Nature Obscura: A City’s Hidden Natural World

Kelly Brenner. Mountaineers, $17.95 trade paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-68051-207-6
Naturalist blogger and self-proclaimed reluctant city dweller Brenner takes a deep dive into urban nature in her probing first book, which she calls a “projection of the nature found in a city onto a piece of paper.” Organizing her work around the seasons, Seattleite Brenner explores a side of her city few others have seen. Winter is more active than many might believe (“a closer look reveals that nature is very much awake, but changed”), with hummingbirds, moss, and tardigrades among the flora and fauna Brenner finds, while spring brings ferns, flies, and muskrats. In summer, the species Brenner investigates include dragonflies, three-spined stickleback fish, and moon snails, with their insatiable love of clams. Autumn offers the somewhat stomach-turning plasmodial slime mold, which Brenner’s quest to see leads to a trip to British Columbia. Brenner is so enthused about the natural world that she buys a bug zapper and disables its killing powers, choosing instead to study the insects that seek out its appealing ultraviolet light. Impeccably researched and written, Brenner’s smart debut is ideal for those with a deep interest in nature. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 04/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-1-68051-208-3
Compact Disc - 978-1-0941-5374-2
MP3 CD - 978-1-0941-5375-9
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