- Series: Kaufman Field Guides
- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (May 5, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0618456945
- ISBN-13: 978-0618456949
- Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.9 x 7.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 69 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest (Kaufman Field Guides) Paperback – May 5, 2015
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Houghton Mifflin Peterson Books - Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of the Midwest The only field guide to bring along to identify the birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, rocks, and sky of the Midwest Even if we focus on certain things in the outdoors, most of us are curious about everything else that might turn up. Serious birders, botanists, and entomologists all have their specialized guides, but this book is the guide to everything else" the one guide to take when you go out for a walk. Wow, that s a cool-looking mushroom. Wonder what it is. Hey, look at that weird insect. Birds, mammals, trees, wildflowers, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish, spiders, mushrooms, ferns, grasses, even constellations overhead and rocks underfoot it s all here. With authoritative yet broad coverage, nontechnical language, and more than two thousand color photographs, this book is an essential reference for nature lovers living in or visiting Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
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As an ID source, this book is an excellent reference. I've waited a long time for such an inclusive field guide. The Midwest is a treasure trove of hidden beauty--Field Guide To Nature Of The Midwest will help you identify all your discoveries.
Images are good quality, with associated distributions usually indicated on a small map to the right of each entry. Descriptions are often amusing; I've chuckled aloud more than once (flying squirrels are introduced as "wide-eyed gnomes"; brown creepers as "a bit of bark come to life"). Each category (e.g., ferns, birds, mammals, etc) also has a brief introductory section covering basic science points.
Overall, this book is perfect for carrying on hikes or other outdoor adventures for initial identification of flora and fauna, with the caveat that additional information will need to be found elsewhere, as in a dedicated guide for birds, trees, etc.
I must admit though, I am from Oklahoma. Occasionally, Oklahoma will be lumped in with the Midwest region and I took a gamble and bought the book in hopes that it would be included. It is not in the region covered in the book. Technically, Oklahoma would be a "Western-South-Central State" and is also sometimes lumped in with the South (as it probably should be considering its culture), so it wasn't a huge surprise. So, pay attention to which states are included.
However, many of the species included in the book are here in Oklahoma, and other nearby states as well. The book keeps its relevance of course, and I have already used it to identify a few aster-type flowers, tiger beetles, red fox squirrels (although that one is easy in Oklahoma), etc. Other species I found in the book I do also know to be present in Oklahoma, such as the copperhead, black bear, and various others species. In addition, if the species is not exactly what is in the book you can at least know what order or family it is, and go from there.
Furthermore, I have used Kaufman guides during Entomology studies at OU. They're very helpful for research in which you need to quickly identify many different families, and get you to the correct dichotomous key. Very useful books indeed.