Loveland resident, retired pastor writes book about experience with animals and love of nature – Loveland Reporter-Herald

A longtime Loveland resident and retired pastor has taken her love for the outdoors and all its creatures and put it into a book, sharing her thoughts on the world through the printed page.

Barb Linder recently wrote and published “Encounters with Animals,” an 82-page collection of essays where the former pastor describes the “surprising and inspiring” encounters she has had with nine different animals — dogs, snakes, squirrels, spiders, bears, eagles , songbirds, elk and monarch butterflies, according to a description of the book on its publishing site.

Beyond her own stories in the pages, Linder shares information on what the animal has symbolized in some cultures, what can be learned from the animals, introspective questions, applicable scriptures and “encouragement to spend more time outdoors to sit in silence to become aware of the animals that help us, in their own way, to grow personally and spiritually.”

Linder spent 25 years as a pastor, spending a majority of that time in Minnesota. She said that her whole life she has loved nature and has traveled all across the country and across the world.

A copy of Barb Linder’s book “Encounters with Animals” sits on a table on her porch at her house in central Loveland July 12, 2022. (Austin Fleskes / Loveland Reporter-Herald)

“Ever since I was a little kid I loved to be outdoors and I loved animals,” Linder told the Reporter-Herald.

But, following a trip with a friend a number of years ago, she retired to a house in central Loveland in 2005.

She said that the idea came from her book, like her decision to settle in Colorado, from one of her friends. She said after recounting some of her experiences with animals over the years, her friend said she should go to work putting the stories to paper, which was eventually published in June through LifeRich Publishing.

One such story came from a hike she took at Cub Lake Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. She said she had gone for a hike before the winter months made it too cold to head out to the trails, and on her way back to her car found herself in the middle of a herd of around 12 elk.

“I couldn’t turn around because I was in the middle of the herd,” she said, adding that she just walked with the animals until they decided to go on their way. She said none of the elk showed any signs of aggression, and she made it back to her car safely where she thought back on the experience with wonder.

Linder said that her hope is that her book and its messages help share her love of nature and animals and the importance to go out and be one with the natural world around us.

“You have to use common sense, but at a very early age I learned if you don’t show aggression or fear you can have incredible experiences with animals,” she said. “I firmly believe that it’s God’s intentions that we have those kinds of experiences.”

Linder said the book can be found in Barnes & Noble in both Loveland and Fort Collins as well as Book Haven, 680 E. 29th St. The book can also be found online through Amazon or

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