January 4, 2015

A Reader's Review

With a goal of mine being to add more reading into my life, a good way to share that reading is by reviewing it. 

Lately, I have been drawn to non-fiction, specifically books on natural topics. I've read some books about the Ice Age Trail, a look at the behind-the-scenes activities at a zoo, and about the history of the fur trade, all topics I am quite interested in. Recently, I came across a book about the Menomonee River watershed.  Since I live quite close now and grew up next to one of it's feeder streams, Underwood Creek, I picked it up and let it sit on my shelf until recently. I started it and finished it this weekend. Here is a short review of Urban Wilderness, by Eddee Daniel. 

This book brought back so many memories, so it instantly turned into I one I couldn't put down. Many of the areas poetically described in this book are close to my heart because I grew up experiencing them. I lived next to the concrete creek knows as Underwood Creek. I walked sown to the Menomonee River to catch frogs and turtles and explore nature and I drove past (and still do) so many other areas along this amazing waterway and watershed on a daily basis.

This book detailed a brief history of this watershed and discussed the implications of the development in and around it. While it detailed many destructive ways development can alter the landscape and change what nature intended, it did still introduce and showcase a wilderness in the urban environment that I find enchanting. Moreover, it is still quite relevant as many of this are is still potentially open to development and the boundaries are not necessarily set in stone, meaning this book served as a notice that people need to act in order to save this watershed from over-development  and allow nature to be nature.

The author, who lives right along the river not far from where I grew up, described this urban wilderness beautifully. The book was so wonderfully detailed and descriptive. With tomorrow's forecast being -25  to -50 with the wind chill, I am quite bummed as this reading motivated me to get back outdoors and experience and explore the river and the surrounding areas with a new perspective at the value it has for the area and a renewed appreciation of all it provides for the ecosystem.

This book appeals to my childhood memories, but also to my love of nature and history. I highly recommend it. I also suggest taking a closer look at the author's blog to see how he continues to be an advocate for the watershed. It can be found at http://urbanwilderness-eddee.blogspot.com/

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