Having done the "Nature Rounds" at Porter Square shopping mall for over forty years, Clare Walker Leslie has clocked a surprising amount of urban natural history. There are those who go to Yosemite for Nature, or Mongolia or even Fresh Pond. Clare's many years of teaching about nature and observation and drawing are summed up in her latest beautifully illustrated book: The Curious Nature Guide: Explore the Natural Wonders All Around You.
A self-taught naturalist, writer, professional artist Clare is now internationally recognized for her twelve books and wide teaching to those of all ages and regions, inspiring people to get more directly connected with the nature along their daily byways and work ways. On September 9th, starting at 5 PM, Clare will lead a nature walk through the Porter Square parking lot. I asked Clare if she could give us a preview of her walk. Here’s what she wrote.
I am often asked how I can find any Nature in between the cars and people of Porter Square. I say "It's all a matter of looking for it. You don't need to know anything about nature to just Look Up and Look Out." As this bit of asphalt is also my shopping center, I've taken to looking lots- in every season and in every weather. There's always something: fruits on the rosa rugosa, pigeons suddenly flushing up in military formation, striking sunset displays over Mass Ave, ants amongst the mosses, driving rains and snows, lamb's quarters between the cracks, leaves turning colors and then displaying wintry skeleton shapes. And always the sky to notice as it continually changes color and weather.
I go to Healthworks and amuse myself with my own "Where's Waldo" game, out the large windows: "There goes the red-tailed hawk after the pigeons", "Hey, look at that amazing sunset". "There's the moon setting over the T." I nudge a fellow exerciser. We've seen rainbows over Porter Square Books and herring gulls circling, as if over some far off rugged coast.
I want people to realize that Nature is always with them, whether at the bus stop, out the car window, over the heads of walking dogs or kids, and even when running into the Dunkin' Donuts.
Come join Cambridge citizen Clare Walker Leslie at 5PM at the store for a nature walk into Porter Square and disover how incredibly fun -- and joyous -- it can be to find honey bees on the fall marigolds, medicinal plants below traffic signs, robins eating the crabapples, and the early signs of fall; and learn how to predict your weather by watching the clouds and position of the sun just outside your favorite bookstore: Porter Square Books!