Archives For Wildlife

 

The Saint in Vivid Color
 
A Brief Review of 

St. Francis and the Animals:
A Mother Bird’s Story

Phil Gallery
Illustrated by Sybil Mackenzie

Hardback: San Damiano Books, 2018
Buy Now:  [ Amazon ]
 
Reviewed by C. Christopher Smith
 

“These stunning illustrations and the engaging text describe how Francis related to a great variety of animals. This book is sure to spark valuable conversations.”
-Fr. Pat McCloskey, OFM

Narrated by Mother Bird, this picture book is an elegantly-illustrated retelling the familiar stories of St. Francis and his interaction with the animals.

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How to Know the Wild Animals
Carolyn Wells

 
If ever you should go by chance
To jungles in the East,
And if there should to you advance
A large and tawny beast–
If he roar at you as you’re dyin’,
You’ll know it is the Asian Lion.
 
If, when in India loafing round,
A noble wild beast meets you,
With dark stripes on a yellow ground,
Just notice if he eats you.
This simple rule may help you learn
The Bengal Tiger to discern.

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“An Abiding Love of Nature”

A Review of
Three Recent Nature Books
From the University of California Press.

 Reviewed by Chris Smith.

 

The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife.
Hardback: U California Press, 2009.
Buy now:   [ Amazon ]

Oceans:
Exploring the Hidden Depths of the Underwater World.

Paul Rose and Anne Laking
.
Hardback: U California Press, 2009.
Buy now:   [ Amazon ]

Elephant Reflections.
Karl Ammann and Dale Peterson.
Hardback: U California Press, 2009.
Buy now:   [ Amazon ]


I have long thought that an education rooted in nature study would go a long way toward making us and our children love, respect and live peaceably with all God’s creation.  Anna Botsford Comstock makes this point well in the introduction to her classic work, Handbook of Nature Study:

Nature-study cultivates in the child a love of the beautiful; it brings to him early a perception of color, form and music.  He sees whatever there is in his environment, whether it be the thunder-head piled up in the western sky, or the golden flash of the oriole in the elm … Also, what there is of sound, he hears; he reads the music score of the bird orchestra, separating each part and knowing which bird sings it.  And the patter of the rain, the gurgle of the brook, the sighing of the wind in the pine, he notes and loves and becomes enriched thereby.  But, more than all, nature-study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature.

Comstock goes on to note that nature study begins in our observation of and engagement with our environment that is immediately at hand around us.  Eventually, however, in the course of nature study, we begin to learn about plants, animals and habitats in other places around the globe.  Toward this end, the University of California Press has recently published three excellent books, which would fit well within a course of – formal or informal – nature study.  The first of these books is a fabulous reference book about the animal kingdom, The Illustrated Atlas of Wildlife.  This book is filled with vibrant color photography, useful illustrations and maps, and it begins with an introductory section on the “Living Earth,” which provides a framework for the remainder of the book.  In addition to overviewing vital topics like the ecological balance needed in a place, threats to animal life and conservation, this introduction also briefly surveys the basic types of habitats around the earth: forests, grasslands, dry and desert places, frozen and aquatic habitats.  The remainder of the book is divided into eight sections representing basically the seven continents (although Australia is expanded to include all of Australasia and Oceania and Antarctica to include both polar regions) and one section on all the oceans.  These eight sections are broken down into a total of 57 regions which covers the vast majority of the earth’s surface, land or sea.  In a two page spread, the topography, climate and animals of a particular region are presented in clear, simple and memorable ways using both textual and visual media.  Continue Reading…