Several of my recent reads for New Mexico are set (at least part of the time) on the Navajo Nation of the Southwestern United States. First of all, I should note that the Navajo Nation is located mostly in Arizona. The map below shows how the Navajo population is distributed throughout the Nation. (For reference, […]

As I said in my (updated) main New Mexico post, after reading Joseph Bruchac’s Code Talker book, and starting to listen to Chester Nez’s Code Talker book, I decided to return to a new incarnation of an old favorite. When I was in high school, in the mid- to late-1980’s my dad and I read […]

In Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two by Joseph Bruchac, Ned Begay tells a story about a training exercise he and several other Navajos participated in with their group on the Big Island of Hawaii. Half of the Big Island is rain forest and the other half is desert, […]

Since one of the main characters – that of Sophie, Colonel Allen Forrester’s wife – is an amateur naturalist and interested in birds in particular, To the Bright Edge of the World is a treasure trove of bird sightings. Moreover, there are a number of birds that play important roles in the story, both recurring […]

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Hummingbirds are pure motion. In the spring and summer, my yard is full of the buzz and whirr of Allen’s hummingbirds (which looks very similar to the rufous that Sophie sees). I have failed miserably in my attempts to photograph them. In To the Bright Edge of the World, Sophie Forrester becomes a bird photographer, […]

As I tried to decide how to handle the multiple bird sightings in the books, I chuckled to myself that I could compile a “life list.” And then I stopped chuckling and realized that was actually ideal. Birding life lists are often broken down by geographic regions such as state. The table below can be […]

I have a confession to make – I’m a birder. I keep a life list of all the birds I’ve seen. When I visit someplace new, my first purchase is usually a local bird book. I get excited about seeing a “lifer” – a bird I’ve never seen before. This hobby started rather haphazardly when […]

When I was a child, my family camped its way across the United States, from New York to the West, three times. Ostensibly, we were going to visit one of my uncles and his family, who lived in Montana, up near the Canadian border not too far from Glacier National Park. In reality, though, we […]