Author Archives: Monkey's Uncle

About Monkey's Uncle

The Monkey's Uncle was brought up in Western PA, and grew up playing in the woods, skipping stones, and bringing animals home from the creek to "save". He was- as a child- a proud subscriber to Ranger Rick. At the age of 11, he discovered BMX bikes, and his life has never been the same since that day. These days, he spends time with family, and goes hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and spends lots of time at the beach.

Wilderness Wednesdays 1

By | September 18, 2013

John Muir was the founder of the Sierra Club. He died on Christmas Eve in 1914. He’d lobbied the government for what became Yosemite National Park. Thus, many call him the “father of the national parks.” When they made those statehood quarters awhile back, California’s featured John Muir. As such, and having been entertained lately […]

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What Can a Kid Do?: A Book Review

By | July 24, 2013

A 5-year-old may or may not summit every 4,000+-foot mountain in New Hampshire. Let that sink in a little. For perspective, if you live in or have visited New England, you may have climbed the popular Mt. Monadnock and felt the pain. Now realize that it is 3165 feet. Yeah. So “small” it was beneath […]

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At The Edge Of The Continent

By | July 18, 2013

“Low ebb, high tide. The lowest ebb and highest tide… At the edge of the continent” —R.E.M., “I Remember California” You know the feeling. You show up at the beach, and it’s a nice day with a soft breeze, and… “Hey, Dad, what is this?” And sure, it’s a crab. But don’t you wish you […]

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Beating a Rainbow to Death

By | October 10, 2012

“The dorado did a most extraordinary thing as it died: it began to flash all kinds of colors in rapid succession. Blue, green, red, gold, and violet flickered and shimmered neon-like on its surface as it struggled. I felt like I was beating a rainbow to death” —Yann Martel, Life of Pi Maybe once upon […]

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No Bikes in Narnia: A Review of Wildwood by Colin Meloy

By | September 19, 2012

At first glance, Wildwood sounds familiar. Evil magical woman leader? Check. Kids as heroes? Yes. Ominous canines as femme fatales’s pawns? 10-4! Talking animals? Oh, yeah. Now that a second book is on its way, the set is even called “Wildwood Chronicles.” I love the Decemberists. If you didn’t know, this is the band for […]

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Car Music as Outdoor Training?

By | August 9, 2012

My daughter is slightly obsessed with “If a Tree Falls” by Bruce Cockburn. So I wanted to do a bit of a hyperlink experiment with the song. The results follow. Stay tuned afterwards for my thoughts on how this ties into the experience of all of us with our kids, outdoors. **************************************************** IF A TREE […]

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Butterfly in the Kitchen: Our Experience Of Metamorphosis

By | July 5, 2012

Glory, Monarch butterfly

“I can’t believe my mind! … It’s glorious!” Now, I don’t know about you, but these are not words I typically hear from my six-year-old. They were prompted by the “birth” of our Monarch butterfly, which she promptly named Glory. It’s not that The Pretender (she wants to play make-believe ALL THE TIME) isn’t impressed […]

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A Greener Giving Tree

By | June 9, 2012

As part of my job, I’ve been reading The Giving Tree many many times lately, and my formerly rosy opinion of this tale of an apple tree’s friendship with a boy has changed a bit. At the start of the book, we should take it more seriously when the boy plays “King of the Forest”. […]

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Living in the Trees

By | June 2, 2012

This post will overlap a small bit with my post on simplicity. If you haven’t read that one, you might give it a read. ******* These days it would be easy to think kids have changed. That all they want is video games and microwave food. Why aren’t they like we were as kids? Well, […]

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On the Hook with a Book Named Kook

By | May 24, 2012

I recently read a book about surfing by Peter Heller. Except that it wasn’t just about surfing. In fact, for me it was hardly about that sport at all. What it was about (that concerns us here) is love. Love of the ocean. Love of significant others. And love of surfing. And how these three […]

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By | March 25, 2012

I’d like to think at this point in my life, that I’m some sort of amateur naturalist. After all, I started reading Ranger Rick magazine when I was about 7 years old, and have been aware of animals ever since. Add to that all the hours I’ve spent watching deer with my mother (“Be QUIET!! […]

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