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 monthin 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 monthwhether 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 Englandand those who live in it, visit it, and love itan 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.