Sunday, December 6, 2015

City Creatures: adventures in Chicago's urban wilderness

City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness is a lovely new book published by the Center for Humans & Nature. The book consists of essays, stories, poetry and art and it is very much in the spirit of urban wilderness. I went to a reading today by co-editor Gavin Van Horn, Director of Conservation for the Center for Humans & Nature.

The reading was held at the Hal Tyrrell Trailside Museum of Natural History in Thatcher's Woods, River Forest, IL. Thatcher's Woods, which straddles the Des Plaines River, is part of the Forest Preserve system of Cook County.

I took advantage of the beautiful day to get to there early enough for a walk in the woods before the presentation.

The pond behind the museum was at flood stage following recent rains.

The leafless trees and swampy conditions made it easy to imagine wilderness today. But the sunshine was bright and cheerful and there were plenty of folks out enjoying it.

Des Plaines River.

The museum is barely visible through the trees.

Yes,  it's an urban wilderness.

I've forgotten his name, but the red-tail hawk lives at the Trailside Museum, along with a coyote, a couple owls, snakes and turtles. This poor guy was rescued, having lost one of his eyes.

A wonderful photo of another hawk graces the cover of City Creatures. I recommend it. If you're interested, check it out at the Center for Humans & Nature website.

There is also a City Creatures blog and--full disclosure--my work has been published on it.


  1. The red-tailed's name is "Ethan Hawke," a name this Generation Xer won't soon forget. I was very happy to see you at the reading, Eddee, and thanks for doing Ethan's profile justice with your photograph!

  2. Ethan Hawke, of course! How could I forget? The pleasure was mine. Enjoyed the reading.

  3. They said yes, so I ride around the campground again, thinking I may have missed them. I go back to the volunteers. forest city