Paperback / softback
January 1, 2003
19 illus.
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5.50 Inches (US)
.65 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference

Natural Grace

The Charm, Wonder, and Lessons of Pacific Northwest Animals and Plants

From the interactive clockwork world of geology, tides, Northwest weather, and snow, to the hidden roles of dirt, stream life, and mosses and lichens, Pulitzer Prize winning writer William Dietrich explores the natural splendors of the Pacific Northwest. His topics include alder and cedar; jellyfish, geoducks, crabs, and killer whales; mosquitoes and spiders; gulls, crows, and bald eagles; and sea otters, coyotes, raccoons, possums, deer, and cougars.

This informative and engaging selection of natural history essays is adapted from articles published in the Seattle Times magazine, Pacific Northwest. A native Washingtonian, Dietrich has watched the Northwest double in population during his lifetime. Our rapidly changing view of nature is an underlying theme throughout his wide-ranging essays, as is the timely and essential question of how best to share and conserve the natural world that drew us to the region in the first place.

Not a field guide nor an environmental policy book, Natural Grace is intended as a primer for people who are curious about the environment they live in and the pressures upon it. "We only care about what we know," says the author. "I've concluded that enthusiasm and commitment begin from learning just how marvelous this region is: Passion has to precede purpose." And there is much to marvel over. Dietrich has unearthed fascinating and unexpected facts about his subjects, and he has a gift for expressing complex information in clear and vivid language. He asks intriguing questions and makes good use of interviews with Northwest scientists and experts to convey current and historic attitudes and economic realities, and to consider where we go from here.

For more information about the author go to:

About the Authors

William Dietrich is a staff writer for the Seattle Times' Pacific Northwest magazine. As a science reporter for the Seattle Times he won the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He is the author of Northwest Passage: The Great Columbia River and The Final Forest: The Battle for the Last Great Trees of the Pacific Northwest, as well as several works of fiction. He lives in Anacortes, Washington.


"Dietrich's colorful writing makes each seemingly mundane subject come alive, leaving the reader with a new-found appreciation for the most basic elements of life."—E/The Environmental Magazine


"In snappy, thoughtful, sometimes soaring and often funny prose, Bill Dietrich gives us a remarkable and memorable tour of our biotic realm. His penetrating portraits of flora and fauna both favorite and despised make us realize and cherish our rich natural setting as never before. Natural Graces burgeons forth in a happy parade of neat creatures riding the rain, the snow, the tides, and the quakes, leaving us no excuse at all for ignoring their beauty, fascination, and plight."—Robert Michael Pyle, author of National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies

"William Dietrich approaches the damp woods and shimmering waterways of the Pacific Northwest with a journalist's curiosity and naturalist's sense of wonder. The stories he finds there never fail to inform and delight. Natural Grace celebrates the mystery, complexity, and quirkiness of this still-wild corner of the earth. And it prompts us, even more deeply, to care for it."—Tim McNulty, author of Olympic National Park: A Natural History

"If you enjoyed Snow Falling on Cedars, perhaps you'd enjoy knowing more about snow, about cedars, and about every other natural phenomenon that makes the Northwest the most fecund and spectacular corner of our continent. This book should be as useful for anyone living in Oregon and Washington as the Portland and Seattle phonebooks."—Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature

"Bill Dietrich makes 'the little things that run the world' come gloriously and delightfully to life. If you haven't loved jellyfish and plain old dirt before, you will now. Dietrich writes with wit and charm and sound knowledge of the natural world. This is classic natural history at its best."—Ann Zwinger, author of Shaped by Wind and Water: Reflections of a Naturalist

University of Washington Press

9780295982939 : natural-grace-dietrich-cunningham
Paperback / softback
246 Pages
$19.95 USD

Other Titles by William Dietrich

Northwest Passage, revised edition

William Dietrich, introduction by William Dietrich
Aug 2016 - University of Washington Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

The Final Forest

William Dietrich
Oct 2010 - University of Washington Press
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Critical Messages

edited by Sarah Clark-Langager, William Dietrich
Apr 2010 - Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback

Other Titles in NATURE / Animals / Wildlife

The Southern Wildlife Watcher

Rob Simbeck
Aug 2020 - University of South Carolina Press
$18.99 USD - Paperback / softback

Becoming a Wildlife Professional

edited by Scott E. Henke, Paul R. Krausman
Apr 2020 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$62.00 USD - Electronic book text
$62.00 USD - Paperback / softback

Candid Creatures

Roland Kays
May 2016 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$39.95 USD - Hardback
$39.95 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in Forestry & related industries

Fire, second edition

Stephen J. Pyne
Aug 2019 - University of Washington Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$105.00 USD - Hardback

Pests in the City

Dawn Day Biehler, foreword by William Cronon
Nov 2018 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback

Ecology and Empire

edited by Tom Griffiths, Libby Robin
Aug 2017 - University of Washington Press
$105.00 USD - Hardback