For anyone that has ever wished for the ability to track woodland creatures through the forest like Grizzly Adams (or, maybe like Kate on Lost—how’d she learn to do that anyway?) David Moskowitz’s new book Wildlife of the Pacific Northwest, out this month from Timber Press, does everything but put the binoculars in your hand and shove you on the trail.
Moskowitz, whose experience includes serving as an instructor at the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, Washington is clearly passionate for his subject. But don’t expect any weepy tree-hugging narratives in his debut offering. Instead, Moskowitz just gets right to it.
Nearly all of the book’s 364 pages zoom in on the nitty-gritty details of life in the woods. There are close-ups of moose-trampled willows, detailed images of tracks left by everything from a Bull Moose in the Canadian Rockies to a painted turtle on the Columbia Plateau, not to mention more than one could ever hope to learn about animal poo. There’s even a ruler printed on the back cover for measuring those Bobcat tracks you just happened upon.
At times such details might seem a bit encyclopedic, but in the end Moskowitz’s enthusiasm (read: thoroughness) is appreciated. After all, the Northwest doesn’t divulge its secrets easily—at least not without a good compass.
Minor quibble: Weighing nearly two pounds, you might think twice before stuffing it your pack. Still, it’ll likely be the first book you consult when you get back home.