Nature on the Doorstep reveals the simple pleasures of paying attention to the natural world in one’s own backyard over the course of a year. In weekly letters, Angela Douglas shares the joys and curiosities of a decidedly ordinary patch of green in upstate New York cultivated through the art of “strategic neglect”-sometimes taking a hand to manage wildlife, more often letting nature go its own way. From the first flowers of spring and the fireflies of high summer to a hoarding chipmunk in the fall and cardinals singing in the winter, Douglas shows us the magic of welcoming unexpected plant and animal life into one’s backyard. Along the way, she weaves intimate observations of wildlife with morsels of natural history; a surprise visit from a Cooper’s hawk, for instance, prompts reflection about why bird eye colors vary. A paean to the richness we find when we stop to look and let be, Nature on the Doorstep celebrates the role humble backyards play both in conservation efforts and in an expanded appreciation of the living world.
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