Tuesday, April 1, 2014

monthly pics for april

Are you all excited to get outdoors and relish in the Spring weather?

I had the opportunity to enjoy a bit of sunshine yesterday, albeit on the heals of a snow storm.  I'll take what I can get.

Last month, we read a lot of picture book biographies, stories about people ranging from artists and mathematicians to scientists and important women in history.

We were especially fascinated by the biographies of some of America's well known naturalists, and we gained an appreciation for the people who loved the outdoors, enjoyed nature, and worked hard to preserve the beauty of our country.

Affiliate links to IndieBound are provided.  Just click on the images below to peruse the books we love!



Losing her mother at a young age and having a lonely childhood, Claudia Alta Taylor found friendship and companionship among the wildflowers of East Texas.  Nicknamed Lady Bird by her nanny and later marrying the future President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson set out to beautify the littered highways of America with native wildflowers.  Later in her 70's, Lady Bird helped establish the National Wildflower Research Center where scientists study the uses and effects of wildflowers and collect and preserve seeds of flowers in danger of extinction.



Deemed as a landscape of art and culture, the gardens of Balboa Park in San Diego, California are a stark contrast against the surrounding native desert region.  With a love for the woods, Katherine Olivia Sessions set out to become a tree hunter, asking gardeners all over the world to send her seeds that could grow in a desert.  The result of her efforts in the late 1800's and early 1900's is the lush, leafy city that San Diego is today.



Curious about the world around her, Rachel Carson loved being outside, taking walks with her mother, and observing insects, birds, and plants.  She grew up to be a fiercely determined and staunch protector of the environment, later writing her controversial book Silent Spring.



Fearing the destruction of the Yosemite wilderness, America's first environmentalist John Muir (see below) wrote a letter to President Theodore Roosevelt pleading for help to save the vanishing trees.  The two men camped together among the giant sequoias and majestic redwoods, and discussions ensued.  Whatever words were spoken between the two left impressions on each other and a legacy of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and national forests.



Originally from Scotland, John Muir's family immigrated to America when he was eleven years old.  He loved the land so much that when he was older, he traveled and lived all throughout America.  He was a writer, scholar, inventor, shepherd, farmer, and explorer, but above all, he was a naturalist.  His influence helped preserve many wilderness areas in America.



Sent to America at age eighteen to avoid fighting in Napoleon's war, John James Audubon relished in his time outdoors in the woods of Pennsylvania.  The mysterious disappearance of birds in the Fall and their return in the Spring begged his attention.  Through a simple experiment, he became the first person in America to band a bird and help prove a complex theory.  He was also the greatest painter of birds of all time.



One of the world's preeminent naturalists, Roger Tory Peterson realized his passion for birds at a young age.  He went on to publish A Field Guide to the Birds in 1934 and many volumes of the ever popular and successful Peterson Field Guides followed thereafter.

What natural areas of the world have you visited and enjoyed?





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