Book Review: The Forest Unseen

The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature is a book I'm sure I will reread or at least dip into again and again. It is beautifully written and packed with fascinating information about the ecology of the eastern forest.

Brooklyn Blogger Breakfast at Bright Horizons

Bright Horizons invited Brooklyn child- and parenting-related bloggers to tour their new facility on Kent Avenue in trendy Williamsburg. I attended and must say the place is very nice, and they make a real effort to feature natural materials, calm earth tones, room for gross motor play, and nature and science themed playthings.

The gym-like playroom features a kid-sized climbing wall in addition to a dance area and a variety of other items designed to encourage exercise.

Book Review: Wild-Lost and Found on the Pacific Coast Trail

At 22, Cheryl Strayed was a basket case. After her mother's early death from cancer, Strayed began a downhill slide that ended in estrangement from her remaining family and husband, and reckless sex and drug use. On little more than a whim, she decided to spend the summer of 1995 hiking the Pacific Coast Trail—alone. Although she had plenty of experience with family camping, she had never gone backpacking before, and much of the book details her naivete and inadequate preparation, in particular, the tribulations caused by ill-fitting boots.

Book Review: Wild with Child

I received Wild with Child: Adventures of Families in the Great Outdoors as a birthday gift. It's a very readable collection of short essays and personal narratives by parents about exploring nature with their children. The stories run the gamut from rock climbing and hunting with pre-schoolers to camping and climbing trees with almost-grown teenagers, and everything in between. The quality of the writing is uniformly high, unusual for an anthology. Most of the families represented are of the two parents of opposite genders variety, but the children are boys and girls of all ages. On the author/parent side, women outnumber men about two to one. A common theme is that being outdoors with your children is a two-way experience, adults learn as much from children as children learn from adults, and often the child we introduced to nature eventually surpasses us in knowledge. Wild with Child is an enjoyable read that really brings home the endless variety and range of ways to enjoy outdoor adventures with children of all ages. To quote the introduction, "There are wonders waiting and memories to be made."

Although this is not an advice or how-to book, there is a short list of recommended books and websites for outdoor families at the end.

Book Review: Peterson First Guide to Urban Wildlife

For Mothers' Day, I got two new field guides: Peterson First Guide to Urban Wildlife, and A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guide). I've only flipped through the latter, which I'll review in the future, but I read Urban Wildlife cover to cover, since it's quite brief and succinct. It's oddly organized—despite claiming on the back