Monday, July 13, 2020

By Emilyn Linden

During this pandemic, I’ve been spending more time outdoors walking, hiking and biking, and I’m not alone. Enjoying the outdoors is a safe way to feel less isolated and get out of the dang house. While you’re out on your walks in town or hikes through Wisconsin’s beautiful parks, take some time to explore the fauna and flora around you with books from the library.

Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat by Ellen Zachos

Foraging, including urban foraging, has become a more popular topic over the last few years. One of my favorite foraging books in our collection is Backyard Foraging. This book is full of great photos, useful information about how and when to harvest your finds and tips for making certain of your identification. Not all of the plants in this book grow in Wisconsin (ever seen a prickly pear in someone’s yard?), but many of them do. I for one wasn’t aware that sumac, pineapple weed and redbud are all edible. 

Paddling Wisconsin by Kevin Revolinski

I love getting out and kayaking in Wisconsin. Paddling Wisconsin details 40 trips for the recreational paddler spread throughout the state. Most trips involve rivers, but a few lake and marsh paddles with gorgeous scenery are included. Revolinski includes maps of each route, detailed descriptions so paddlers can know what to expect and GPS coordinates for landings.

Best Rail Trails Wisconsin by Kevin Revolinski and Phil Van Valkenberg

I love rail trails. They’re usually nice and wide and long enough to get in a lovely ride or walk through varied scenery. Best Rail Trails Wisconsin includes very helpful information, including food and facilities that can be found near the trail, how long between restrooms, whether the trail is wheelchair accessible, how the trail is surfaced and where to find parking to access trails. A new edition of this guide just came out. 

Best Tent Camping Wisconsin by Kevin Revolinski and Johnny Molloy

If you’re looking to get away for more than a day, check out Best Tent Camping Wisconsin. This book is full of extremely helpful information about campgrounds all over Wisconsin, including such information as how many sites are available, how to make a reservation, what types of restroom facilities are available and whether pets are allowed. A great way to flip through and pick a campground without having to click back and forth on the DNR website trying to track all this information down. Although right now it’s probably a good idea to double check the DNR website for any COVID-19 related changes or restrictions.

Wisconsin’s Favorite Bird Haunts edited by Daryl D. Tessen

I love bird watching, although I don’t spend enough time on it to be any good at bird identification or figuring out the best places to spot certain species. Wisconsin’s Favorite Bird Haunts is a very thorough guide to places where you’re likely to see a wide variety of birds, both common and rare. I count 17 areas highlighted for birding in Fond du Lac County alone. 

Emilyn Linden is a librarian in the Information Services department.