Label: Nature

February 24, 2015

Even after all these years of writing science books for children, I’m still thrilled when I get a good review. This one is particularly meaningful, because it’s from Kirkus (who are notoriously tough reviewers) and because it’s of a book that I co-authored with my wife, Liz Nealon. 

The narrated version of this eBook is part of our StarWalk Kids streaming eBook collection. I hope that you will try it with your students.


Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: New Books, eBooks, nature   •  Permalink (link to this article)

December 3, 2013

A Pennsylvania doctor on a Montana fishing trip caught something very surprising - a 25-pound baby moose!

Dr. Karen Sciascia and her guide were fishing in Montana’s Big Hole River when they spotted a moose trying to cross the rushing water. "We were watching this adult female struggling back and forth, and we didn’t see a baby until we got close," said Dr. Sciascia.

The current was so fast that even the large adult moose struggled, and when her calf entered the water it was swept downstream.

Sciascia and guide Seth McLean followed downriver, finally spotting the tiny moose’s nose just above the water. "We got up alongside it, and I scooped it up from the river under its front legs," Sciascia said. "It was [still] breathing, and I could feel its heart beating real fast."

McLean rowed the raft upstream and they dropped off the calf at the other side of the river. The mother had disappeared into the woods but returned to the river after hearing the crying of her young calf. "It was cool to be in the right place at the right time," Sciascia said.




Thanks to the Missoulian for the information in this story.

Photo: Four Rivers Fishing Company

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(3) Comments  •   Labels: Animals, Cool Photo, nature   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 12, 2012

Yesterday was a very special day, because I went to the memorial service for the great writer Jean Craighead George. She died this year at age 92, and her daughter Twig told me that her mother had still been writing up until four days before her death. Isn’t that wonderful?

Jean grew up in a family of naturalists, in a house full of rescued wild animals. She once told an interviewer that when she started kindergarten she was shocked to discover that she was the only child who had a turkey vulture for a pet! She wrote in an essay for "Children’s Books and Their Creators": "I have discovered I cannot dream up characters as incredible as the ones I meet in the wilderness."

  Jean was an outdoorswoman her whole life, and many fellow authors and editors who spoke about knowing her yesterday described trips they made with Jean to visit the wolves in Yellowstone National Park, to the great aquarium in New Orleans, and to observe whales migrating in Alaska. Amy Kellman, a librarian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a longtime friend of Jean’s, quoted a line from one of Jean Craighead George’s books in which she was describing a peregrine falcon named Oxie, who "did things her own way." Kellman said that she always thought Jean was describing herself when she wrote about the independent falcon.

Her son, Dr. Craig George, is a Senior Wildlife Biologist in Barrow, Alaska, working with bowhead whales. Craig told the gathering that just a few years ago his mother camped with them on unstable ice, at minus 20 degrees, during the bowhead census. "She was absolutely fearless," he said.


Jean Craighead George wrote more than 100 books. The most famous one was JULIE OF THE WOLVES. Have you ever read it? It is a wonderful story about a girl known as Miyax in her small Eskimo village; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When Miyax runs away from her village, she finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness. In danger of starving to death, Miyax survives by copying the ways of the wolves. She is soon accepted into their pack, and when she finally returns to her old life, she struggles to decide who she is - Miyax of the Eskimos—or Julie of the wolves? 


Here is a passage from the story:

Miyax stared hard at the regal black wolf, hoping to catch his eye. She must somehow tell him that she was starving and ask him for food. This could be done she knew, for her father, an Eskimo hunter, had done so.


Jean Craighead George was a great supporter of the Wolf Conservation Center near her home in Chappaqua, New York.

At the end of yesterday’s memorial service, stories, we all sang "This Land is Your Land"......and then Twig asked for a minute of silence.

As we sat quietly, the doors in the back of the auditorium opened and a trainer leading a white wolf entered the room. We all rose to our feet as this gorgeous creature, from the wolf sanctuary that Jean Craighead George loved, took the stage and looked at us all. It was magical.


I admired Jean as a writer and a person. She was, and still is, an inspiration to my own writing. She will always remain one of the towering figures in children’s literature, one of the inspirational models for the rest of us in her field.



Photo: Rocco Staino / School Library Journal

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Animal Books, Author Study, nature   •  Permalink (link to this article)

November 1, 2012

Good morning. It’s Thursday, so it’s time for SeeMore Explorers.

A couple of weeks ago, Seymour Simon and I took a walk up to Bash Bish Falls, the highest waterfall in Massachusetts. As we were walking along the creek, heading up the trail to see the waterfall, we came upon this interesting looking thing growing on the side of a tree. I took photographs from both above and below.








It looks like a fungus, or maybe a mushroom. I decided to use the SeeMore Explorers Observation Log to try to find out what it is. 

I typed the words "orange brown tree fungus spongy bottom" into Google. The first website that came up in the search was a "Mushroom and Fungus Identifier" on a website called Healthy Home Gardening. This seemed promising. I opened on the website, and started clicking through lists of photos, looking for images that resembled what I had seen.

I soon found several things that looked quite a bit like what I was looking for, and I noticed that all of them had the word "shelf" in their name. I could tell that what I was seeing was either a Shelf Mushroom or a Shelf Fungus.

Back to Google, where I typed in "shelf mushroom" and did a Google image search this time. Sure enough, I found several credible, scientific websites with photographs of shelf mushrooms that looked very much like what I had found.

What interesting things have you seen outdoors lately? You can download your own copy of SeeMore’s observation log here. Fill it out and share it with your friends, your classmates, your teacher or your family. Let people know what interesting things you are seeing, and what a good nature detective you are!

Posted by: Liz Nealon

(2) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, nature, Plants, Observation   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 20, 2012

It’s Thursday, so it is SeeMore Explorers day! Last week, we used an observation log to try to figure out what kind of animal we were seeing. But some weeks, I just want to go somewhere and enjoy many things I can see. I may not know exactly what they all are, but I can enjoy the experience of being out in nature.

That’s what I did last weekend when I visited the Innisfree Garden, in Dutchess County, outside New York City. Innisfree Garden was created in the hollow surrounding Tyrrel Lake - a large, deep natural lake. The garden keepers pump water from the lake through a huge system of underground pipes, so that there is water everywhere you look in the garden. There are fountains, pools, streams, waterfalls, and sculptures that spout water (you can walk under them on a hot day!).

I walked all the way around Tyrrel Lake, and here’s what I saw:



A lovely lake full of lily pads, puffy cumulus clouds dotting the blue sky.








A turtle sunning on a log.







A pink lily flower, one of the last of the summer.








A green frog just before he leaped with a squeak to try to catch a dragonfly (he missed).









A water sculpture shooting streams of droplets into the air.








A rotting log, covered with moss, full of life inside.








A blue heron gingerly wading through the lily pads on delicate, long legs.







A mossy path leading to more beautiful sights.







My lovely wife Liz, smiling at me.

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, Animals, Seymour Photographs, nature, Water, Plants   •  Permalink (link to this article)

September 13, 2012

Welcome to SeeMore Explorers Day! Every Thursday will be SeeMore Explorers Day on this website. The idea is to get out in nature and look around you. Take a photograph or draw a picture in your notebook. Write down as many details as you can about what you have seen. Then, come back to school or home and use the resources around you to try to figure out what it is that you have discovered. You can use books, encyclopedias or an Internet search; it is also fine to ask your teacher, librarian or other grownup to help you get started on your research.

We have created a SeeMore Explorers log that you can download and print out - it is designed to help you organize your information when you discover something exciting and interesting in nature. Click here to download your copy. Print it out and you are ready to start exploring - just like Seymour Simon does when he is out walking around and enjoying nature!


I am going to start things off with this photograph that our daughter Jules sent from Washington, DC recently. She thought that this butterfly was so beautiful that she snapped a picture on her phone and sent it to Seymour and me in a text. And of course, we wondered what it was. 

We started by writing down everything we could think of in our own SeeMore Explorers log.

Here is what we came up with: 



See how writing down what you see helps you figure out what you are seeing? We would love to see your observation logs. You can scan and upload right to this website if you want to, by clicking on the yellow button at the top of every page that says "Send Us Photos/Video." Or you can mail your observation log to:
SeeMore Explorers, 15 Cutter Mill Road, Suite 242, Great Neck, NY 11021

Send us your log, and you may find it published right here on!

Photo: Jules Kelly 


Posted by: Liz Nealon

(0) Comments  •   Labels: SeeMore Explorers, Butterflies, Insects, Exploration, nature   •  Permalink (link to this article)