Animal Stories: Encounters With Alaska's Wildlife by Bill SherwonitAnimal Stories: Encounters With Alaska's Wildlife by Bill Sherwonit

Animal Stories: Encounters With Alaska's Wildlife

byBill Sherwonit

Paperback | September 15, 2014

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These timeless, beautifully written essays share encounters and observations on a variety of Alaskan wildlife and include natural history information. They have a wide reach, in a number of ways. Besides essays about Alaska's best-known and most charismatic animals-for instance grizzlies and wolves, moose and Dall sheep, bald eagles and beluga whales-Sherwonit introduces readers to many of Alaska's largely overlooked species, from wood frogs to redpolls and shrews to lynx and wolverines. The stories are also geographically diverse, with stories that stretch across the state, from the Panhandle to the Arctic, and also from Alaska's urban center, Anchorage, to its most remote backcountry. The essays also examine the complicated relationships humans have with other animals, and consider different ways of knowing, and relating to, these critters. They are intended to be thought-provoking as well as entertaining: to increase readers' awareness and get people thinking about their own relationships with wild neighbors, wild relatives, and the inherent value that these animals have, irrespective of what they give to us.
For more than three decades, Anchorage-based writer Bill Sherwonit has written extensively about wilderness, the natural history of animals and plants, wildlife management, connection to place, conservation issues, and notions of wildness. He's contributed stories and photos to a wide variety of national publications and is the author ...
Title:Animal Stories: Encounters With Alaska's WildlifeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:276 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.68 inPublished:September 15, 2014Publisher:Graphic Arts BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1941821081

ISBN - 13:9781941821084


Read from the Book

In the Company of BearsIt's cold out here. Fingers and toes are tingling. My small field thermometer reads in the upper forties, but with the gusting winds, the chill is probably closer to freezing. Classic hypothermia weather. So, here I am, behind a shelter and cloaked in wind shell, fleece jacket, capilene shirt, nylon pants, wool cap with rain hood pulled over it, and fleece gloves-and starting to shiver. Meanwhile bear, lying on an exposed bench and faced into the wind, shows no discomfort at all. If he's not chilled at all on a day like this, does he overheat on the bright, sunny, warm days of summer (which admittedly seem to be few and far between here)? The bear naps more than an hour before rising. Immediately, he resumes feeding. He does little else for the next two hours except chew mouthfuls of tundra greens. He barely lifts his head, except to see where the next patch of food might be, and seldom has to take more than a few steps to get there. He continues to ascend a rocky rivulet surrounded by low-lying but lush green plants, until reaching a rubbly pile of lichen-bearded boulders. He then tops a brownish knoll that apparently has little to tempt him, and ambles to another lush swale, where he resumes his feasting.It would appear the grizzly has entered the late-summer phase that biologists sometimes call hyperphagia: an almost around-the-clock gorging, in preparation for winter's months-long fasting. At one point the bear finds a spot so luscious, all he can do is sprawl in the midst of it.The more I watch the grizzly, the more I'm confident he's a heavily muscled mature male, perhaps in his prime. He has little to fear, except, perhaps, for a larger bear-which seems unlikely here-or hunters bearing guns. That's one good thing about this weather: no hunters are likely to come this way today.

Table of Contents

Introduction/Author's Note I. Meeting the Neighbors The Songs of Robins Stretch Across Time and Space The Hidden Lives of Hares and Shrews Living with Moose Through the Seasons and Across the Years Watching Belugas Point Woronzof's Spectacle of Swallows Squirrelly Behavior Leaving the Nest Ravens in Winter Redpoll Serenade: Celebrating the End of Winter Of Bears and Bird Seed Listening to Owl II. Along City and Highway Fringes A Gathering of Swans Called to a Primeval Presence: Anchorage's Sandhill Cranes Nesting Goshawks Arctic Terns, the World's Greatest Long-Distance Flyers Campbell Creek's Silvers On the Trail, Finding Lynx Valley of the Eagles III. Backcountry Encounters In the Company of Bears Crossing Paths with Porcupine Looking into Wild Eyes Seeking Caribou, Touching the Arctic Refuge's Coastal Plain Fourteen Ways of Viewing Alaska's Wild, White Sheep Meeting a Legend: Wolverine Paddling with Porpoises Wilderness Music: Sharing a Valley with Howling Wolves IV. Oddities, Surprises, and Dilemmas A Gift of Halibut Leonard Peyton's Redpoll Project Otter Catastrophe "Nice" Weather Gets Seals Hot Mystery of Alaska's Deformed-Bill Chickadees An Overlooked Marvel: In Search of Anchorage's Wood Frogs Of Waxwings and Goshawks and Standing Up to Power A Tale of Two Wolverines and One Beloved Dog

Editorial Reviews

"In his ANIMAL STORIES, Bill Sherwonit reminds us that community is built and sustained not only by humans caring for one another, but by humans noticing, coming to know, and caring about their animal neighbors. From the black-capped chickadees at his feeder, to the wood frogs in an urban pond, to the wolverines he encounters on the alpine tundra, Sherwonit celebrates Alaskan wildlife in all its forms with his eyes, ears, heart, and curiosity wide open. In prose that's clear as a rain-washed sky, he observes and writes as a true citizen-naturalist and nature writer." -Eva Saulitis, author of Into Great Silence: A Memoir of Discovery and Loss Among Vanishing Orcas