A well-chosen reference library can go a long way in supporting your naturalist endeavors. Here are a dozen titles that together form a well-rounded base to ground your studies. Look for used copies to purchase, or better yet, borrow them from your local library first, to make sure they speak your language. For alternative and additional recommendations on these and other nature topics, see my Books, DVDs, & Audio Picks.
General New England Nature Guides
Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England (2012) by Kenn & Kimberly Kaufman
Naturally Curious: A photographic field guide and month-by-month journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England (2010) by Mary Holland
Plant and Fungi Identification
Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (1989) by Lawrence Newcomb [see my Newcomb's for Beginners series]
Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs (1973) by George Petrides
A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families: Northeastern and central North America (2005) by Boughton Cobb
Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England (1999) by George Barron
The Forager's Harvest: A guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing edible wild plants (2006) by Samuel Thayer
Ancestral Plants: A primitive skills guide to important edible, medicinal, and useful plants of the northeast (Vol. 1, 2010) by Arthur Haines [available as an eBook]
Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern & Central North America (6th edition, 2010) by Roger Tory Peterson
Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (2007) by Eric R. Eaton
A Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools (2009) by Leo P. Kenney
Tracking and the Art of Seeing (1999) by Paul Rezendes
Jenny and I recently read a book together called Dam Builders: The natural history of beavers and their ponds (2015) by Michael Runtz. The book is 10.5" square and packed with hundreds of color photographs documenting all aspects of beaver life, including history, evolution, and habits, as well as depicting many of the plants, insects, birds, and mammals inextricably linked to beavers and the habitats they create and maintain. The book is based on the personal experience of the author who has spent decades compiling the images, stories, and research that fill the pages. Whether or not you have beavers living in your neighborhood (and this book may help you recognize their signs for the first time), Dam Builders will open your heart to this continent's largest rodent, the North American Beaver (Castor canadensis).
Ancestral Plants: A primitive skills guide to important edible, medicinal, and useful plants of the northeast (Volume 2) is now available for purchase. Written by my friend and fellow Maine forager Arthur Haines, the book has a forward by Daniel Vitalis, and covers more than 100 plant species. Click here to learn more or purchase a copy from SurThrival. And, if you don't own a copy of Volume 1 of the Ancestral Plants series, it's currently available as an eBook.
In lieu of a typical mid-week post, I'd like to share two updates.
Now on Flickr
I've begun sharing photos on Flickr. Most images won't appear on the blog, so I encourage you to check them out periodically and post your comments.
New Links Page
I've also compiled a list of some of my favorite nature blogs and websites.
And now back to our regularly scheduled posting...
Check out my newest Resource page: Moon Challenges.
Moon Challenges are moon-long practices that focus your learning and expand your awareness. I was inspired to do my first Moon challenge after watching a TED talk. I encourage you to select a topic from the list or choose your own adventure. Once you've picked a theme, set a start date that coincides with a New Moon, and have fun.
Note: Today's photo shows unopened flowers of Sugar Maple.