Books about
wild things
and wild places


Books, anthologies , excerpts and reviews


Fahrenheit vs Celsius
Mt. Washington cats
Bicycle humor
Beacons of Tomorrow
Nature Writing
Weather audiobook
Mount Washington Observatory tales


Clouds wash over Mount Katahdin's Tablelands, just a mile or so from the northern terminus of the Appalachian TrailNin the cat on Mount Washington. Illustration by T.B.R. Walsh from Cat in the Clouds

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Websites are the business cards of the 21st century. As with any author website, the hope is that you'll buy a book. But to help entice you or to simply entertain you if you're bored, you'll find a plethora of information about weather, travel, nature writing, stories about Nin the cat on Mount Washington, Thoreau on Mt. Katahdin, photography tips, humorous stories about cycling, politicians, and bears and much more. Each page on this site is listed below, categorized by subject. Use the easy navigation bar below, or click on any article or photo.

Click on each cover below for descriptions, excerpts, sample chapters and review blurbs

If All the Animals Came Inside

Cat in the Clouds

Life at the Top 2009

Among the Clouds: Mount Washington Observatory book

Nature writing. What do hikers seek on the trail?

From Mount Washington to Antarctica

Life at the Top 1997

Anthologies featuring essays and stories about animals and the outdoors, by Eric Pinder

Science Fiction and Fantasy

Cycling's Greatest Misadventures

Soul of the Sky: Nature Writing about weather

Learning about weather is a breeze with these free book excerpts, articles, weather tests, and interviews.

Test Your Weather Knowledge
A deceptively easy multiple choice quiz.
The answers are here, but take the test first. No peeking!

Pilgrim Weather
William Bradford and the Pilgrims botch the first weather forecast at Plymouth Rock.

Don Kent: Talking Up a Storm
Learn about World War II meteorology, hurricanes and other fun facts in an exclusive interview with Don Kent, Boston’s first TV weatherman.

Celsius vs Fahrenheit
Which scale is better? A heated debate (no pun unintentional) and discussion of the strange English fascination with the number 12.

Five Temperature Scales
A short history of various temperature scales, including the Réaumur, Rankine and Kelvin scales, which opinions about the advantages of each.


Mount Washington Observatory
Visit the windiest place on Earth in the comfort of your own home! Find photographs, information, anecdotes and links of interest about “the home of the world’s worst weather” on this page.

A Purr-fect Storm
Meet Nin the Mount Washington cat, his predecessors Jasper and Inga, and his successor, Marty.

A Day in the Life of a Meteorologist
Go behind the scenes at the Mount Washington Observatory, the “Home of the World’s Worst Weather.” A team of weather observers and researchers (and one very cool cat) lives on the icy summit year round. A minute-by-minute account (with photos) of a typical day in an untypical place

Mount Washington Observatory pizzaHigh Altitude Pizza
A mountain search-and-rescue operation will make you mighty hungry. An excerpt from
Life at the Top, including a high altitude pizza dough recipe.

Into Deep Slush
“Nature writing about weather.” Wade through rivers of slush on the Mt. Washington Auto Road during an Observatory EduTrip adventure gone wrong. Sometimes it’s the thaw that will kill you. Excerpted from Tying Down the Wind

Brain Freeze
Tourists ask the funniest questions. A short excerpt from Among the Clouds is located at the bottom of the linked page.

Travel Articles

Iceland Traveler's Tips
Volcanoes, geysers and glaciers. Plus a lot of scenic waterfalls. And don’t forget to try the rotten shark.

Katahdin, Baxter State Park
& the Appalachian Trail

This photograph of Katahdin's Knife Edge by Eric Pinder is available on postcards and refrigerator magnets at Two Wheels Good gift shop.Follow Thoreau to Katahdin
Traveler's tips and photographs from Katahdin and Baxter State Park.

Fog on Pamola Peak
Thoreau was haunted by apparitions of Pamola in the mist. An excerpt from North to Katahdin.

Donn Fendler: Lost on Katahdin
Donn Fendler’s famous ordeal revisted, with a short excerpt from North to Katahdin. My grandmother was a nurse in Millinocket, Maine, during his famous eight-day ordeal in Baxter State Park.

Katahdin and Sandy Stream Pond

Katahdin's Knife EdgeThoreau's Misquoted Mirror Metaphor
Follow Thoreau above treeline on Katahdin for a bit of purple prose that everyone likes to quote, but no one ever gets right.

Katahdin's Knife EdgeBaxter State Park Bibliography
An annotated bibliography of rare books and articles about Percival Baxter's “forever wild” park in the heart of Maine.

Bradford Washburn, Curmudgeon
“The Appalachian Trail was just a name to me.” An amusing letter from the Everest mapmaker and mountaineer about the book North to Katahdin


The Perils of Potholes
Bicycle humor about spring riding in New England.

Bear with Me
One day I saw a bear riding my bike. How he got on my bike I don’t know. Bicycle limericks and humor from Sheep Football.

Nature and
Nature Writing

Hunting with a Camera
Musings about nature photography, with pictures and postcards.

Short stories and nature writing from Chester College

Chester College
Superb stories and essays, including nature writing, by future famous authors.

Ice Storm Photos
Glaze ice is beautiful, until the lights go out.

ice storm photos

Outdoor Photography Calendar
Buy a wall calendar featuring spectacular photographs from the Appalachian Trail, Baxter State Park, Mount Washington and Iceland. See a preview on this page.

Nature Photography wall calendar

Best Nature
Writing Books

What if Henry David Thoreau and Emily Dickenson had gotten married? Edward Abbey found the idea hilarious. An annotated list of the Top Ten nature writing books, featuring Abbey and Thoreau. Find out why you shouldn’t read Walden until you’re 30.

A dozen entertaining and informative interviews with writers John McPhee, Annie Dillard, Barry Lopez, Linda Hassalstrom and others in the natural history field.


Oh Pun Season
Learn the three categories of puns.

New Hampshire Primary
Political humor from the campaign trail. Why won't Joe Lieberman stop calling me?

Lose vs Loose
I’m about to “loose” my mind. Grammatical pet peeves complained about and explained.

Book Reviews
Tolkien sure had an eye for mushrooms. This page reviews of books (not necessarily nature writing) that inspired or intrigued me. Includes short capsule reviews, as well as links to the following full-length reviews:

The Winds of War,
by Herman Wouk

The Lord of the Rings,
by J.R.R. Tolkien

Madame Bovary,
by Gustave Flaubert

by Ken Grimwood

Means of Ascent,
by Robert A. Caro

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Text and photographs © Eric Pinder