her nest when only a month old. The hawk — named Merak — is confiscated by Canadian authorities and kept at… Read More A Wing in the Door

Chapter Books

Rufous Redtail

I read this book when I was around 10, and I’ve always remembered it as one of the best. I didn’t remember all the details, but I remembered some of them. Mostly I remembered it as a book that had a strong impact, opening my eyes to new knowledge and moving me deeply. You won’t… Read More Rufous Redtail

Chapter Books, Nature Study

Longlegs the Heron

We’ve been reading and enjoying Thornton Burgess’s Longlegs the Heron. A friend loaned us a copy of this difficult-to-find book after reading this post, and as food for our ongoing heron interest it has been timely and fun. This book has a feel slightly different than other Burgess Bedtime Books I’ve read — more purposefully… Read More Longlegs the Heron


The Wild Trees

“I think I’ve found out the secret of making a dream come true.” “What’s that?” “Just don’t stop. Don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. If someone tells you something is impossible, do that thing first. Prove that it is possible, and keep going.” So says Michael Taylor, speaking of his years-long quest for the tallest tree… Read More The Wild Trees