Synopses & Reviews
Advance praise for The Bluebird Effect
"It is hard to describe all the things that are beautiful about this book. Its beautifully conceived, beautifully written, and beautifully illustrated. Zickefooses knowledge of birds is profound, her observations of them are fascinating, and her accounts of them are trustworthy. To be informed and delighted at the same time is a rare experience, thus The Bluebird Effect is the perfect Christmas present, thank you present, or hostess present. Im going to buy copies to lend to people because sometimes people dont give them back, and I want always to have one. It is one of the most informative and charming books Ive read in years." — Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of The Hidden Life of Dogs
"Julie Zickefoose has a giant heart and an eye and ear perfectly tuned to the world of birds, especially those that are broken or lost. Whether shes cooking up an insect omelet for a nestful of orphaned chimney swifts or allowing a curious hummingbird to slip its tongue into her nose, Julies love for birds knows no bounds. Her paintings and sketches are magical, and her book is sheer delight." — Melissa Block, host of NPR's All Things Considered
"Julie Z. is one in a million, and her paintings and anything she writes about birds are to be cherished and savored." — Jane Alexander, actress, writer, and birder
and#8220;We've been knocked to our knees by the delightful illustrated essay collectionand#8230; you don't have to care all that much about birds to get sucked into [Zickefooseand#8217;s] dreamy illustrated stories of bluebirds and phoebes, titmice and ospreys. In delicate, subtle strokes of the pen and brush, she reveals a lifetime of backyard friendshipsand#8212;moments spent observing a bluebird couple or listening to the calls of scarlet tanagersand#8230;.Zickefoose has spent a lifetime observing this particular corner of the domestic-wild world, and she did not escape these experience without gaining both wisdom and humorand#8212;about mates, about our obligation to help others or set them free, about loss and about thankfulness." and#8212;Oprah.comand#8217;s Book of the Week
Library Journaland#8217;s BEST BOOKS OF 2012: Science and Technology
2013 Ohioana Book Award, nonfiction
"Birders will appreciate her meticulous observations and devotion to the avian world, but anyone whoand#8217;s ever considered hanging a birdfeeder is likely to be mesmerized by the sensuous, precise prose as well as Zickefooseand#8217;s vivid portraits of scrawny, fluffy phoebe chicks, a self-possessed hummingbird perched on a clothesline, dwarfed by the surrounding clothespins, and orioles migrating by moonlight. Readers will be astounded by the drama and intelligence fluttering in their backyards." and#8212;Publishers Weekly and#8220;a wonderful amalgam of nature writing and memoirand#8230;This lovely book is one to savor slowly, admiring both writing and artistry.and#8221; and#8212;Booklist, starred review
and#8220;Beguiling stories from a naturalistand#8217;s life with backyard birds....Describing her songbirds with a delicacy of words and brush strokes, Zickefoose makes learning about birds seem like the adventure of a lifetime. A wonderful treat for birders.and#8221; and#8212;Kirkus
"The Bluebird Effect" is a terrific read and a feast for the eyes. Buy! Buy! Buy!"and#160;and#8212;The Charleston Gazette
"insightful essays and lovely illustrations...[Zickefoose has] drawn sketches and painted vivid pictures with words, letting us see much more about those not-so-common lives outside our windows." and#8212;Seattle Times
Zickefoose finds [a connection with nature] often and documents it in words and paintings in her beautiful new book.
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Through raising and rehabilitating birds, Julie Zickefoose pulls back a curtain on their motivations, desires, and even emotions.and#160;This bookand#160;is a visual feast, lavishly illustrated withand#160;watercolors and field sketches.
What can birds tell us about ourselves? In her almost thirty-year career as a bird rehabilitator, Julie Zickefoose has come to know wild birds as unique animals, each with its own personality, habits, and quirks. And in her new book, Julie shows off those personalities—whether it is the male wren who placed his two nests strategically so that his two mates couldn't see one another; or the bobwhite that would rush out of the woods and challenge her husband every time he pulled his car into the driveway.
Because of Julie's inability to walk away from a bird that needs help, her life has been profoundly affected by her connections with individual birds; they have had just as big an impact on her life as she has on theirs. Sometimes the impact is physical: while raising baby hummingbirds, she must feed them every twenty minutes, which means if she wants to go out—say, to buy groceries—she has to carry the constantly peeping chicks with her. Sometimes it's emotional: when birds she is raising or rehabilitating die, her sadness is very real.
Each of twenty-five chapters features a different species. Illustrated throughout with more than 300 of Julie's paintings and drawings, this is a meditative and humorous look at one woman's life among the birds.
Julie Zickefoose lives for the moment when a wild, free living bird that she has raised or rehabilitated comes back to visit her; their eyes meet and they share a spark of understanding. Her reward for the grueling work of rescuing birdsand#8212;such as feeding baby hummingbirds every twenty minutes all day longand#8212;is her empathy with them and the satisfaction of knowing the world is a birdier and more beautiful place.
The Bluebird Effect is about the change that's set in motion by one single act, such as saving an injured bluebirdand#8212;or a hummingbird, swift, or phoebe. Each of the twenty five chapters covers a different species, and many depict an individual bird, each with its own personality, habits, and quirks. And each chapter is illustrated with Zickefoose's stunning watercolor paintings and drawings. Not just individual tales about the trials and triumphs of raising birds, The Bluebird Effect mixes humor, natural history, and memoir to give readers an intimate story of a life lived among wild birds.
Self-Portrait with Turtles is a book in the spirit of Walden and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, but it is also unique, as David Carroll himself is. Driven by a passion for art and turtles, Carroll has lived a Walden-like life for decades, although he is married, with family. In Self -Portrait he tells the story of that remarkable life. He writes about his early encounters with turtles, which led to a lifelong fascination with them and their swampy habitats, and about the high school teacher who told him that, contrary to everything he had been taught before, art is the only thing that matters, the only thing that lasts. During his years at art school in Boston, he got to know the turtles of the Fenway, including one giant snapper he wrestled to shore and carried to his studio for a portrait session. After a brief career as a teacher, Carroll has spent decades scraping out a living as an artist and naturalist, raising three children on a shoestring with his artist wife. "We live like turtles," he has said; "we hunker down when times get hard." In a materialistic age, he and his family have gone their own way, living simply and self-sufficiently, showing that the secret of a good life is to devote yourself to what you love.
A frequent commentator on NPR's All Things Considered, Julie Zickefoose has painted nature virtually all her life. At the age of seven she knew that she wanted to paint birds for a living, and her lifelong dedication shows in her paintings, which are meticulously accurate as well as beautiful. The paintings used here, of scenes from her beloved home in southern Ohio, illuminate well-crafted essays based on her daily walks and observations. Wild turkeys, coyotes, box turtles, and a bird-eating bullfrog flap, lope, and leap through her prose. She excels at describing and exploring interactions between people and animals, bringing her subjects to life in just a few lines. Her husband and young children make appearances, presenting their own challenges and pleasures. The essays are arranged by season, starting with winter, providing a sense of movement through the year.
Theand#160;acclaimed scientist/writerand#39;sand#160;captivating encounters withand#160;individual wild birds, yielding andldquo;marvelous, mind-alteringandrdquo; insights and discoveries
Gorgeous watercolor paintings show the rarely seen day-by-day development of seventeen species of North American songbird nestlings, from hatching day to full-feathered fledging
A renowned artist, author, and naturalist, David M. Carroll is exceptionally skilled at capturing nature on the page. In Self-Portrait with Turtles, he reflects on his own life, recounting the crucial moments that shaped his passions and abilities. Beginning with his first sighting of a wild turtle at age eight, Carroll describes his lifelong fascination with swamps and the creatures that inhabit them. He also traces his evolution as an artist, from the words of encouragement he received in high school to his college days in Boston to his life with his wife and family. Self-Portrait with Turtles is a remarkable memoir, a marvelous and exhilarating account of a life well lived.
About the Author
BERND HEINRICHandnbsp;is an acclaimed scientist and the author of numerous books, including the best-sellingandnbsp;Winter World, Mind of the Raven, Why We Run, and The Homing Instinct.andnbsp;He writes forandnbsp;Scientific American,andnbsp;Outside,andnbsp;American Scientist, andandnbsp;Audubon,andnbsp;and has published book reviews and op-eds for theandnbsp;New York Timesandnbsp;and theandnbsp;Los Angeles Times.andnbsp;Among Heinrichand#39;s many honors isandnbsp;the 2013 PEN New England Award for Nonfiction, forandnbsp;Life Everlasting. He lives in Maine.
Table of Contents
EARLY YEARS The First Eight Years and#183; 3 The First Turtle and#183; 5 Companera and#183; 10 Another Spring and#183; 17 Wild Boy and#183; 25 Loss and#183; 34 Gordon and#183; 38 Mr. Moxley and Mr. Malone and#183; 39 The Beach and#183; 41 Bill and DeDe and#183; 45 Cedar Pastures and#183; 50 Walden and#183; 58 Art, Biology, Writing and#183; 61
ART SCHOOL My Room and#183; 67 The Fens and#183; 69 Girls and#183; 72 The Ark and#183; 74 Drawing, Painting, Writing and#183; 79 Laurette and#183; 84 Queensbury Street and#183; 86 Farewell to Cedar Pastures and#183; 92
MIDDLE YEARS Big Sandy Pond and#183; 97 Teaching and#183; 103 Turtles and#183; 105 The Old Johnson Farm and#183; 114 Pumpkin Hill and#183; 122 Wild Cranberries and#183; 133 Archie Carr and#183; 135
LATER YEARS Sibley and#183; 141 The Digs and#183; 143 Dudley House and#183; 146 Spotted Turtles and#183; 148 The Year of the Turtle and#183; 154 Tupper Hill and#183; 159 Return of the Native and#183; 165 The New Land and#183; 169 Ariadne Nesting and#183; 171