A wanderer and writer with a doctorate in religion, Gavin Van Horn inhabits a big city. And that city (Chicago) has offered him something to compliment and complicate the solitude of the woods or a remote mountainside: a window onto the attractiveness of cities to animals. What was once in his mind essentially a nature-free zone turns out to be a bustling environment where millions of wild things roam. He came to realize that our own paths are crisscrossed by the tracks and flyways of black-crowned night herons, Cooper’s hawks, brown bats, coyotes, opossums, white-tailed deer, and many others who thread their lives ably through our own. In his book, The Way of Coyote, Van Horn describes this urban amalgam in prose that weaves myth with science, ecological loss with abundance, and reflects on the role wildlife can play in waking us to a shared sense of place and fate. Visit his website at storyforager.com.
Also consider registering for Van Horn's walk, Cultivating Wildness Where You Are, on Apri 4.
Fee $5 member, $10 nonmember, free for students
“Van Horn reminds us that urban is not the same as absence of nature. He writes with great beauty and dignity about how we might better align ourselves with the natural world and establish urban habitats where a diversity of wildlife can flourish. As the author rambles through the canyons of Chicago skyscrapers looking for roosting peregrine falcons, or kayaks along sewers and canals in search of beavers, the voices of ecologist Aldo Leopold, Taoist philosopher Lao Tzu and Coyote—the trickster and mischiefmaker of Native American myth—lend both wisdom and charm to a true story about how the paths of people and wildlife cross and merge and how, if we attend to each other’s needs, we may all enjoy a brighter urban future.”Wall Street Journal
Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.