Friday, May 15, 2009

NW Nature Reading Tuesday Night

James Luther Davis will read at the store Tuesday night (May 19th) at 7 from his newly published book The Northwest Nature Guide: Where to Go and What to See Month by Month in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia (published by Timber Press).

I wrote a little about this book earlier in the year on our blog. If you want to know what to see when in the natural world in the exceptional paradise that is the Pacific Northwest, this is your book! Since timing is so important in nature, the book takes you through the year month by month and, for each month, describes four wildlife attractions or natural events that are exceptional during that month. Each chapter also offers a "closer look" section about a general topic pertinent to that month, as well as "nature nuggets," which are briefer mentions of other natural happenings for that month.

The author urges you to be "patient, flexible, and observant" and to remember that nature is not particularly predictable. He adds, "Make each trip an adventure." Davis also provides wildlife-watching secrets and etiquette to enhance your experience. A beautiful 31-page four-color insert provides gorgeous photographs of bald eagles, frozen waterfalls, great blue herons, baby harbor seals, cobra lilies, sandhill cranes, bighorned sheep, and the "booming of a sage-grouse on a lek" (covered in detail in the April chapter).

James Davis has been a naturalist for Metro Parks and Natural Areas since 1998. He began his naturalist career as a young lad chasing lizards in Tucson, Arizona. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees, he taught junior and senior high school science classes in California for several years and worked in two zoos as the "Zoo Mobile Guy." In 1981 he moved to Portland and created a job for himself as the first education director of the Audubon Society of Portland.

After nine years at Audubon, he began teaching science at Marylhurst University, where he was instrumental in starting the university's "Head Start Summer Science Institute," the only science training program for Head Start teachers in the country.

Davis lives in Portland with his wife Sally (what a great name!). When not pursuing his natural history interests, he plays guitar in rock and roll bands -- although, he says, not nearly enough these days.

He has been described as having contagious enthusiasm and laugh-out-loud humor. Mike Houck, the executive director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute, says "I've never met a better all-around naturalist or teller of nature tales than James Davis."

We hope you can join us for what is sure to be an entertaining and informative evening. After the rain returns following our glorious weekend of sunshine, hanging out in a bookstore on a Tuesday evening is a grand idea, while you make plans for what to do when you next venture out into the great Pacific Northwest world of nature.

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