A Book that Changed My Life - 9 muses photo
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Casey

Casey

"I had originally planned to do another, more “intellectual” book for this project, but the night before the picture was taken I had an epiphany. Maybe the other book taught me to see cultural norms as responses to practical stimuli, but does that effect my daily life? Not so much. The Peterson Field Guide literally changed the way I look at the world.

The copy I’m holding is the one I got in grade school, the first of three field guides that have each subsequently been almost constant companions. Knowing that I could find all of these different species of birds if I just paid attention to my surroundings made me take notice of the nature around me, even in the places that initially feel barren. Where most people wouldn’t even think twice about the birds around them (or really even notice that they were there), they’re almost always on my mind.

I’m constantly looking up in the air, out on the water, at any rustling branch trying to see which species will show up. A lot of people seem taken aback by how many different birds can be seen at any give place at any given time, even in the city, but I promise, if you take the time to look around you, you’ll see them. The hundreds of sandhill cranes migrating overhead, the brown creepers scurrying up the sides of the trees, the peregrine falcons hunting pigeons in the midst of the skyscrapers; they’re all there if you look for them."