226 pages, b/w illustrations
Naturalist and Seattle native David Williams offers his original perspectives on the wonder and resilience of nature in and around the Northwest's greatest population center. Illustrated by hand-drawn maps, Williams's writings are interesting, intelligent, and challenging at a personal level. He approaches the notion that his beloved city, as hip and urbane as it is, remains a wild place on the Northwest landscape – in the quarried rock of the historical buildings, in the branches of a pocket-sized city park, in the twists and turns of a stream that has been abused by polluters, hedged in by lawns, and buried under expressways. And yet it is a living thing, worthy of rescue. Williams looks beyond the skyline, beyond the postcard views of the Emerald City, and into its wild heart.
" [...] we can learn much about our environment by paying closer attention to bits of nature we pass by everyday."
– Seattle Audubon Society, September 2005
"Best Urban Nature Writer – Williams has hunted up the obscure and notable quirks of the natural world within our city [...]"
– Best of Seattle, August 3-9 2005
"Each chapter [...] features a topic of interest to the hiker-naturalist-historian [...] "
– Washington Trails
"Even if you are not familiar with Seattle [...] there is plenty to relate to in this book."
– The Ledger, September 8, 2005
"For anybody thinking that cities are only concrete, asphalt and grassy lawns, Williams wants you to look again."
– Capitol Hill Times, July 13, 2005
"Messing with mother nature can get you in deep doo-doo."
– The Seattle Times, July 17, 2005
"Reading The Street Smart Naturalist is like suddenly acquiring X-ray vision [...] Every page [...] brought me revelations [...] "
– David Laskin, Author of The Children's Blizzard and Braving the Elements
"Williams' essays demonstrate [...] a keen eye is as useful as an unlimited travel budget in studying the world around you."
– Tom Palmer, The Ledger, Sept 8, 2005
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