Reviews and Blog Posts: nature

The Corpse Flower's Cousins: Books and Videos about Freaky Plants

Corpse Flower at US Botanic Garden

This week, one of the most talked about residents of Denver was a giant flower named Stinky. The big, smelly blossom at the Denver Botanic Gardens made the national news, and people have been waiting over three hours to get a look at it. Stinky even has its own StinkyCam. But the corpse flower isn't alone in the world of bizarre and amazing plants.

Getting to Know Colorado Wildflowers

Colorado's Best Wildflower Hikes

The weather outside right now isn't exactly inviting--first it rains, then it snows, then it rains again. It's a good day to be inside. But snow or no snow, we all know winter is finished, and all this moisture means the hillsides are about to be covered with wildflowers. Most Coloradans recognize famous one like the Rocky Mountain Columbine, but what about the lesser-known wildflowers? Have you met the Blue Toadflax? How about the Curvepod Fumewort? Little Pink Elephants? I haven't, I'm afraid, but I've decided this is the year I will.

How Colorado Got So Rugged: Books on Colorado Geology

Messages in Stone Book Cover

If you want to see geologic marvels, Colorado is the place to be. Tall mountains, deep canyons, desert mesas, dinosaur bones, glacial valleys--this state has it all. But have you ever wondered how it got this way? Why is Colorado so rugged, when states like Iowa and Kansas are so flat? What raised those mountains and carved those valleys?

The human age the world shaped by us

by Diane Ackerman

Reviewer Rating:
3

Ackerman's book is a fascinating look at the Anthopecene Age--where we are now living in geologic time--and the global effects that humans are having on our planet and all of the species that live on it. Covering topics as varied as climate change, green buildings, invasive species, epigenetics, animals in...

Nature noir : a park ranger's patrol in the Sierra

by Jordan Fisher Smith

Reviewer Rating:
5

Nature Noir, A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra, is one part Edward Abbey and one part Elmore Leonard. I picked it up because I enjoy behind-the-scenes books about our national parks.

Jordan Fisher Smith was tasked with patrolling the canyons of California's American River, which has long been slated to...

Falling into place : an intimate geography of home

by Catherine Reid

Reviewer Rating:
4

A lovely book of essays that examine our connection to nature, the cycle of the seasons, and the meaning of home. Reid writes about the natural landscape and her inner landscape with equal attention to deal and joy at discovery. A beautiful book to delve into if you're missing natural...

Neil deGrasse Tyson is back!

oh my gosh he's back!

I’m not sure about you, but I miss seeing Neil deGrasse Tyson on NOVA. Good news! He revamped Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and it is airing on Fox (KDVR 31) starting this Sunday at 8. It’s been a great year and a half for science documentaries and books, so if you need more geek in your week, here’s a list:

Some of my current favorite documentaries:

Ubiquitous : celebrating nature's survivors

by Joyce Sidman

Reviewer Rating:
5

Brightly and beautifully illustrated, this poetry book includes a poem to one of nature’s survivors on one page and a scientific explanation on the opposite page. The author and illustrator begin with bacteria and end with humans 4.6 billion years later. Along the way, we meet mollusks, lichens, sharks, beetles,...

Acorn

by Yōko Ono

Reviewer Rating:
4

Much has been said about Yoko Ono, but I quite enjoyed the simplicity of this poetry collection. The straightforward instruction pieces force you to slow down and examine the world around you in a new way--a way that is somehow less complicated but more profound. The pointillism sketches provide a...

A Part

by Wendell Berry

Reviewer Rating:
3

This was my first foray into Wendell Berry's vast catalog.  A meditator on the natural and spiritual, Berry writes with an intimacy that goes beyond simple musings about the color of leaves or a distant God.  These poems have a rich, living feel that can only come from someone who...

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