Wild in the City is a new book by
Heidi Snyder and Dorothy DePaulo. It is an urban field guide to the sights and sounds of Colorado’s Front Range. For those of us who do not live in Colorado, it is a fine example of what an urban field guide can be.
What makes this book special are the everyday discoveries and surprises the authors share with readers. Without their personal comments, the 91 species descriptions would be similar to the kind of information we’re accustomed to seeing in field guides. Because Heidi and Dorothy share their experiences as city-dwelling naturalists, Wild in the City is more than a regional resource, it is an invitation to explore the suburbs.
Complementing the inviting text are the authors’ true-to-life colored pencil paintings. Both authors are signature members of the Colored Pencil Society of America and have exhibited their work in many international exhibitions. Their colored pencil paintings are so engaging, you feel as if you could fall into them. Wild in the City is not packaged with sound, but if it were, we would hear waves lapping at the edge of a stream, hear the splashing sound water makes when ducks swim, and hear the rustling of wind through cattails. On page 103, we would definitely hear the song of the Black-capped Chickadee. It would sound something like this (click “Typical voice”).
Here is a small sample of the flora and fauna featured in Wild in the City, plus a small tantalizing fact about each plant and animal:
The “cotton” seed production of this species may become a new source of biofuel.
The plumage of this species was once used to make ladies’ hats.
Northern Leopard Frog & Water Lilies
This species of frog was once collected by the food industry (frog legs).
The wood from this tree has been used to make chopsticks.
Day-old avocets can walk, swim and dive.
A favorite wood to use for baseball bats.
Want to learn more?
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The origin of botanical field guides
In 2014 Dorothy DePaulo and Heidi Snyder were awarded the Julius I. Brown Grant by the American Society of Botanical Artists. Wild in the City: Fauna & Flora of Colorado Urban Spaces was made possible in part by a grant from the American Society of Botanical Artists. (More about ASBA grants)
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