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Old 02-15-2016, 02:02 PM   #1
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Default City Creatures Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness

City Creatures Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness
Edited by Gavin Van Horn and Dave Aftandilian
Assistant Editor for Art: Lisa Roberts
Assistant Editor for Poetry: James Ballowe


http://www.amazon.com/City-Creatures.../dp/022619289X

City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, Van Horn, Aftandilian

Quote:
The contributors bring a story-based approach to this urban safari, taking readers on birding expeditions to the Magic Hedge at Montrose Harbor on the North Side, canoe trips down the South Fork of the Chicago River (better known as Bubbly Creek), and insect-collecting forays or restoration work days in the suburban forest preserves
?City Creatures? Details the Animals Among Us | Chicago Tonight | WTTW

Quote:
The fourth section, “Connecting Threads,” is dedicated to the areas reserved for the safeguard and enjoyment of wildlife: parks, forest preserves and other protected lands. The book’s conservation message rings loud and clear in this chapter. Stephan Swanson writes both personally and historically of the rise and fall of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, a snake species that once flourished in Chicagoland before it was hunted to near-extinction in the latter half of the 20th Century.
How You Can Help Chicago Researchers with a Wild Science Project | Chicago Tonight | WTTW
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:09 PM   #2
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From the introduction to "City Creatures"

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An extraordinary range of animals and a variety of possibilities for encountering them exist throughout metropolitan areas. Moreover, this book offers a new set of lenses through which to view those species that are common but nevertheless have their own remarkable ways of being. Animals also provide alternative ways to experience familiar places, revealing that the city is not simply a human social network but an ecological web of interactions. Other species can crack open our tendency to focus exclusively on human comings-and-goings; they help us to see urban worlds with new eyes, feel the city in a different way, know its textures and respond to the needs of our co-inhabitants more fully. The menagerie that this book presents speaks to the ways in which nonhuman animals can instill in us a renewed sense of care and concern for place. Indeed, it is the variety of places in the Chicago region— from isolated pocket parks to thousands of contiguous acres, from sedge meadows to tallgrass prairies to oak-hickory woodlands— that attracts such a diversity of animal life, some of which is globally rare or locally endangered. Everyday, ordinary places we traverse— sometimes a bus ride away, sometimes right outside one’s back door— create unique opportunities in urban areas for encounters with nonhuman others. In some ways, those everyday experiences may be the most important of all.
Quote:
One theme of this book is to anticipate and counteract what Pyle calls the “extinction of experience,” the loss of contact with other animals due to the disappearance of informal natural habitats— the “wilds” of our backyards, our neighborhoods, and the interstitial spaces of urban exploration. These are the secret gardens of adaptable plants and animals, the fertile grounds of imagination for children who later become adults who care about conservation. City creatures draw our attention to the life that pulses through our everyday worlds. They can also help us rethink what our responsibilities to nature are by reframing our ideas about where nature is.
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Old 02-15-2016, 05:25 PM   #3
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This book may seem similar to another book about urban animal encounters that I read and posted about here in the WG Library.

City Wilds: Essays and Stories about Urban Nature

In this book though the stories all take place within the urban boundaries of Chicago, my hometown, and what interests me is the story telling itself. I love hearing people talk about their personal encounters, be it insects, mammals, even fish stories. Any circumstance that makes a connection with nature which causes us to remember then tell about to others.

As I read this book I will share the chapter headings and if you have a story please tell us about your encounter. The first chapter is : Backyard Diversity.




Quote:
For all these reasons, then, the stories we tell about animals matter, both to our lives and to theirs. But storying animals is just the first step in reanimating Chicago. The next step is seeking out your own encounters with city creatures and sharing stories about those encounters with others. We explain why this step is so important in the next section.
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Old 02-16-2016, 07:58 PM   #4
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I am disappointed a bit in this first chapter. The back yard animals in the first two stories are about chickens and then a cat. Good stories with something important to say but...

The third piece is about an opossum. How the narrator feels about urban creatures is examined here and is interesting, but...

So far these stories do not seem to be something I can relate to. My stories of the backyard creatures are of hawks catching baby prey, my grandson finding baby rabbits in a nest, and dragonflies posing for pictures on tall poles used for vine beans. I see robin parents nudging fledglings to independence and the first time I saw an urban coyote passing the front of the house before dawn thinking to myself am I dreaming. I love to tell everyone of the hundreds of bees that appear in late summer /autumn because that is when the bumbles are at their largest populations and prairie flowers are blooming in abundance. At first some people are afraid to get near what seems so many flying buzzing bees and wasps but some like to see the pollinators doing so well.

I'm hoping the stories of Chicago's lakefront and forest preserves and parks etc. are more exciting.
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