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The Way of Coyote Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds

Nature Writing
By: Gavin Van Horn(Author)
224 pages, 9 b/w illustrations
The Way of Coyote
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  • The Way of Coyote ISBN: 9780226441580 Hardback Oct 2018 Usually dispatched within 4 days
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About this book

A hiking trail through majestic mountains. A raw, unpeopled wilderness stretching as far as the eye can see. These are the settings we associate with our most famous books about nature. But Gavin Van Horn isn't most nature writers. He lives and works not in some perfectly remote cabin in the woods but in a city – a big city. And that city has offered him something even more valuable than solitude: a window onto the surprising attractiveness of cities to animals. What was once in his mind essentially a nature-free blank slate turns out to actually be a bustling place where millions of wild things roam. He came to realize that our own paths are crisscrossed by the tracks and flyways of endangered black-crowned night herons, Cooper's hawks, brown bats, coyotes, opossums, white-tailed deer, and many others who thread their lives ably through our own.

With The Way of Coyote, Gavin Van Horn reveals the stupendous diversity of species that can flourish in urban landscapes like Chicago. That isn't to say city living is without its challenges. Chicago has been altered dramatically over a relatively short timespan – its soils covered by concrete, its wetlands drained and refilled, its river diverted and made to flow in the opposite direction. The stories in The Way of Coyote occasionally lament lost abundance, but they also point toward incredible adaptability and resilience, such as that displayed by beavers plying the waters of human-constructed canals or peregrine falcons raising their young atop towering skyscrapers. Van Horn populates his stories with a remarkable range of urban wildlife and probes the philosophical and religious dimensions of what it means to coexist, drawing frequently from the wisdom of three unconventional guides – wildlife ecologist Aldo Leopold, Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu, and the North American trickster figure Coyote. Ultimately, Van Horn sees vast potential for a more vibrant collective of ecological citizens as we take our cues from landscapes past and present. Part urban nature travelogue, part philosophical reflection on the role wildlife can play in waking us to a shared sense of place and fate, The Way of Coyote is a deeply personal journey that questions how we might best reconcile our own needs with the needs of other creatures in our shared urban habitats.

Contents

Prologue: A Companionable Dissolution to Plan A

I. Inhabitation

Prelude: Coyote Rolls the Dice
The Channel Coyotes
Scrapers of Sky
Under Construction
The TV Graveyard near Tong’s Tiki Hut
De los pajaritos del monte

II. Anima

Prelude: Coyote Calls a Council
An Etiquette of Sound
A Language That Transcends Words
The Cool Red Eye of Chicago
Vulning
The City Bleeds Out (Reflections on Lake Michigan)
Great Blue Meditation
A Question of Monarchs

III. Conciliation

Prelude: Coyote Creates New Paths
Shagbark Thoughts
Vole-a-Thon
Desire Lines
Corridors of Change
Greenways
Blueways
Mindways

Epilogue: Postscript to a Hope

Gratitudes
Notes

Customer Reviews

Nature Writing
By: Gavin Van Horn(Author)
224 pages, 9 b/w illustrations
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