Nature Books, Nature Writing

If you enjoy nature writing — and even if you don't especially — you're bound to find something to please in any of these four nature books.


| March/April 1989


For the outdoorsman or woman with a literary streak, we offer these capsule reviews of four nature books. They feature some of the best new and collected nature writing produced on the North American continent.


Not Just for the Birds

Somewhere along the way, we lost the capacity to design perfect natural houses — all we can do now is hire architects and hope for the best. The sad part is that we then try to impose our artificially upon other creatures.

These thoughts are expanded in the introductory pages of Malcolm Wells's Classic Architectural Birdhouses and Feeders ($9.95 postpaid from Malcolm Wells). The author, of course, is best known for his works on earth-sheltered housing and is universally recognized as an accomplished advocate of underground design.

His latest effort is a presentation of more than 20 bird-accommodating habitats designed to meet two most important criteria — respect for the environment and for the needs of the creatures themselves. Hence, we're encouraged to forage for any and all indigenous materials: "You shouldn't have to pay for anything but the nails; if the birds can scrounge [everything] they need, surely we can manage to round up a few pieces of scrap wood.... Should the nails come in a plastic pack, dump its contents onto the store counter and ask for an organic paper bag."

Not surprisingly, the structures that Wells has chosen to detail from his own 40-year collection — in line drawings, with dimensions, exploded views and plan layouts — are nothing like the "silly-looking bird boxes, embarrassing us out-of-doors," to which we've acquiesced over time. They're clever, inconspicuous, and a well-thought-out blend of aesthetics and a consciousness of species engineering. And besides, how many opportunities do you get to commission an architect to design your birdhouses? — Richard Freudenberger

True Grits

Grits Gresham is probably the best-known outdoor writer in America. Even if you've never picked up a copy of Sports Afield (where he's served as shooting editor for 14 years), odds are you've encountered his writing in one of the many other publications, some decidedly not "outdoor" oriented, that have been pleased to feature it. Or, perhaps, you might have seen him on ABC's "The American Sportsman," which Grits hosted for 13 years. And, barring all that, you've almost certainly seen him, Western-hatted and gray sideburns bristling, in one of the Miller Lite beer commercials.





mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265