Journal archives for September 2021

September 05, 2021

Nature Books I've Read Recently (Reviews)

First of all, I want to preface that despite having asked in the forums and gotten a few engaging responses, I still have no idea what the journal feature ought to be used for. But I figured, I'm bored, and I guess why not review some nature-related books I've read recently.

H is for Hawk, by Helen Macdonald
This was a pretty good book through and through. Without spoiling anything, it's a memoir about a woman whose beloved father dies and, as a falconer, she takes on the challenge of raising up a goshawk, who she names Mabel. She references T.H. White's book, The Goshawk, frequently, and his relationship with his bird, literally just named Gos. It's a good intermediate-level read, for middle or high school students I would say. It does deal with some heavy topics, since a lot of it is about her spiraling into this depression caused by her dad's death, and also her social situation which at the time was not good; so it can be a bit depressing. Not a good book at all if you're seeking information on goshawks, more of a fiction-style book, since it is, after all, a memoir.

Get Your Boots On, by Alex White
I got this book because I saw it suggested on an iNat forum post about good nature books. It seemed like a good option because it was by a teenager (Alex White) who explored nature frequently and appreciated it, which I also am. He's got a promising future in wildlife research and photography, I think. His book was pretty informative and inspirational for young nature enthusiasts. A lot of it was pretty light reading, so it's a good book to just take around and read sections of, or skim over, but it is a pretty short book so it wouldn't take too long to read it all in one go. It has some good general tips for things like wildlife photography, juggling high school/social life with wildlife observing, clubs to join and websites to visit, and etc. One thing I will say was a tad bit annoying about this book was that a decent few pages were about animals in his area, in Britain, which isn't really applicable at all for people who happen to live in places that are not the UK... like Pennsylvania. But if I ever visit the UK I'll keep his wildlife viewing throughout the seasons section in mind. Overall a pretty good, light read.

Emperors of the Deep, by William McKeever
I'll be honest, I read this book a few months ago so I don't remember it as clearly as I would have liked to write this review, but I can talk about it nonetheless. This book talks about debunking sharks as bloodthirsty human-eating creatures and goes over shark attacks (the shark attack files). He talks about the circumstances of the attacks and the like, and why it was not the shark's fault. A lot of this book also talks about the illegal shark fin trade and sharks being killed for other reasons, and why they're the "ocean's most mysterious, most misunderstood, and most important guardians." This is a fun read for marine biology enthusiasts who want to learn about shark behavior (specifically their social behavior) and shark conservation.

I'm going to start reading The Rise of Wolf 8 by Rick McIntyre soon. It seems pretty interesting, it's about the wolves that were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Well, I hope you've enjoyed my random journal post that nobody asked for.

Posted on September 05, 2021 05:23 AM by mbwildlife mbwildlife | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 09, 2021

Chasing Eagles (New Lifer!)

Last night at around 7:00 PM, I was walking around my neighborhood with my camera, looking for crepuscular creatures. At the beginning of my "expedition," I saw a bunch of little birds in groups flying very high up, most likely chimney swifts but I'm not positive. Besides that, I didn't see anything aside from a common nighthawk right above my house as I was stepping in the door. I guess that was also a cool lifer, though.

BUT, the main point of this journal post is that I saw an animal I've always wanted to see, which I surprisingly haven't seen (in the wild, as far as I can remember)... a bald eagle. And that night I saw one without knowing. Or at least I'm pretty sure. I saw a very large black silhouette flying around, which I initially thought was a plane at first glance. It became apparent it was a bird, though.

Today I decided to go out at dusk again and see what I could find. And lo and behold, I saw the bird again. I snapped some quick pictures as it flew above surrounding houses; admittedly, they were pretty blurry as the eagle was flying at a moderately fast speed. If I've seen it twice, or at least an eagle twice in a row by my house, it makes sense to check for them tomorrow at the same time.

Here's to bald eagles and many more interesting lifers!

Posted on September 09, 2021 02:44 AM by mbwildlife mbwildlife | 1 observation | 0 comments | Leave a comment