Although he has spent most of his life in Seattle, self-proclaimed urban naturalist and author David B. Williams continues to discover new things that are integrated into Seattle’s urban landscape and architecture on his regular walks through the city.
Williams, a former national park ranger, outdoor instructor, and museum educator, said he sees the world through a geological and natural history lens and enjoys seeing how people have either integrated or adapted natural history into their architecture or landscapes . He then shares his findings with other residents through guided tours or presentations.
“For me, it’s about connecting and building a relationship with the world I live in,” said Williams.
Residents are invited to hear “The Street-Smart Naturalist of Queen Anne Hill: Observe Natural History on Your Doorstep” during his latest presentation from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to sum up the Queen’s Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Anne Historical Society.
From retaining walls made from old tram tracks to 105-million-year-old fossils of invertebrate shells contained in the facade of a building on West McGraw Street and Queen Anne Avenue North, Williams said he was at many interesting intersections between human activity and the natural world that just strolls through the neighborhoods.
“I’m always on the go, so it’s a great way for me to explore and notice curious aspects that people walk by every day that they may not notice or think about,” said Williams.
For example, Williams said, not very many people know that the roof of the Queen Anne Library is made of millions of years old slate quarried from New York and brought to Seattle.
“It’s just an interesting story to me that you have a million-year-old stone on the library,” Williams said. “I’m just always interested in these weird little phenomena.”
During his presentation on Thursday, Williams said he hoped to give people a new perspective or appreciation of Queen Anne and the city they call home.
“In the world we live in, many of us have certainly been forced to stay near home and do things in our neighborhood for the past 18 months, and I hope people can do that and for a moment Have time to enjoy the exciting exploration of your neighborhood, “said Williams.
He said his virtual presentation will take about 40 minutes, with time for questions afterwards. Log in to https://qahistory.org/event/queen-anne-geologic-history-with-david-b-williams/ to participate in the Zoom or visit the Queen Anne Historical Society’s Facebook page, https: // www. facebook.com/QueenAnneHistoricalSociety.
While Williams has incorporated many of his observations into his books over the years, his most recent publication, Homewaters, looks at the Puget Sound and not only looks at the water, but also focuses on how sound plays a prominent role in humans History and development of this area.
By telling stories from the past in his books, Williams said his goal is always to help people understand the present and make more informed decisions about the future.
For more information on Williams books or tours, please visit his website at www.geologywriter.com or follow him on Twitter: @geologywriter. He also publishes a free weekly newsletter at https://streetsmartnaturalist.substack.com/.