From the interactive clockwork world of geology, tides, Northwest weather, and snow, to the hidden roles of dirt, stream life, and mosses and lichens, Pulitzer Prize winning writer William Dietrich explores the natural splendors of the Pacific Northwest. His topics include alder and cedar; jellyfish, geoducks, crabs, and killer whales; mosquitoes and spiders; gulls, crows, and bald eagles; and sea otters, coyotes, raccoons, possums, deer, and cougars.
This informative and engaging selection of natural history essays is adapted from articles published in the Seattle Times magazine, Pacific Northwest. A native Washingtonian, Dietrich has watched the Northwest double in population during his lifetime. Our rapidly changing view of nature is an underlying theme throughout his wide-ranging essays, as is the timely and essential question of how best to share and conserve the natural world that drew us to the region in the first place.
Not a field guide nor an environmental policy book, Natural Grace is intended as a primer for people who are curious about the environment they live in and the pressures upon it. "We only care about what we know," says the author. "I’ve concluded that enthusiasm and commitment begin from learning just how marvelous this region is: Passion has to precede purpose." And there is much to marvel over. Dietrich has unearthed fascinating and unexpected facts about his subjects, and he has a gift for expressing complex information in clear and vivid language. He asks intriguing questions and makes good use of interviews with Northwest scientists and experts to convey current and historic attitudes and economic realities, and to consider where we go from here.