496 pages, <1000 colour photos
Are you ready for a black fly bite to get graphic, for a barred owl's call to take on new meaning, and for the life cycle of the eastern newt to suddenly seem complex, beautiful, and intricately bound to the subtle patterns of mysterious underwater landscapes and damp forest floors? Naturalist Mary Holland's new book Naturally Curious promises a walk in the woods will never be the same. Holland leads you through the New England seasons out-of-doors – through the sun, rain, and snow; along roadsides and wetlands; above underground burrows and under treetop nesting sites. With just a turn of the page you'll suddenly know more about the creatures that frequent your backyard or the pond you visit every summer than you ever thought possible. Naturally Curious perfectly melds practical field guide with informal nature literature, providing you the remarkable opportunity to sit back, relax, and learn something fascinating about the natural world around you.
"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. There are chapters for each month, arranged by season, starting with spring, so that March is the first chapter and February is the last. It would also be an excellent resource for the homeschooler as well as the lay reader enrolled in a class on science writing. Summing Up: Recommended."
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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 North American Bird Guide and The Sibley Guide to Trees
"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, Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle
"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
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Mary Holland is a Vermont naturalist, photographer, columnist, and author. She attended the University of Michigan's 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. She is the author of National Outdoor Book Award winner Naturally Curious.