It’s the longest day of the year, the first day of summer, and a great time to be outdoors. With books. As a curious naturalist, I have field guides in my kitchen, on my desk, in my car and on my phone. Books on birds, dragonflies, grasses, butterflies, birds, trees, mammals, spiders, birds, ferns, flowering plants, non-flowering plants, insects, reptiles, and did I say birds? I love my field guides for their history (I still have some books that belonged to my parents) and for their up-to-date info and detailed pictures and keys that give me a chance to figure out what the heck I’m looking at. Here’s a link to a lovely essay on the joy of field guides by Helen Macdonald, the author of H is for Hawk.
Jun 21 2015
Wonderful! I, too, have many field guides. I will always remember my first ones though, “The Golden Book of. . . .” We had birds, shells, spiders and wildflowers, although many others were available. They taught me how much fun it is to look stuff up and know its name.
You know what? I still have a dozen Golden Guides on the reference shelves near my chair at the kitchen table. They complement the two dozen on those shelves plus the ones on the other side of the table. Why? Because they do a great job of presenting the “big picture.”
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