Book, DVD, & Audio Picks

The following resources have played an important role in advancing my nature based education. I pick up at least one of them daily. I reviewed several of these books in my post White Season Reading List. If you're looking for book recommendations on other topics, send me an email.

New England Nature & Natural History (General Guides)

Photo of Blue Huckleberry♦ Naturally Curious Day by Day: A photographic field guide and daily visit to the forests, fields, and wetlands of Eastern North America (2016) and Naturally Curious: A photographic field guide and month-by-month journey through the fields, woods, and marshes of New England (2010) by Mary Holland

 Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England (2012) by Kenn & Kimberly Kaufman

 National Audubon Society Field Guide to New England (1998) by Peter Alden

♦ A Field Guide to Your Own Back Yard (1985) by John Hanson Mitchell

 Reading the Forested Landscape: A natural history of New England (1999) and  Forest Forensics: A field guide to reading the forested landscape (2010) by Tom Wessels

Edible & Medicinal Plants

Photo of Choke Cherry (Prunus virginiana) The Forager's Harvest: A guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing edible wild plants (2006), The Forager's Harvest 2-Disc DVD (2010), Nature's Garden: A guide to identifying, harvesting, and preparing edible wild plants (2010), and  Incredible Wild Edibles: 36 plants that can change your life (2017) by Samuel Thayer

Ancestral Plants: A primitive skills guide to important edible, medicinal, and useful plants of the northeast (Vol. 1, 2010; Vol. 2, 2015) by Arthur Haines

Edible Wild Plants: Wild foods from dirt to plate (2010) by John Kallas

Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs: A beginner's guide (2012) by Rosemary Gladstar

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places (1994) by Steve Brill

Backyard Foraging: 65 familiar plants you didn't know you could eat (2013) by Ellen Zachos

Dandelion Hunter: Foraging the urban wilderness (2013) by Rebecca Lerner

Bird Identification & Behavior Guides

Photo of Yellow-rumped Warbler Peterson Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern & Central North America (6th edition, 2010) by Roger Tory Peterson

 The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Eastern North America (2nd edition, 2016),  The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior (2001),  Sibley's Birding Basics (2002), and  The Sibley Guide to Birds (2nd edition, 2014) by David Allen Sibley

 The New Stokes Field Guide to Birds: Eastern region (2013) and  Stokes Guide to Bird Behavior (vol. 1&2: 1983, vol. 3: 1989) by Donald and Lillian Stokes

 National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern North America (2008) by Jon L. Dunn and Jonathan K. Alderfer

 The Crossley ID Guide: Eastern birds (2011) and  The Crossley ID Guide: Raptors (2013) by Richard Crossley

Bird Language & Tracking

Photo of Wild Turkey Tracks Backyard Bird Song (audio: 1991)  Birding by Ear: Eastern/Central (audio: 1989) and  More Birding by Ear (audio: 1994) by Richard K. Walton

 A Field Guide to Bird Songs: Eastern and central North America (audio: 1990) by Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America (2017) by Nathan Pieplow

♦ Bird Tracks & Sign (2001) by Mark Elbroch

Advanced Bird Language (audio: 1999) and ♦ What the Robin Knows: How birds reveal the secrets of the natural world (2012) by Jon Young

♦ Birdsong by the Seasons (2009) and ♦ The Singing Life of Birds (2005) by Donald Kroodsma

Advanced Birding

Photo of American Robin How to Be a Better Birder (2012) by Derek Lovitch

Kaufman Field Guide to Advanced Birding: Understanding what you see and hear (2012) by Kenn Kaufman

The Warbler Guide (2013) by Tom Stephenson and Scott Whittle

Hawks in Flight: The flight identification of North American raptors (2012) and Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion (2006) by Pete Dunne

The Shorebird Guide (2006) by Michael O'Brien, Richard Crossley, and Kevin Karlson

Peterson Reference Guide to Seawatching: Eastern waterbirds in flight (2013) by Ken Behrens

Peterson Reference Guide to Owls of North America and the Caribbean (2015) by Scott Weidensaul

Insect Identification

Photo of Cabbage White (male) Butterflies of North America (2003) by Jim P. Brock and Kenn Kaufman

 A Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Massachusetts (2007) by Blair Nikula, Jennifer Loose, and Matthew Burne

 Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America (2007) by Eric R. Eaton

 Butterflies through Binoculars (1999) by Jeffrey Glassberg

 The Life Cycles of Butterflies (2006) by Judy Burris

 Caterpillars in the Field and Garden (2005) by Thomas J. Allen, James P. Brock, and Jeffrey Glassberg

 Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A guide to identification and natural history (2005) by David L. Wagner

Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America (2012) by David Beadle

 Peterson First Guide to Butterflies and Moths (1994) by Paul A. Opler

 Peterson First Guide to Caterpillars of North America (1993) by Amy Bartlett Wright

Mushroom Identification & Use

Photo of Birch Polypore♦ Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms of New England and Eastern Canada (2009) by David Spahr

 Mushrooms of Northeast North America: Midwest to New England (1999) by George Barron

 Mushrooms and Other Fungi of North America (2010) by Roger Phillips

Mushrooms Demystified (1986) by David Arora

Mushrooms for Health: Medicinal secrets of northeastern fungi (2009) by Greg Marley

North American Mushrooms: A field guide to edible and inedible fungi (2006) by Orson Miller & Hope Miller

Wildflower, Fern, & Grass Identification

Photo of Red Clover Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (1989) by Lawrence Newcomb

Wildflowers of New England (2016) by Ted Elliman and New England Wild Flower Society

 Botany in a Day: The patterns method of plant identification (2004) by Thomas Elpel

 A Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North-Central North America (1968) by Margaret McKenny

Grasses: An identification guide (1992) and  Weeds and Wildflowers in Winter (2012) alt. title Weeds in Winter (1976) by Lauren Brown

 New England Wild Flower Society's Flora Novae Angliae (2011) by Arthur Haines

 New England Wildflowers: A guide to common plants (2009) by Frank S. Kaczmarek

 A Field Guide to Ferns and Their Related Families: Northeastern and central North America (2005) by Boughton Cobb

 Fern Finder: A guide to native ferns of central and northeastern United States and eastern Canada (2001) by Anne and Barbara Hallowell

 Pods: Wildflowers & weeds in their final beauty (1984) by Jane Embertson

 Weeds of the Northeast (1997) by Richard H. Uva

 Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: a field guide (2010) by Peter Del Tredici

Tree & Shrub Identification

Photo of Silver Maple barkForest Trees of Maine (2008, 14th revised edition, available as a free pdf) by Maine Forest Service

♦ Peterson Field Guide to Trees and Shrubs (1973) by George Petrides

 The Shrub Identification Book (1963) and  The Tree Identification Book (1958) by George W. Symonds

 Bark: A field guide to trees of the northeast (2011) by Michael Wojtech and Tom Wessels

 Identifying Trees: An all-season guide to eastern North America (2007) by Michael D. Williams

 The Sibley Guide to Trees (2009) by David Allen Sibley

 Tree Finder: A manual for the identification of trees by their leaves (1991) by May Theilgaard Watts

Mammal Identification & Tracking

Photo of Common Muskrat  Mammal Tracks & Sign (2003) by Mark Elbroch

 Tracking and the Art of Seeing (1999) by Paul Rezendes

♦ Peterson Field Guide to Mammals of North America (2006) by Fiona Reid

 Peterson Field Guide to Animal Tracks (2005) by Olaus J. Murie and Mark Elbroch

 Animal Tracking Basics by (2007) Jon Young and Tiffany Morgan

 Stokes Guide to Animal Tracking and Behavior (1987) by Donald and Lillian Stokes

 Field Guide to Tracking Animals in Snow (1988) by Louise R. Forrest

 Scats and Tracks of the Northeast: A field guide to the signs of seventy wildlife species (2001) by James Halfpenny

Winter Exploring

Eastern Cottontail Bark: A field guide to trees of the northeast (2011) by Michael Wojtech

Discover Nature in Winter: Things to know and things to do (1998) by Elizabeth Lawlor

A Guide to Wildflowers in Winter: Herbaceous plants of northeastern North America (1995) by Carol Levine

Pods: Wildflowers & weeds in their final beauty (1984) by Jane Embertson

Stokes Guide to Nature in Winter (1976) by Donald Stokes

Weeds and Wildflowers in Winter (2012) alt. title Weeds in Winter (1976) by Lauren Brown

Winter Tree Finder: A manual for identifying deciduous trees in winter (1970) by May T. Watts

Winter Weed Finder: A guide to dry plants in winter (1989) by Dorcas S. Miller

Miscellaneous Field Guides

Photo of Halloween Pennant The Book of Field & Roadside: Open-country weeds, trees, and wildflowers of eastern N.A. (2003),  The Book of Forest & Thicket: Trees, shrubs, and wildflowers of eastern N.A. (2002), and  The Book of Swamp & Bog: Trees, shrubs, and wildflowers of eastern freshwater wetlands (1995) by John Eastman

 A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore: Invertebrates and seaweeds of the Atlantic Coast from the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras (1979) by Kenneth L. Gosner

 A Field Guide to the Animals of Vernal Pools (2009) by Leo P. Kenney

 A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America (1975) by Joseph T. Collins

Swampwalker's Journal: A wetlands year (1999),  The Year of the Turtle: A natural history (1991) and all other works by David M. Carroll

 A Field Guide to Rocks and Minerals (1976) by Frederick H. Pough

 A Field Guide to Stars and Planets (1990) by Jay M. Pasachoff

Primitive Skills, Traditional Ways, & Natural Crafts

Photo of Small Ash Pack BasketParticipating in Nature: Wilderness survival and primitive living skills (2009) alt. title Primitive Living, Self-sufficiency, and Survival Skills: A field guide to primitive living skills (2004) by Thomas Elpel

♦ Bushcraft: Outdoor skills and wilderness survival (2008) by Mors Kochanski

♦ Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival (1987) by Tom Brown, Jr.

♦ Earth Knack: Stone Age skills for the 21st century (1996) Bart & Robin Blankenship

♦ Snow Walker's Companion: Winter camping skills for the north (2005) by Garrett & Alexandra Conover

♦ Wilderness Survival: Living off the land with the clothes on your back and the knife on your belt (2006) by Mark Elbroch and Michael Pewtherer

Inspiration and Philosophy

Photo of Northern Moon Snail♦ Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit (1993), ♦ The Story of B (1996), ♦ My Ishmael: A sequel (1999) by Daniel Quinn

 A Language Older Than Words (2000),  The Other Side of Darkness (audio: 2003),  Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the nightmare of zoos (2007), and  What We Leave Behind (2009) and all other works by Derrick Jensen

 The Wild Within: Adventures in nature and animal teachings (2009) by Paul Rezendes

 A New Earth: Awakening to your life's purpose (2006) and  The Power of Now: A guide to spiritual enlightenment (1999) by Eckhart Tolle

 Journey to the Ancestral Self: The native lifeway guide to living in harmony with the Earth Mother (1994) by Tamarack Song

 Original Wisdom: Stories of an ancient way of knowing (2001) by Robert Wolff

 The Vegetarian Myth: Food, justice and sustainability (2009) by Lierre Keith

 Secrets of the Talking Jaguar: A Mayan shaman's journey to the heart of the indigenous soul (1998),  The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic (2012) and all other works by Martin Prechtel

 The Tracker (1978) by Tom Brown, Jr.


Photo of Merlin A New Path (2017) by Arthur Haines

 Primal Connection: Follow your genetic blueprint to health and happiness (2013) by Mark Sisson

♦ Tom Brown's Field Guide to Living with the Earth (1986) by Tom Brown, Jr.

♦ Unlearn, Rewild: Earth skills, ideas, and inspiration for the future primitive (2012), ♦ The Compassionate Hunter's Guidebook: Hunting from the heart (2014) by Miles Olson