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Going Wild in Washingtion and Oregon

"When it comes to Northwest nature—from butterflies to bats, from stallions to snow geese—Susan has seen it well, studied it thoroughly, and shared it eloquently. I recommend Going Wild with wild abandon."
—Robert Michael Pyle, author of Wintergreen: Listening to the land's heart



From the Going Wild introduction:
I spend a lot of time by myself, but I rarely feel alone. The company of animals is deeply satisfying, whether it’s the steady presence of finches at the bird feeder, or merely crossing paths with fresh deer tracks. Once you know a little bit about wildlife—where animals live, what they eat, what their missions are—there is always something to look for, something to see, something to think about. There is always company to keep.


From the chapter on sandhill cranes at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon
From another world, higher than the clouds, faint sounds come clattering down like bamboo rain, conjured more than heard. The sound brightens into a commotion of voices as the sandhill cranes parachute down, drifting, spiraling, descending, until finally they are fifteen feet above the little pond. Voices now stilled, thirty great birds wheel tighter, circling once and once more, wind shushing under six-foot spans of wing. The cranes step from the air onto an alkaline crust at the edge of the pond and stop, motionless, time suspended. Gray statuary, quiet and serene. Elegant, aboriginal.

The world resumes its spin, and the birds melt back into life and transcend the eight steps to the water. They wade in, water murmuring around thin legs. Once crane coughs quietly; several drink. They are the color of pewter…