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


Product Details

$39.95  $37.15
Trafalgar Square Books
Publish Date
7.5 X 1.1 X 8.9 inches | 2.8 pounds
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About the Author

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. 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, and Animal Mouths. She resides in Hartland, Vermont.


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. --Publishers Weekly

"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,

"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)

>"In one volume, 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. Birds, mammals, plants, fungi, reptiles, amphibians, insects, even the Fairy Shrimp of vernal pools, are not only described, but discussed. It's like wandering the woods, fields, and marshes with a knowledgeable naturalist at your side. If you love nature, you'll keep this book close at hand, and enjoy it often." --Jack Sanders, author of The Secrets of Wildflowers and The Internet Guide to Birds and Birding
"I love this book! Naturally Curious is the field guide to New England that I wish I'd been issued the moment I moved here. Now into my third decade exploring our fields, woods, and marshes, I found to my delight that Mary Holland has much to teach me. This is a wonderful, readable, fact-packed volume, full of stunning photos and dramatic stories. No nature library should be without it." --Sy Montgomery, author of Birdology; The Wild Out Your Window and The Curious Naturalist
"From the depths of winter to the lushest summer day, there is always something fascinating for the New England naturalist to find. In Naturally Curious, Mary Holland takes the reader through a year in the Northeast, from the smallest insects and spring wildflowers to flocks of migrant birds, "congresses" of breeding salamanders, and the natural antifreeze in a moose's feet--and it's all illustrated with her wonderful photographs. This book belongs on every woods-wanderer's shelf." --Scott Weidensaul, author of Of a Feather and Living on the Wind
"Naturally Curious is a delight to pore through. Rich in information and photographs, it gives readers a fascinating tour of many aspects of nature through a New England year. Mary Holland's book is one to refer to repeatedly." --Ernest H. Williams, author of The Nature Handbook and the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Biology at Hamilton College
"The best way to learn about the natural world is to go outside and explore your own backyard, nearby woods and fields, and local streams and ponds. And it's even more fun when you can bring along an enthusiastic, experienced, and patient naturalist to show you all the wonderful organisms and phenomena you've been missing. Naturally Curious is like having Mary Holland with you on the best hike ever, in every month of the year. I wouldn't miss an opportunity like that!" -- Lisa Purcell, Director, Four Winds Nature Institute
"Mary Holland's journal is an inspiring window into New England's natural history. With great pictures and accessible narrative, Naturally Curious is a great read and an important home resource." --Ben Kilham, author of Among the Bears
"With Mary Holland as our seasoned guide, Naturally Curious leads us into a year of natural wonders. A remarkable achievement, her book got me outside on a full moon again to listen for owls." --Tim Traver, author of Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh