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“Put on your hiking shoes, pack your binoculars, and rediscover the City of Angels.” —Westways Magazine Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it's full of amazing wildlife. You just need to know where to find it!  Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA has something for everyone. It looks at the factors that s “Put on your hiking shoes, pack your binoculars, and rediscover the City of Angels.” —Westways Magazine Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it's full of amazing wildlife. You just need to know where to find it!  Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA has something for everyone. It looks at the factors that shape local nature—including fire, floods, and climate—and profiles over 100 local species, from easy-to-spot squirrels and praying mantids to more elusive green sea turtles, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Also included are descriptions of day trips that help you explore natural wonders on hiking trails, in public parks, and in your own backyard. 


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“Put on your hiking shoes, pack your binoculars, and rediscover the City of Angels.” —Westways Magazine Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it's full of amazing wildlife. You just need to know where to find it!  Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA has something for everyone. It looks at the factors that s “Put on your hiking shoes, pack your binoculars, and rediscover the City of Angels.” —Westways Magazine Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it's full of amazing wildlife. You just need to know where to find it!  Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, Wild LA has something for everyone. It looks at the factors that shape local nature—including fire, floods, and climate—and profiles over 100 local species, from easy-to-spot squirrels and praying mantids to more elusive green sea turtles, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions. Also included are descriptions of day trips that help you explore natural wonders on hiking trails, in public parks, and in your own backyard. 

30 review for Wild LA: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles

  1. 4 out of 5

    da AL

    A love letter to Los Angeles! Forget L.A.'s complaining, nostalgia, hype - this is the real, wonderful part of L.A. that can't be argued with -- & I even learned about the tar pits! A love letter to Los Angeles! Forget L.A.'s complaining, nostalgia, hype - this is the real, wonderful part of L.A. that can't be argued with -- & I even learned about the tar pits!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    As a former native Angelino, I was a bit skeptical that anyone could write about all the cool places that you can visit when you live in Los Angeles. Since I left the city, over 30 years ago, some new areas have become open to the public, such as Malibu Canyon. I was pleased to see which places were brought up, such as Eaton Canyon. And surprised that Frogtown was brought up, as I thought that was my own little secret spot that no one else knew about. And I love the advice on Griffith Park, which I As a former native Angelino, I was a bit skeptical that anyone could write about all the cool places that you can visit when you live in Los Angeles. Since I left the city, over 30 years ago, some new areas have become open to the public, such as Malibu Canyon. I was pleased to see which places were brought up, such as Eaton Canyon. And surprised that Frogtown was brought up, as I thought that was my own little secret spot that no one else knew about. And I love the advice on Griffith Park, which I have hiked, to not hike in the summer, in the middle of the day, which is quite true. There is no shade. The book is divided up into different sections. First, with an explanation of where L.A. came from, from, such as the water wars, and the La Brea Tar Pits. The second section is on what native wild life to look for, and where. And the final section is on the tours, the hikes that I mentioned at the top of this review. Most people, I suspect just wan the field trips, and might feel that didn't need to k now the background, or all the animals they might run into. Their loss if they do. Well written, well researched, and feels as though it was written by a L.A. native, for all the things that are mentioned for each spot. And although some of the authors were not originally from Los Angeles, I love that one of them grew up in Atwater, which is the area between Silver Lake and Glendale. Recommended for those who want to find the secret hiking and walking in nature spots in Los Angeles. Thanks to Netgalley for making this book available for an honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    LAPL Reads

    Sometimes LA seems like an endless stretch of strip malls and freeways. But LA is more than that! LA is part of the California Floristic Province, a biodiversity hotspot. In its wide range of habitats, from deserts to beaches, there are many wonderful, fascinating plants, animals, and fungi figuring out how to live side by side with us. The way flora and fauna survive this concrete jungle is a story, in and of itself. Or rather, it’s thousands of different stories. The way everything, from parak Sometimes LA seems like an endless stretch of strip malls and freeways. But LA is more than that! LA is part of the California Floristic Province, a biodiversity hotspot. In its wide range of habitats, from deserts to beaches, there are many wonderful, fascinating plants, animals, and fungi figuring out how to live side by side with us. The way flora and fauna survive this concrete jungle is a story, in and of itself. Or rather, it’s thousands of different stories. The way everything, from parakeets to western sycamore, lives in LA can be difficult to grasp. But the experts at the Natural History Museum of LA County wrote LA Wild: Explore the Amazing Nature in and Around Los Angeles to help all of us get a handle on the natural world in and around LA. In Wild LA you can read about the tropical green sea turtles of Long Beach, who live in waters warmed by a power plant. There’s information about blue gum eucalyptus trees that were planted in LA initially as timber, then as windbreaks, and then just because Abbot Kinney liked them. How about Argentine ants? Argentine ants are the most common ants in LA. You see them everyday. They out-compete other ant species because all of the Argentine ants in LA are part of one super colony that stretches from San Diego to Northern California. Talk about urban sprawl. Not only does Wild LA tell you the backstories of your plant and animal neighbors, it tells you where to find them. It turns out you don’t have to go far to experience nature in LA and you don’t have to look hard. This book will help you do that. You can even turn to Wild LA’s field trip section to find maps of local nature spots with information on the plants and animals. For example, there is a map of the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum with notes on where to park, when to visit, and what you can see there. If you’ve ever found yourself out and about in LA, happened across a plant or animal, and wondered “What is this?” Wild LA is the book for you. Reviewed by Andrea Borchert, Librarian, Science, Technology & Patents Department

  4. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I absolutely loved this book! It ended up with lots of small scribbles and post its all over of new adventures to plan out. Need to get some binoculars and other explorer gear soon!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Online Eccentric Librarian

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ I read hundreds of books every year and few have impressed as much as Wild LA. Beautifully presented, informative, friendly, interesting, and never talking down to the audience. The authors have done stellar work in all aspects of this nature guide and there is so much in here that I didn't even know/realize, despite having grown up around so many of these nature areas in LA. From urban legends of 'glowing cats' to th More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/ I read hundreds of books every year and few have impressed as much as Wild LA. Beautifully presented, informative, friendly, interesting, and never talking down to the audience. The authors have done stellar work in all aspects of this nature guide and there is so much in here that I didn't even know/realize, despite having grown up around so many of these nature areas in LA. From urban legends of 'glowing cats' to the variety of native and non native species that have made their home in Los Angeles with urbanization. The first half of the book is an overview of Los Angeles - from its ancient history in the La Brea Tar Pits, water issues, fires, native species, exotic species, after dark, migration, backyards, and the science being done by ordinary people. The middle of the book is a really nicely presented breakdown of 101 LA species to know - they can be anything from plants to insects to animals, native and non-native. Then the third portion of the book is a list of field trips that stretch from the beach to Mount Baldy. Nearly all are in the urban areas of Los Angeles - from Whittier to Pasadena, Torrance to Long Beach. The book is written in a clear and friendly manner suitable for kids but also adults. It never talks down to the audience and the wealth of information is staggering. But more importantly, that information is presented in a colloquial way that makes it palatable and actually fun and interesting. The text is very conversational and reminds me of being taught by the best teachers: the ones who are passionate about their field of work but also love working with people. The first section has great information about the past that we are finding today but also discusses quite a bit about the milieu in which we have native and non native species. From parrots to poison oak, bats to geckos. Each chapter is prefaced by a real world example of someone interacting with the nature (e.g., a young boy who uses his iphone ap to study bats in the area at nighttime baseball games) and there are many callouts full of interesting asides and facts. The 101 species has all the information you need to know about LA nature: background on the origins of the species, where they live, pictures that show their distinctive marks (e.g., side by side of a raven and a crow so you can tell the difference), and a lot of other information. It's surprisingly interesting and never dry reading and the facts are always fascinating. The third section, the hikes/nature walks, has a map, pictures and callouts of the nature you can find there, and why that area is worth the hike. Tips like parking information, time of year/day to go, exact address, difficulty, distance of the hikes, facilities such as picnic tables and bathrooms, and special notes are clearly marked and easy to read in advance. I was greatly surprised at many of them - some even in cities I had lived next to but never explored or even knew there were dams or waterfalls in that area! E.g., I used to work at NASA JPL and saw the deer all the time but never knew there was a a waterfall hike just around the corner or a damn just a few blocks away. I highly recommend this book, especially for families. The copious amount of images as well as the great information provided makes this a must for learning about the nature of Los Angeles. Though I know the authors must be passionate about the topic, it isn't as preachy about conservation, either. The authors make good points that help us appreciate our nature - and by appreciating, want to keep. I think that has to be the best message in the book. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Janet

    I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it is incredibly biodiverse, teeming with an amazing array of animals and plants. You just need to know where to find them. Wild LA—published in conjunction with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County—is the guidebook residents and visitors have been waiting for. Equal parts natural history I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher --- Los Angeles may have a reputation as a concrete jungle, but in reality, it is incredibly biodiverse, teeming with an amazing array of animals and plants. You just need to know where to find them. Wild LA—published in conjunction with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County—is the guidebook residents and visitors have been waiting for. Equal parts natural history, field guide, and trip planner, this fun-filled book has something for everyone. You’ll learn about the factors shaping LA nature—including floods, fire, and climate—and find profiles of over one hundred local species, from sea turtles to rare plants to Hollywood's famous mountain lion, P-22. Also included are day trips that detail which natural wonders you can experience where, on hiking trails, in public parks, and in your own backyard. Do you live in LA or are planning a trip to that area? This is a wonderful guide to finding the nature and greenspace in a land of freeways and concrete. The fire aspect of LA is so current as I write this as it seems most of California is on fire and lack of rain is unknown where I live so this adult learned a lot. I do wonder what Los Angelinos would think of it and if the trips are as easy as they seem to be presented. I have problems with the idea of spending 2-3 hours on a clogged freeway to get someplace, but that is my Canadian point of view. It better be freaking spectacular place to take that long of a drive – I can get to Niagara Falls in that time and now, that is spectacular. This IS decidedly going along with these two ADULTS on our next trip to visit my aunt: a great, fun, interesting way to explore the city with this beautiful travel guide: I just hope that someone else drives us or that there may be public transit to get there.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katelyn Bolds

    Beautiful and well-researched, this book is an extensive collection of stories, facts and pictures. Written for lovers of nature and Los Angeles, Wild LA tells a story of man and nature in an urban environment, capturing moments of awe as well as moments where the two species clash. This book is definitely targeted toward older kids and adults based on the amount of written material, but one that the whole family could enjoy together. The 300-some pages are chocked full of beautiful photography Beautiful and well-researched, this book is an extensive collection of stories, facts and pictures. Written for lovers of nature and Los Angeles, Wild LA tells a story of man and nature in an urban environment, capturing moments of awe as well as moments where the two species clash. This book is definitely targeted toward older kids and adults based on the amount of written material, but one that the whole family could enjoy together. The 300-some pages are chocked full of beautiful photography and graphic features which makes it an excellent source of entertainment as well as education. Specific chapters on invasive species, backyard habitats, and community science were particularly interesting and will be very helpful for people looking to get involved. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in nature and the LA area.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jemma TheTravelingBookLover

    ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fascinating book on the nature in and around the LA area. I loved reading about how these places came to be and what lives there. My favorite and most interesting to read was the history of the La Brea Tar pits. Stunning pictures and descriptions of every type of flora and fauna you can expect to find. At the end of the book are some great hiking options where you can try and spot some animals in the guide. A must have if you are a natu ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Fascinating book on the nature in and around the LA area. I loved reading about how these places came to be and what lives there. My favorite and most interesting to read was the history of the La Brea Tar pits. Stunning pictures and descriptions of every type of flora and fauna you can expect to find. At the end of the book are some great hiking options where you can try and spot some animals in the guide. A must have if you are a nature lover in the LA area.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    An absolutely must read to those who plan on visiting LA! I found so many interesting things about LA that I never knew. Fascinating read and I would recommend this to all tourists and even those who live in California who want to find out new places to hike and explore! I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Diane Hernandez

    Who knew there is so much nature around urban Los Angeles? It really is Wild LA. This guidebook contains something for every Los Angeleno (or visitor). There is a page of pictures, descriptions, and interesting facts for 101 species including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, snails, mold, and plants. All are found in greater Los Angeles and each profile gives the best locations to find them. There are twenty-five field trips around LA described that include directions, maps, and things to see. Who knew there is so much nature around urban Los Angeles? It really is Wild LA. This guidebook contains something for every Los Angeleno (or visitor). There is a page of pictures, descriptions, and interesting facts for 101 species including birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, snails, mold, and plants. All are found in greater Los Angeles and each profile gives the best locations to find them. There are twenty-five field trips around LA described that include directions, maps, and things to see. Ways to turn your own backyard into a wildlife habitat are also included. A comprehensive and useful guide to the nature that is all around Los Angeles. Wild LA is recommended for nature lovers around LA and those who wish to educate their children. 4 stars! Thanks to Timber Press and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    L

    I love this book’s approach and mix of field guide, hiking spot tips, and natural history. I will recommend it to anyone remotely interested in the outdoors down here. My only point of contention is their clear fondness for redwoods in the Southland. Please do not plant a redwood here. It won’t do nearly as well as they make it sound it will, it’ll look ugly, and there are plenty of great actual natives or even non natives that will be a better fit.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Foggygirl

    Great read if you are travelling to LA check out the nature areas mentioned in this book, which is less a book and more like a field guide.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    An essential book for anyone living in the Los Angeles area.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jane

    Might be buying this to keep up on all the good parks in the area :)

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shana

    This is great, easy access and I will certainly buy it as a gift for nature loving friends who love our local flora, fauna, and natural. History. and maybe for us as well because the hikes are great.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tara

    I received this arc from Netgalley for an honest review. When you think of Los Angeles you don’t often think about nature. This books might change your point of view. This book has a ton of information and illustrations and is more appropriate for older kids, maybe 5th grade and above.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Peipert

  19. 5 out of 5

    Casey Schreiner

  20. 4 out of 5

    Cindi

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brandon Ayers

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kim Thomas

  23. 4 out of 5

    Manaeha

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michael Westmoreland

  25. 5 out of 5

    Justin Pugel

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey

  27. 5 out of 5

    Anja

  28. 5 out of 5

    Renee Nollora

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Allee

  30. 5 out of 5

    Joshua Drake

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