I was fascinated by butterflies as a young child, following them around the yard, mostly heeding mother’s admonition to “don’t touch.” I wanted to take a vacation to see all the types of butterflies in the country, a project that was met with disbelief by the parental units.
That memory popped up when I looked at the second edition of Jeffrey Glassberg’s “A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America.”
If you like butterflies and detailed identification points delivered in small bites, you’ll love this guide. The color images are excellent, the maps are small but clear, and once you get a handle on how the species accounts are arranged, just dig in and enjoy.
With an eye to the inevitable rainy winter, consider reading the third edition of “100 Classic Hikes: Washington” by Craig Romano during the gray season.
And I do mean read. Too often we readers blast through trail guides until something catches our eyes, we focus on one trail, see if it’s too long or too hard, whether it can be done in a day, and off we go.
Instead, take your time. Enjoy some of Romano’s descriptions popping out of the mandatory details and trail maps: “Pass through the trail’s highlight landmark; a rock arch strangely resembling two transformer robots butting heads” … “a dusty, lunar-like surface” … “peeping pipits and whistling pigs (marmots) welcome you to their alpine domain.”
Then make hiking plans for 2018, perhaps on trails you wouldn’t have considered without Romano’s take.
The children’s book “Journey,” by Emma Bland Smith and Robin James, is based on the true story of OR7, a radio-collared wolf in Oregon, who migrated 2,000 miles in three years from northeastern Oregon to California and became the first wild wolf in the region since 1924.
A young girl follows the wolf’s journey and, along the way, learns about issues around the re-introduction of wolves. It’s an opportunity to engage young readers beyond the story, made easier by a page of suggestions for discussions and activities.
For an adult wolf story, check out “Wolf Haven: Sanctuary and the Future of Wolves in North America” with images by fine-art photographer Annie Marie Musselman and essay by author Brenda Peterson (“Living by Water” “I Want to be Left Behind”).
Wolf Haven’s wolves have many stories. They were abandoned, abused and injured; this is the final home for each, a safe place to live out their lives and to educate humans.
Serenity, not. Popular Lake Serene Trail to Bridal Veil Falls will not be serene for many months after its Sept. 25 closure for timber harvesting. Logging will be followed by replanting and any other trail repair activities, which will be completed no later than July 1, according to Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest officials.
Protected. The protective status of the yellow-billed cuckoo, loggerhead sea turtles, and five whale species was decided by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission at its September meeting.
The citizen panel appointed by the governor sets policy for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. The commissioners agreed to list the cuckoos as a state endangered species and raise the state protection for loggerhead sea turtles from threatened to endangered.
Blue, fin, Sei, North Pacific right and sperm whales will be kept on the state endangered species list.
Some things are free. One of those things is entrance to our state parks on Sept. 30, National Public Lands Day. Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass ($30 annual, $10 day). There are two more free days this year: Nov. 11, in honor of Veterans Day, and Nov. 24, in celebration of autumn.
High tech for vertebrates. CT scans have been a valuable tool for medicine. Now scanning is going to help turn 20,000 vertebrates in university and museum natural history collections into data-rich 3-D images that will be offered online to everyone.
A $2.5 million National Science Foundation grant will fund the project for 15 institutions, including the University of Washington. For four years, researchers can take specimens from their collections and bring them to CT scanners.
Columnist Sharon Wootton can be reached at 360-468-3964 or firstname.lastname@example.org.