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Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-By-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England Paperback – October 15, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Trafalgar Square Books (October 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570764255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570764257
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Holland (Milkweed Visitors), a naturalist and wildlife photographer, has an oddball vision of nature that is both informative and entertaining. Her description of her home, where she stores beaver castor glands in her freezer and has a fecal bear plug on display in her living room, prepares the reader for a book that includes pictures of penile bones and other oddities—as well as plenty of natural beauty. Nearly 1,000 color photographs should help the newbie naturalists learn what to look for and where to find it. Readers will delight in images of a newt and spring peeper attempting to mate; remarkably vibrant robins eggs in a nest; and a loon chick swallowing a fish whole. Though Holland begins her calendar year in March, the start of the mating season as dictated by her Vermont home-base, she provides a simple algorithm for readers to adjust according to latitude. Months are color-coded and organized around species; amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, insects & arachnids give way to plants, and the detail provided about each group is astounding. For Holland and her readers, treasures abound. Photos. (Oct.)
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Review

"I'd like to recommend this great new book by Mary Holland, which is focused on New England. Every biozone should have such a book." —Richard Louv, Audubon Medal winner and bestselling author, The Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle


“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."  —David Sibley, author, The Sibley Guide to Birds and The Sibley Guide to Trees



"Naturally Curious is a top-shelf book I’ll reach for often. If the camera had been invented in Thoreau’s day, this is the book he would have created himself.”  —W. D. Wetherell, author, The Smithsonian Guide to Natural America



“This may be the ultimate book for nature-curious New Englanders. Not only is it smart and comprehensive, it’s laid out in a way that corresponds with how we actually see the world around us: not one group of species at a time but all at once—birds and frogs and plants and everything else—what a treat!”  —Bill McKibben, author, The End of Nature, and founder, 350.org


"Mary Holland offers an encyclopedia of nature in New England—really, the Northeast—lavishly illustrated and rich in fact and lore. You know she knows the fauna and flora of which she writes, because this patient and experienced observer has documented what she’s seen with more than 700 of her own splendid photographs."  —Jack Sanders, author, The Secrets of Wildflowers


"Naturally Curious will undoubtedly compel many readers to go outside at any time of year to see in nature what Ms. Holland so deftly explains in her book. It is filled with useful information, whether you are a skilled naturalist or someone just beginning to know and love nature."  —Laura Johnson, president, Massachusetts Audubon Society



"This book is a must-have for all curious naturalists. Organized by the month, Holland covers numerous and varied species found in New England, from insects, amphibians, and reptiles, to birds, mammals, and plants. Very well illustrated with color photos throughout, it’s all there, ready to enrich your life throughout the year."  —Paul Rezendes, author/photographer, Tracking & The Art of Seeing and The Wild Within


Naturally Curious is a lovely book for the general public. Holland, a naturalist, wildlife photographer, and writer, provides an engaging introduction to the complexity of nature’s interactions. Full of photos, most of which are from the author, the book also contains numerous charming illustrations.” —Choice (March 2011)

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Every New Englander should own this.
Sean R. Fitch
This book is packed with local natural history and gorgeous photographs.
EcoGeek
This will make a great gift for anyone interested in nature.
Sarah L. Douglas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Sjogren on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed Mary Holland's blog for quite some time. Her regular pictures and brief write-ups focusing on the natural splendour of Northeastern flora and fauna provide a perfect break between tasks during the hustle of my daily workday in downtown Boston.
This work is an opus of transportive vistas to the natural world that we are both so close to and so distant from. In that regard, I found myself thinking of this work as more of a guidebook to a world many of us have overlooked or as an 'English to Nature' dictionary.
The first copy I ordered is going abroad as a gift to a good friend who just moved from New England to London for work and misses the New England wildlife, while the second is for my own enjoyment (more will likely be coming in the holiday month).
Along with beautiful and remarkable pictures, the book follows a monthly theme and works to capture the most important seasonal aspects for different species. One can easily flip to any page for a brief foray into the natural world, or spend hours starting in the opening 'March' section of Fisher Cat tracks in the spring snow and the plump, emerging Skunk Cabbage and then follow the teeming crescendo of life through the warming Spring months and into summer and beyond.
This is a remarkable collection from a lifetime of patient and open observation of a world many of us feel increasingly distant from. Perfect for those curious by nature.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Major T. Benton on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
I don't know the right words to even begin to express how overwhelmed I was while going through this book. I kept thinking of Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Henry David Thoreau and even Georgia O'Keeffe! What I felt most was the much stronger current, beneath the words and fantastic photographs, than what even the author herself might have realized. This is much, much, much more than a "Month-by-Month Journey..." It's a treatise on the value of our lives and our environments, and the way in which we treat them. It's a statement on Gaia, Mother Earth, and how everything is related. It has "WAKE UP PEOPLE" surreptitiously intimated on every page. Through her daily observations and incredible interpretive skills, natural occurrences become models for each of us to understand our world and ensure its future. This book will undoubtedly become a classic in nature writing. My most appreciative congratulations go out to Mary Holland for this superb accomplishment.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jay on November 16, 2010
Format: Paperback
I just received a copy of the book "Naturally Curious" as a birthday present and I was astounded by the depth of the material. I have quite a few field guides on my shelf, but this one is going to be the first one that I regularly go to. Wonderful book!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Drombeg on December 11, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a unique book as far as I know. I have several naturalists' books covering Vermont and the Northeast, and have seen nothing of this breadth, covered to this depth. So much interesting information about birds, amphibians, mammals, insects, plants. This would be useful to those in the mid-Atlantic, New York, and even wider geographic regions. The author gives a month-by-month look at what's going on in the natural world, and so much of the information would simply be moved forward or back a month in other regions, but would still be relevant because of the wide overlap of species.

Very readable. Couldn't put it down. I consider myself pretty knowledgeable about the natural world, but there was much that was new to me in this book. I would have loved to have this to use as a text when I was teaching. Suitable for a wide range of ages.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By vernal pools on February 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's a book that lives up to the reviews 100% and more. I'm a naturalist and enjoy field guides and am fairly knowledgeable about judging what's out there. This book is spot on. The photography alone is worth the price. The insights into each month are well-researched. The author knows a great deal about all aspects of nature. Her intelligence, sense of humor, and writing style are incredible.
I hope that she will continue to write wonderful guides for those of us who are naturally curious in New England. I'd like to tempt her to a field guide on New England Wildflowers. Her photography skills would capture detail. Some photography wild flower field guides don't capture how the plant is actually growing in the wild, or the light conditions are wrong. This writer knows what she wants the picture to show clearly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah L. Douglas on December 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey Through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England

Having moved to New England a couple of years ago, I found there was so much I wanted to know more about during my frequent walks in the woods. This book answers every question, and more, with beautiful photographs to illustrate and fascinating detail that takes the reader to a new depth of understanding nature.

I think, however, what this book has done for me more than anything else, is deepen my connection to this incredible land and it's inhabitants, giving me a new respect and gratitude for the place that I call home, a home I share with bountiful flora and fauna.

Taking the book with me into the woods, my walks have now become an adventure and education and I love that it is organized into months, so you can easily look something up depending on the time of year.

This will make a great gift for anyone interested in nature.

Thank you Mary Holland!
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