Nature Obscura: A City's Hidden Natural World

Nature Obscura: A City's Hidden Natural World

by Kelly Brenner


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With wonder and a sense of humor, Nature Obscura author Kelly Brenner aims to help us rediscover our connection to the natural world that is just outside our front door—we just need to know where to look.

Through explorations of a rich and varied urban landscape, Brenner reveals the complex micro-habitats and surprising nature found in the middle of a city. In her hometown of Seattle, which has plowed down hills, cut through the land to connect fresh- and saltwater, and paved over much of the rest, she exposes a diverse range of strange and unknown creatures. From shore to wetland, forest to neighborhood park, and graveyard to backyard, Brenner uncovers how our land alterations have impacted nature, for good and bad, through the wildlife and plants that live alongside us, often unseen. These stories meld together, in the same way our ecosystems, species, and human history are interconnected across the urban environment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781680512076
Publisher: Mountaineers Books, The
Publication date: 02/26/2020
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 246,392
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has explored much of the region while investigating the local flora and fauna. After earning a degree in landscape architecture in 2009, Kelly founded The Metropolitan Field Guide ( and continues to write on her website about urban nature, books, poetry, folklore, and a variety of other natural history topics. She has been published in Crosscut, National Wildlife Magazine and The Open Notebook, among others. She is active on Twitter (@KellyBrenner) where she shares nature observations and photos and hosts regular science games.

Table of Contents

Introduction 7

Winter Prelude 13

Anna in Winter 15

The Patina of Time 24

A World in a Petri Dish 35

The Crow Roosts at Night 45

Spring Prelude 55

Growing in the Dark 57

A Cloud of Flies 66

An Animal of Much Distinction 76

The Life of a Pond 87

Summer Prelude 99

Dragons in the City 101

To Be or Not to Be Armored 113

Tracking the Wild Snail 123

Like a Moth to a Flame 132

Autumn Prelude 143

Miss Lister's Myxies 145

Dichotomy 155

From Fear to Fascination 166

Everything Is Connected 175

How to Be an Urban Naturalist 186

Acknowledgments 197

Resources 199

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