The Street Smart Naturalist

Welcome to my adventure

Most days in Seattle you can find a bald eagle gracing the air above; we are blessed with at least a dozen active territories. Even better, or at least even easier, every day you can also find dozens of eagles in downtown Seattle, perched on buildings such as this one.

I have long believed that nature is all around us, if we take the time to slow down, to pay attention, and to be better observers. If you do so in Seattle, you can find an amazing world of cinnamon roll-sized fossils in office building bathrooms, long-buried bogs highjacking street traffic, and golden yellow slime mold as beautiful as any jewels. And, such bounty isn’t hard to find; it’s growing in your own backyard, molded in terra cotta splendor, and cavorting in parks.

Part of what makes seeking out these stories of the natural world, and how humans interact with it, fun, is that they can be located in so many different ways, not only by exploring the city on foot, bike, bus, and car but also by rummaging through archives, newspapers, maps, and books. Over the last two decades, I have been lucky to take many such journeys and to write about what I have found in books and blogs.

Now, I am excited to continue sharing ideas, stories, and observations about my research and ramblings via this biweekly email newsletter. My approach will be that of a naturalist, which I think of as someone who pays close attention to the natural world, who is curious about what they encounter, and who hopes to learn from those encounters. My hope is that these musings about Seattle, Puget Sound, and the Pacific Northwest—my home—will help you find your own stories and will inspire you to want to know more and explore further.

Ultimately, I believe that finding these stories can help develop better connections and a stronger relationship to place. It would also be great if you let me know what you think so we can engage in conversations and learn from each other.

Thank you for joining me. I think that we’ll have fun together.


And, finally a few housekeeping issues.

In case you are interested in more information about me and my books, blog, and virtual talks, here’s a link to my website.

Or you can follow me on Twitter @geologywriter. I will continue to post there and will use this newsletter to dive deeper into various topics.

For those of you have received my periodic emails about events and such over the years, this will be a replacement, which unlike those that I sent a handful of times a year will now come to your inbox on a more regular basis. (Still free.) If you only want to know about upcoming events, please check my walks/talk page. I certainly understand if you choose to unsubscribe to Street Smart Naturalist.

One thing I will try to do in each newsletter is to post an image with a where, when, why, who, or how question. Please don’t be shy about sending in your answers via the comments page. I look forward to your responses. The first question relates to the eagle at the top of the page. Where is it located? I’ll tell you about it in the next newsletter.