Naturally Curious (New Edition)

A Photographic Field Guide and Month-By-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England

Mary Holland



Are you ready for a glimpse into the dark, subterranean world of the star-nosed mole? A barred owl's late-winter call to take on new meaning? The life cycle of the eastern newt to suddenly seem complex, beautiful, and intricately bound to mysterious underwater landscapes and damp forest floors? Naturalist and environmental educator Mary Holland's visually astounding book Naturally Curious promises a walk in the woods (or a field or wetland) will never be the same.

With boundless enthusiasm and a lifetime's-worth of natural history knowledge, Holland escorts you through the New England seasons, month by month—in sun, rain, and snow; along roadsides and riverbanks; above burrows and under treetop nesting sites. Beginning with March and its early stirrings of life "awakening" after a long cold winter, and ending in February as survival becomes the sole focus of all plants and creatures, great and small, Holland provides hundreds of fascinating "Nature Notes." These bite-size nuggets of fact-based information detail a species' actions in a particular month—whether courting, breeding, singing, burrowing, migrating, or caching food, for example. In addition, you'll find pertinent lists of the amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects and arachnids, and plants and fungi you might expect to see or hear from as the weeks go by.

But that's not all: Each month culminates in specially chosen essays, where Holland gets up-close-and-personal with New England plant and animal life and some of their more intriguing typicalities and peculiarities, illustrating their impact on the region and those who share it. Throughout, the many exciting and varied "worlds" of the Northeast explode upon the page in an unmatched visual display of full-color photographs. From the minutiae (the migration of the tiny snow flea on a warm winter's day) to the massive (the wallowing practices of the bull moose in rut) this is the region and its inhabitants like you've never seen them before.

By deftly melding the practical field guide we all need with the kind of book we all want to sit back and read, Holland does New England—and those who live in it, visit it, and love it—an immense service. Adults and children alike are sure to be fascinated by the natural world in this book, in their backyard, and even further afield. Naturally Curious is truly an "into this world" experience.

Additional Information

Author: Mary Holland

Format: Paperback

Page Count: 496

Illustrations: 400 color photographs, 30 line drawings

ISBN: 9781570769320

By Mary Holland

Mary Holland is a Vermont naturalist, photographer, columnist, and author. She attended the University of Michigan-School of Natural Resources before working as a naturalist at the Museum of the Hudson Highlands in New York, directing the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, working as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, designing and presenting hands-on “Knee-High Nature Programs” for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, and writing and photographing a nature column called “Naturally Curious” for several newspapers and magazines. Her articles and photographs have appeared in the Valley News, Northern Woodlands, “The Outside Story”, Upper Valley Life, Here in Hanover, Woodstock magazine, the Harvard Press, the Vermont Guardian, and the Rutland Herald. The first edition of Naturally Curious won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Award for Best Nature Guide. Her other books include Naturally Curious: Day by Day, and the children's nature guides—The Beavers' Busy Year, Milkweed Visitors, Animal Legs, Animal Eyes, Ferdinand Fox's First Summer, Otis the Owl, Animal Noses, Animal Ears, Animal Tails, Yodel the Yearling, and Animal Mouths. Mary lives in Shelburne, Vermont.

David Sibley Says:

“What a wonderful book! It’s a guided tour of the noteworthy natural happenings of each month, tying together everything from maples to mayflies to moose."