The amateur naturalist
Living, buzzing, breeding, and renewing, the natural world is all around you. It's the papery moths that dart about your porch light, the nibble-marks on your shrubbery, the audacious bird song that puts a bounce in your step on a spring day. Modern comforts tend to isolate us from fully appreciating the wonders just outside our own "cocoons" -- but that need not be the case!
Inspired by Gerlad and Lee Durell's 1982 classic, this engaging new book makes nature accessible to everyone. Biologist and National Geographic television host Nick Baker brightly urges a new generation to look, investigate, and enjoy being in touch with our wild surroundings. Great scientific knowledge is not required, the author points out. Rather, it is interest and experience that make a naturalist. And in these beautifully illustrated pages, he goes about showing you how.
Fact-packed entries introduce the fundamentals of nature study: basic skills, equipment, and rules of conduct that protect the natural world while giving you the best experience. Baker advises on the "quitest" clothing for wildlife watching, some useful tools you can make inexpensively, and the one piece of equipment you absolutely should splurge on.
Chapters on animal groups -- Birds, Mammals, Fish, Reptiles and Amphibians, and Insects -- reveal fascinating insights into wildlife behavior and the best ways to observe it. Learn to spot a butterfly who's about to lay her eggs...avoid a certain talent that many toads posess...detect the identity of the animals that gnawed a pinecone...and, if the dinner was a squirrel, read clues to its right- or left-handedness!
Photos and diagrams show you everything from interpreting tracks to identifying plants to piecing together skeletons -- the ultimate model kit! A warm foreword by Lee Durrell sets the stage, and every chapter suggests experiments for all ages that are safe, enlightening, and eco-friendly -- including a foolproof recipe for raising tadpoles.
So get started! Go outside, get your hands dirty, look, learn, and enjoy -- and let The Amateur Naturalist guide your adventures.
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The sinking of the Titanic has always fascinated me. I loved being able to read about the first trip and many other trips down to she wear she lays. They show a contrast from the first trip down in ...
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