Forty-Six Views of Montlake Fill

Constance Sidles, Hiroko Seki

An exquisite collaboration of poetry and sumi, this new book by nature writer and poet Constance Sidles and renowned sumi artist Hiroko Seki is a visual and poetic paean to the nature these two outstanding creators interpret at Montlake Fill, a natural area in the heart of north Seattle…(read more)

“It will be hard to put this book down after you first open its covers. Read on if you must, but take your time, so you can savor each evocative image and the writing that captures its spirit. Connie Sidles chronicles the Fill like no one else could, and her terse but rich poems perfectly complement the elegant art of Hiroko Seki.” —Dennis Paulson, director emeritus, Slater Museum

“The grace and charm of Hiroko Seki’s illustrations bring to mind the precise vision and the brush strokes of the Japanese masters; Constance Sidles’s verses remind us that ‘the poet’s pen/Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing/A local habitation and a name’ (Midsummer Night’s Dream).

“The ‘local habitation’ in this case is a landfill, recently redeemed as a natural habitat of the birds, plants, rocks and wayward apple trees that populate Sidles’s brief poems, where each element is given ‘a name.’ The result is a delight to the reader and an accurate guide to the walker who is invited to follow those paths — or similar paths elsewhere — and recreate the vision of these two fine artists.”—Joseph Butwin, professor of English, University of Washington

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Fill of Joy

Constance Sidles

In her newest collection of 32 essays about wild nature, Constance Sidles describes in luminous prose the natural beauty and wonder she finds at Montlake Fill, an island of nature in a sea of urban development. The birds Connie observes here are living gems of color, celestial singers who fill the air with their liquid notes, selfless parents, ruthless predators, clever survivors–and always fascinating…(read more)

This is not a book about birds, however. It’s a guide that describes how to find joy in ordinary life. By studying the interactions of the wild creatures who share our planet, Connie distills the essence of what it means to be human — and happy.

Share the joy. Buy your own copy of “Fill of Joy” and find out why Connie writes, “There is real joy to be found in nature, and gladness in the world. We create it ourselves.”

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The Birds of Vashon Island

Ed Swan

Vashon is a rural island of great bird habitat set in a sea of urban development. Its wind-swept beaches, thick stands of second-growth conifer and madrone forest, open farmland, and thickets are home to more than 250 different species of birds.

Naturalist and author Ed Swan helps readers know more about the Island’s bird species and how and where to find them.  He illuminates the connectedness of the birds to the condition of the land and water on which we all depend.

First published in 2005, this book inspired Island residents and visitors to explore Vashon habitats and document and share their sightings of birds.  Now, nearly a decade later, this new edition documents 15 additional species on the Vashon list.  It includes updated and expanded species accounts, all-new color maps, dozens of color photos from some of the best nature photographers of the region. In addition, it includes:

  • Seasonal abundance charts for every species ever seen on Vashon
  • An updated site guide to all the best birding hot spots
  • A description of the habitat and history of this unique island jewel
  • A checklist of all the birds of Vashon, including every rarity ever spotted

The Birds of Vashon Island is available at The Swan Company and at Seattle Audubon’s Nature Shop.

Ed Swan is a nature writer living on Vashon Island who learned to enjoy birds from his grandmother as a boy. Swan has led field trips for Audubon Society chapters for over 20 years and curren


Second Nature

Constance Sidles

In the rush of modern life, in the chaos of a world that is often in crisis, where can you find peace of mind? Constance Sidles finds it in nature.

If, like her, you’re searching for a haven that gives you respite from cares and hope for the future, then come with her as she takes you on a journey into the wilds of a natural area set in the heart of a city.

The Montlake Fill is 75 acres of wild beauty on the University of Washington campus in northeast Seattle. In 32 essays arranged into the four seasons, Connie describes the birds who come here and the things they do. In the process, she reflects on the meaning of wild nature and its relationship to human nature.

“Let us not take for granted the everyday people or things we love.  Abundance and familiarity do not lessen wonder. Abundance gives us the chance to experience the sublime over and over again. Familiarity lets us deepen our understanding. We need only take the time to look and really see the treasure that lies all around our lives.”…(read more)

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Birding in Seattle and King County

Eugene S. Hunn


Now available at fine bookstores everywhere, and at Seattle Audubon’s Nature Shop and website (link).

272 pages
377 species
70 full-color images
25 maps

King County stretches from the lowlands of Puget Sound to the heights of the Cascade Crest and includes a wide variety of habitats, everything from urban cityscapes to rugged mountains. Scattered throughout this most urban of all counties are unexpected pockets of the wild, where birds lead their secret lives, far away from the control of humans. If you’re quiet, though, and know where to look, you can peek into this world, maybe even enter it for a time and become one with nature.

No one knows the wilds of King County better than Gene Hunn, birder extraordinaire, citizen-scientist, environmentalist, and explorer. His newest book, Birding in Seattle and King County, takes birders and budding naturalists to all the county’s hotspots. With GIS-inspired maps, stunning color photographs, frequency graphs, and lists of all the rarities ever found since the 1860s, Hunn opens the doors of this magical world to anyone with an interest in nature and a pair of binoculars.

Published by Seattle Audubon Society October 2012; edited and produced by Constancy Press.


In My Nature

Constance Sidles

In 32 essays covering the four seasons of the year, master birder Constance Sidles explores the wonders of the wild at the Montlake Fill, a nature reserve in the heart of northeast Seattle.

The birds she finds here teach her to forget time. To leave worries behind. To experience joy. To find a refuge that gives peace of mind and a respite from the stresses of a fast-paced world.

Would you like to share these experiences? It’s easy. Connie invites you to come along with her in these essays and find the magic in everyday life, the laughter, joy, and tears, as she describes the sublime beauty of the birds of the Montlake Fill…(read more)

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