An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide –

About Naturally Curious and Mary Holland

Naturally Curious: A Photographic Field Guide and Month-by-Month Journey through the Fields, Woods, and Marshes of New England is my award-winning, bestselling book from Trafalgar Square Books of North Pomfret, Vermont. This book, first published in 2010, is now available in an updated edition, featuring over 100 new photographs.

Watch the book trailer here:

This blog, which I started shortly after completing my book in 2010, gives you a glimpse of the topics Naturally Curious covers, and gives me a chance to share the surprises and discoveries I enjoy in my work each day.

I am a Vermont naturalist, photographer, columnist and author, and I have had an abiding passion for natural history all my life.  I was born and raised in Massachusetts on a turkey farm. I attended the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources (Naturalist Curriculum) before working as a naturalist at The Museum of the Hudson Highlands in New York state; directing the state-wide Environmental Learning for the Future (ELF) program for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS); working as a resource naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society; designing and presenting my own hands-on “Knee-High Nature Programs” for libraries and elementary schools throughout Vermont and New Hampshire; and writing and photographing a nature column (also “Naturally Curious”) for several newspapers and magazines.  My articles and/or photographs have appeared in The Valley News; Northern Woodlands; “The Outside Story”; Upper Valley Life; Here in Hanover; Woodstock magazine; The Harvard PressThe Vermont Guardian; and The Rutland Herald.

I have written and photographed a children’s book, Milkweed Visitors, which introduces many species of insects that visit a milkweed patch. This book was placed on the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Science Books and Films’ (SB&F) list for the best books of 2006 in the category Children’s Books under Zoological Sciences. Arbordale Publishing has published the following children’s books of mine: Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer, The Beavers’ Busy Year, Otis the Owl, and an animal adaptations series which thus far includes Animal Eyes, Animal Ears, Animal Mouths and Animal Legs. Yodel the Yearling and Animal Noses are due out in the spring of 2018.

I offer natural history slide programs, including Milkweed Visitors (based on my book), Beavers, Foxes (based on my book) and Naturally Curious (based on my book).  I also have a small photographic nature print and greeting card business.

I live in Hartland, Vermont, and in my spare time I enjoy birding, gardening, snowshoeing, exploring and adding to my natural history collection. I have one child, my daughter, Sadie and two grandchildren.

132 responses

  1. Hi Mary

    I love your blog and am so impressed with all your work. Do you remember me? I am your cousin Elizabeth Low’s daughter, Susan. I am passing along your blog address to my youngest brother Edward who works for Audubon in New York City and whose 50 acre farm in PA we love to visit.
    We are doing well and I look forward to visiting your blog from here on.
    Susan Whitaker Capparelle

    July 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

  2. Philip Sjogren

    This is an exceptional site. I am looking forward to the release of your new book this Fall along with all the splendour the season brings, which I am sure will only be heightened by your photographs and write-ups.


    July 30, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    • Thank you so much for your very kind words, Philip. I’m curious about how you discovered my site, and am very glad if you enjoy it. Mary

      July 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

  3. Patty Ewing

    Mary – We recently got our copy of your new book. It is fabulous. I love the month-by-month outline and the stunning photography. Bruce can’t put it down. He read the segment about Fishers (a very large weasel) recently and was stunned to learn some of the things they eat. He loved the photo of the scat with porcupine quills in it. We will be reading the section on lady beetles next. That you for this treasure.
    Your friends,
    Patty and Bruce
    Patty Ewing, DVM, MS, DACVP
    Bruce Lessley, PhD

    October 31, 2010 at 12:26 pm

  4. Lisa Grady

    Hello Mary, As the Special Events chair for the Friends of the Stowe Free Library, I would love to extend the invitation to speak and do a book signing as a part of our ongoing garden/nature series titled “In Our Own Backyard”. Please feel free to contact me on availability and interest. Best, Lisa

    November 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm

  5. Jan Lambert

    Hi Mary,
    I met you a few years ago. Do you remember photographing an Easter Spotted Newt that I brought to the pond in Windsor where I was working on milfoil? I got wind of your new book when I saw a column of yours in the Valley News. I just today bought two copies, one for me and one for a gift. What an impressive production! I am very impressed.

    I have been writing a weekly nature column for the Compass paper for about a year now, you can find them at

    Yours, Jan Lambert
    Charlestown NH

    November 17, 2010 at 1:37 am

  6. Tiki Pirie


    I just heard you on VPR, and beacame so interested in your conversation I had to look you up, I was especially drawn to your comments about how children are so interested in what you show them… I found your blog and then discovered your “Knee High” program for the very young! I am printing the information now and cannot wait to find a class to bring my 2 very young children to, Thank you for your gift of inspiration, and happy Thanksgiving too !

    Sincerely, Tiki

    November 25, 2010 at 1:03 am

  7. Hi Mary – so exciting to hear you on VPR the other week. You were excellent and it brought back lots of memories of times “in the field” at ELF. The book looks beautiful and I hope to be able to scoop up a copy next time I’m in a bookstore.

    December 1, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    • What fun to hear from you, Judy! You and your family have certainly made your mark on the Vermont gourmet market! Congratulations to you! So glad you like Nturally Curious — I feel really lucky to have had the opportunity to put a lifetime’s passion between the covers of a book!

      December 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm

  8. Mary,
    We really enjoyed meeting you last night at Montshire Museum. Your book is captivating! I have gleaned so much from it already and I’m just getting started. Now I know that goldenrod galls are not necessarily good things to include in dry indoor arrangements, as they contain a fly larvae inside. Just one thing I’ve found useful so far. Now you’ve really wetted my appetite even more. Thanks! Vicki

    December 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm

  9. Mary:
    We would love to have you do an event at Bear Pond Books, Montpelier in February, if possible. Please contact me about this. Our events are on Tuesdays at 7PM.
    Thank you,

    December 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm

  10. Wow, your photographs are incredible. I am drawn in and mesmerized by them. Just want to look and look. I left your site up on my computer and later that day my 7 year old called me over to look at the forget-me-nots. She was also drawn in by your photographs. Thanks, Ann

    January 7, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    • Thank you so much. Am I correct that you are in Killingworth, CT? I lived there for two years about 16 years ago! A nice part of the country. I visited your website and was most impressed!

      January 7, 2011 at 5:47 pm

  11. Mary Jane Grace

    Enjoyed meeting you at Bear Pond Books in Montpelier last night. Was thrilled to find information on the Western Confier Seed Bug as I was flipping through this morning. i found one of those in my apartment about a week ago and was quite taken aback. Good to know what it is and look forward to learning more from your wonderful book.

    February 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm

  12. Sharon Hodge

    Mary, Hello! What a coincidence that the daughter of one of my fellow Museum of the Hudson Highlander’s workshop members posted a photo of your Barred Owl to show our Facebook friends what kind of owl she saw along her travels! Which led me to your blog! Nice to “see” you again! And you still have a Lab! Thornton was such a cool dog and I now am lucky enough to have one of my own, a black rescue named Lucca. We live in Montana and had been trying to organize another Museum reunion (we did have one in 1986), but now, with Facebook, so many of us are connected again, virtually, at least! Fondly, Sharon Hodge

    March 31, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    • Great to hear from you, Sharon! Are you still in the e.e. business? I bet you are loving Montana! Mary

      June 22, 2011 at 1:30 am

  13. Guy Lacombe

    Hello Ms Holland,

    I m born in Quebec and all my youth I ve investigated the Maine forest woods with my father observing beaver dam, black bear trails etc.
    Now I m leaving in Montreal for work and I miss so much enjoying the nature. I would like to let you know that I saw your interview on Vermont Public Television today and the passion in your eyes for nature gave me a peacefull moment in the heart of the big city!! Thanks for all these amazing pictures on your site.Every night will take a look with our children and this way , maybe I can left a litlle of my father heritage!!

    Thank for all that!! Guy

    PS. Sorry if I do text mistakes, I use to speak french!!

    May 17, 2011 at 1:48 am

    • I am deeply humbled by your note, Guy, and am thrilled to connect with a kindred spirit such as yourself. Thank you so much for writing me. Mary

      May 17, 2011 at 2:38 pm

  14. Peter Denis

    I watched you last night on Vermont PBS Profile. It was a most wonderful introduction of your Naturalist studies for me. I have a small property in the Eastern Townships of Quebec with a posd. We have frogs, peepers, a large snapper and some goldfish in the pond. It is interesting to see the blackbirds, robins and blue herons at work. We also have a multitude of deer, occasional foxes, racoons & skunks.
    Do you do lectures to Nature Groups. We are members of one and would like to propose you for a future meeting.
    Keep up your good work,

    Peter Denis

    May 17, 2011 at 2:55 pm

  15. Mary,
    What fun to see your name and learn of your new book in the most recent issue of “Chip Notes” from The Birds of Vermont Museum! How well I remember our days working together, you at VINS and me in Montpelier at MEEP. I continue my learning of the natural world, now through my grandchildren. I cannot wait to get a copy of your book to share with them this summer! All the best to you. Doug
    P.S. The web site address is for a map I created in 1987 after moving to Asheville, NC. This year is the 25th printing of the map!

    June 4, 2011 at 11:34 am

  16. I just love tracking the seasons and no two are alike. Keep posting and keep blogging. Keep doing what you do.

    Kind Regards

    Tony Powell

    December 30, 2011 at 7:14 am

    • Thanks, Tony. We have lots of company out there, thank goodness!

      December 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm

  17. Greg Rozycki

    I grew up in Norwich, VT and was exposed to the fine penmanship of Ted Levin, a previous Valley News columnist who wrote mostly about naturalist topics. Now, as a grown adult living in Berkeley, CA, I get newspaper clips of your work from my father and recently visited your website for the first time. You have done an amazing job filling the shoes of my childhood favorite naturalist, and I now look forward to sharing your blog and articles with my 5 and 3 year old kids (so they have their own childhood naturalist model to emulate!). Keep up the great work!! Greg

    January 20, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    • Thank you so much, Greg. I admire Ted Levin’s work greatly, and am very flattered by your comments. How lucky your chidlren are to have you as a father, as I’m sure they’ll spend a large part of their childhood outdoors. Many thanks for writing, and for following my blog. If you haven’t seen a copy of my book, Naturally Curious, your children might enjoy looking at the pictures! Mary

      January 20, 2012 at 9:56 pm

  18. Susan MacKenzie

    Hi Mary, when were you at SNR(E)? I too am a grad.

    January 22, 2012 at 12:04 am

  19. Sandy Chivers

    Mary, early this morning around 4:00. I was awakened to the very pungent smell of
    a skunk spray, wafting through my open windows. Thought they would still be hibernating but maybe a “winter” such as this one has them confused too. Walking around outside a few minutes ago, the smell still lingersl

    February 9, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    • Hi Sandy,
      Believe it or not, skunks start mating in February, peaking in March, so they are up and about, especially in the mild winter weather we’re having!

      February 9, 2012 at 4:10 pm

  20. Al Stoops

    Found your book at the local library (Nelson, NH), and have been enjoying it. Plan to get my own copy soon. There’s an incredible amount of information in there!
    I enjoyed reading of your morning encounter with a black bear (p 270). I was surprised to find bear tracks in the snow a few weeks ago near here (Jan 16). Backtracked them for over an hour, saw no clear sign of feeding. One spot there was possible evidence of searching for a den site (tracks on and around a slash pile). You commented that “black bears [are] known to be aggressive…when…protecting their cubs”. But Dr. Lynn Rogers (bear expert in Minnesota) says that is true of grizzly bears, but not black bears. (website:)

    February 10, 2012 at 3:18 am

    • Yes, you’re totally right, black bears are not that large a threat even when they have cubs. I must have learned this after I wrote the book, if I didn’t mention it in there. Thanks for making me aware of this!

      February 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm

  21. jeanne dowd

    This is a fantastic site! My daughter loves it and we are especially looking forward to reading your book, Milkweed visitors

    February 15, 2012 at 3:51 am

  22. My friend Luanne Johnson recommended your blog. I’m mighty glad she did. Stop by my baby blog, sometime, if you ever have time, for doses of nature, along with a wide range of other “southern” (Martha’s Vineyard) topics.

    March 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    • Thanks, Tom. Your blog is very interesting and a bit more diverse than mine in subject matter. Keep up the good work!

      March 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm

  23. Tiffany

    I’m a undergrad student at Metro State College in CO. I’m doing a poster project about Common Yellowthroat and the poster will be displayed at Chatfield Museum. May I have the permission to use the picture of the bird on your site? It’s amazing and it’s real-life body size. I will cite your name and every other details.
    I’d really appreciate your work and your help for my project,
    Thank you,

    March 28, 2012 at 1:00 am

    • Hi Tiffany,
      Thank you so much for writing and asking permission. By all means, do use the photograph. I hope you do exceedingly well with your poster project! Mary

      March 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm

  24. Jennifer Waite

    Hi Mary! I love your site and it was great walking with you at Lull’s Brook on Earth Day! Here is the information about invasive honeysuckle – how it shades out natives, doesn’t supply good nutrition or safe nesting sites for birds, and even attracts mosquitos…–Bush-Honeysuckle. There’s also good information at
    Thanks, Jennifer

    April 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    • Thank you so much, Jennifer! I learned so much from you yesterday!

      April 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm

  25. Your book and blog is the best! Thanks for all your continued postings, it’s amazing all the discoveries that you make and the details that you find and share.

    May 26, 2012 at 1:10 am

  26. Rick Wood

    Hi Mary, I would like to share your photos on Pinterest, but only with your permission. Would that be ok with you?

    July 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    • Certainly. I’ll have to see exactly what Pinterest is!

      July 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm

  27. Ann

    We really enjoy your site and share stories with the family that hasn’t quite made the leap to regular Internet use. Thank you.

    September 11, 2012 at 11:08 am

  28. Michael

    Hello – can i please get a copy of your article that appeared in Monday’s (Oct 15th) Valley News? It’s the first time i have ever seen your column and greatly enjoyed it. Coincidentally, it corresponds directly to several topics discussed this past weekend with friends. I’d like to send them the article. Thanks.

    October 18, 2012 at 12:28 am

  29. “About Naturally Curious and Mary Holland Naturally
    Curious with Mary Holland” was a terrific blog post and therefore I really was indeed extremely happy to read it.
    Thanks for your effort,Lincoln

    January 11, 2013 at 8:54 pm

  30. Sandy Chivers

    Mary, I have seen a huge decrease in winter birds around my house in the last 2-3 years. The crows in my area seem to be the only ones around. Every day I see them flying over in huge, huge masses. Would their presence keep even blue jays away? It’s very disheartening. Sandy

    January 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

  31. Hi Sandy,
    If you look on my January 1, 2013 blog post, you can read about roosting crows — on their way to and from their roosting site, they can literally turn the sky black. Perhaps this is what you’re observing? That would not discourage birds from coming to your feeders. I have heard this from others and advise anyone with this concern to contact the Vermont Center for Ecostudies for the latest information on bird populations in the Northeast.

    January 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm

  32. Jeanne

    We saw two bobcats at 11:30 today walking on the ice on blow-me-down brook off
    Stage Rd in Plainfield, NH. There were 4 of us and we all agreed they were bobcats and we had just read you column in the Valley News two days before. Very exciting!!

    February 6, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    • Wow! How thrilling, and how lucky you were to be in the right place at the right time! Thanks so much for letting me know about this sighting!

      February 6, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      • Jeanne

        Unfortunately done of us had a camera! I guess it is mating season.

        February 8, 2013 at 2:39 am

  33. Marty Green

    Hi, Mary–I love your column in the Harvard Press. I also have a question: Would my old dogloo-style animal shelter be a good thing to leave out for wildlife (and/or our resident feral cat)? Or is it just an invitation to something I don’t want, e.g. skunks?

    February 18, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    • Hi Marty,
      I can’t promise you what you might attract, but I’ll bet you do attract something, just as a pile of brush or stonewall does. Might be fun to lure creatures just so you can check out their tracks — even skunks!

      February 18, 2013 at 9:53 pm

  34. Kiki Schneider

    Great articles

    March 26, 2013 at 1:45 am

  35. Elaine Fabian

    What a pleasure to have Mary in our class today. The students had lots of stories to tell Mary and she had lots of great advice for students in the wild.Thank you. Elaine Fabian’s

    April 2, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    • Thank you so much, Elaine! It was a treat for me to spend the day with Moultonborough Central School’s fine teachers and students!

      April 3, 2013 at 12:44 pm

  36. Wonderful book Naturally Curious. Thank you for your unfailing attention to nature’s unfolding. Look forward to hearing you speak soon. Mary Ellen Ryall

    May 11, 2013 at 10:49 am

  37. suecahalane

    Hi Mary! Beautiful photographs! Is there a way to follow your blog via Bloglovin? I would love to receive your new posts. I’m your newest follower!

    Science for Kids Blog

    June 26, 2013 at 8:51 am

    • Hi Sue,
      So glad you found my blog! I am not exactly technologically gifted — all I know is that one clicks on “sign up” and the blog is automatically mailed to you. Don’t know if it’s possible to have it sent to another blog…am looking forward to seeing your blog, as well. Mary

      June 26, 2013 at 12:54 pm

  38. Llyn Ellison

    Hi Mary,
    I don’t know how else to reach you in order for you to change my email address. I have entered it below. I don’t want to miss any of your amazing postings.
    Thank You

    September 10, 2013 at 2:46 am

    • WordPress is the only place you can make any changes to your subscription. I hope you can find a way to contact them personally — I haven’t managed to do that, so am not much help to you. Good luck! Mary

      September 10, 2013 at 2:36 pm

  39. Richard Morse

    Hi; I got your book to help add little facts to my teachings. This summer brought me to Pillsbury state park to enlighten. When I meet the large amount of mother turtles laying their eggs I new I wanted to see the babies hatch. I referred to your book and observed and waited, coincidentally the day your article in the valley news on The Courage of Baby Turtles came out, so did the turtles. I love baby Turtles and have Pictures if you would like! Richard

    September 27, 2013 at 12:27 am

  40. Congratulations, Mary!

    I have nominated your blog for the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.

    More about this nomination is at

    November 24, 2013 at 11:39 am

    • How very, very kind of you. Thank you so much! I’m always glad to hear that people value what I do! Mary

      November 24, 2013 at 2:43 pm

      • Well deserved 🙂 All the best for you, your blog and wildlife!

        November 24, 2013 at 3:01 pm

  41. Hi Mary!

    It was wonderful hearing you speak in Putney today. I was the girl who liked your white pen. I kind of got nervous and felt a little silly after! What I meant to say is that your passion for animals and the natural world really moved me. I’m always so caught up in my “modern life” that I sometimes forget that there is a big, vast world of amazing things just waiting to be discovered and explored. Thank you so much for the reminder!

    All the best,
    – Megan

    January 20, 2014 at 2:52 am

    • Thank you so much, Megan. I felt exactly as you do about that particular pen, and my sister, who introduced me to them and gave me several, will be thrilled! I’m glad you came to the program yesterday, and hope you enjoy my blog! Many thanks. Mary

      January 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

  42. Pete Bouman

    Hi Mary -I am shipping a copy of Naturally Curious to all four “huts” in the Maine Huts and Trails system. Each backcountry hut has a small library/lounge and your book will hopefully form the core of a new naturalist collection. I am adding a few other titles as well. Love your book! My young children (2 girls, ages 4 and 7) also enjoyed the milkweed and fox books- thanks for a wonderful gift to our family-
    Pete Bouman

    March 28, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    • Hi Pete,
      What an extraordinarily generous person you are. I know that the Dartmouth Outing Club has shelters/huts that also have copies, and the feedback has been wonderful. Many thanks for your generosity. Mary

      March 28, 2014 at 7:01 pm

  43. Pingback: Jeepers Peepers! How to make an Amphibian Happy | The L.A.N.D. Line

  44. Hi Mary,

    You have one beautiful website! Much beauty to enjoy. Thank you for that.

    I am particularly interested in the picture of a loon and her baby entitled “Great Northern Loon Eggs Hatching” on webpage, I’m interested in contacting the photographer to see if I could use this picture as my logo on my website. Would you happen to know who the photographer is and how I can contact them?

    Thank you and much appreciated for your time and your beautiful website.

    July 13, 2014 at 5:12 pm

  45. Nancy Goodman

    Hi Mary,

    I used to get the daily blog emailed to me. Then it stopped. I have tried to sign back up for it and still have not gotten it again. Any ideas on why it is not working or why it stopped. Thanks.


    October 1, 2014 at 12:57 am

    • Hi Nancy,
      I’m so sorry. WordPress handles all of that end of things. I will try to get in touch with them about this. If you do, as well, then maybe between us we can fix it! Mary

      October 1, 2014 at 1:33 am

      • Nancy Goodman

        How would I contact WorldPress. I have a hard time finding any contact info on the website.


        October 6, 2014 at 2:06 am

  46. Nancy, the only way I know is to go to their support website…a sometimes frustrating experience. There may be a better way, but I don’t know it!

    October 7, 2014 at 12:11 am

    • Nancy Goodman

      I cannot seem to get anything from the website. It has been 20 days and nothing. Oh well I guess I will just give up and not bother getting this anymore.


      October 28, 2014 at 2:34 am

      • Hi Nancy,
        I am so sorry. I think WordPress has the worst customer service known to man, and I am not even sure they HAVE customer service for anyone who does not have a blog. I have no way of contacting them for you, either. Have you tried unsubscribing and subscribing again? Again, I am so sorry. Mary

        October 28, 2014 at 1:38 pm

  47. A friend passed along your blog and website. Is there a way I can subscribe to all of your posts? Thanks.

    January 4, 2015 at 1:58 pm

    • Just click on the “sign me up” rectangle on the right, and go from there!

      January 5, 2015 at 7:45 pm

  48. Pingback: Small, sure signs | Still Learning To See

  49. Mary, your post today (on the patient barred owl) was eerily well -timed. We have several feeders set up at Bolton Valley and this winter we have been deluged with red polls and assorted birds. We also have many voles that live near our home. A few weeks ago a cottontail rabbit burrowed through the snow to set up shop under our back porch which is just below the feeders. Each night the rabbit would appear from his den and snack on the seeds that fallen on the snow. On Sunday we had a barred owl appear in the nearby trees and observe all the coming and going of the birds. When evening fell the owl came closer and sat in a tree right by the feeders. Alas, this morning I looked outside and found the barred owl sitting on the snow right on the edge of the porch — he was sitting on a now headless cottontail. I feel conflicted in that I know that owls suffer during the winter. But as I understand it, cottontails are quite rare in Vermont and are in decline also. I feel terrible that our bird feeders may have drawn the cottontail in and made him more vulnerable to attack. Hard to know if our efforts are helping or hurting the wildife…

    March 11, 2015 at 4:28 pm

    • You are, indeed, very far north to have an Eastern Cottontail! I know exactly how this made you feel, and could argue it from either viewpoint, but having seen the number of barred owls that are literally starving to death, I can’t help but feel grateful to the cottontail for providing this one with a decent meal. And yes, just by feeding birds we are affecting the natural cycle for our own benefit…hard to resist the opportunity it gives us to see the birds up close.

      March 12, 2015 at 8:15 pm

  50. Kate Schubart

    Mary, Is there a way to get Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer in an e-book format? I gave my granddaughter Animal Eyes that way, but can’t seem to find the Fox book in that format.
    With thanks, Kate

    August 4, 2015 at 8:52 am

  51. Yes, Kate, you can order an ebook form of Ferdinand…go to If you have any questions, you can call Arbordale at 843-971-6722 or email them at Thanks so much for purchasing my books!

    August 4, 2015 at 12:13 pm

  52. Frederica Gillespie

    Love your work. Can I get you Blog by email?

    October 8, 2015 at 8:08 am

    • Yes, just go to my blog, and click on “Sign Me Up” at the top of the column on the right!

      October 8, 2015 at 8:28 am

  53. Hi Mary,
    Just started following your wonderful blog after a friend shared it with me. We have very similar interests–the natural world and photography. I have two blog on WordPress: the East Street Weather blog and The first is a daily blog about the weather in my corner of Vermont, and the other is nature photography. I invite you to stop by!

    Cheers, John

    November 2, 2015 at 9:38 am

  54. Ryan

    Hi Mary –
    When a grouse is flushed from the woods, I’ve noticed that it is typically followed by another. Are these mating pairs? Does the male or female typically flush first?

    Also, on my walk to work today, I noticed hundreds of small (~1″ long, thin) dark brown brown/black slugs on the dirt road. Any idea what they might be?

    November 12, 2015 at 9:28 am

  55. Angie Garand

    My neighbor gave me your info & showed me your little nature things for each day, I would love to share them with my grandchildren. She said if I signed up you would automatically email me everyday with a new one!

    March 23, 2016 at 9:42 am

  56. Doug Serrill

    I really enjoy your blog and can’t wait to read more posts in the future. Thanks!

    March 29, 2016 at 10:13 am

  57. Candace belcher


    June 12, 2016 at 8:09 pm

  58. PM

    Hi Mary,

    Just wanted to say I’ve been reading your blog for a couple years now. I’m currently away from the NE, reading for a DPhil in Zoology at Oxford. Your posts are fun, beautiful, and informative. They make me homesick for Nova Scotia in the best possible way. Thank-you for sharing the beauty of the North East. You’re doing something very special.


    June 15, 2016 at 9:35 am

    • Hi Paul,
      I am so touched by your words. With the world in the state that it’s in, it’s my privilege to share the beauty that is all around us. I am so glad you enjoy my posts – hurry back to Nova Scotia!

      June 15, 2016 at 10:06 am

  59. George heineke

    Great blog

    June 15, 2016 at 2:05 pm

  60. Lucie Bourdon

    Question: my husband and I live in Lyme, NH and love sitting on the porch at night and listening to the various tree frogs and toads. There is one that sounds like a barking dog, or maybe a young sea lion that starts “barking” around 9:00 this time of year. Do you know what it is? Thanks. I LOVE your blog, Lucie and Rick

    July 5, 2016 at 9:22 am

    • Are you quite sure it’s a frog??? Snores, trills, plunks and peeps – but I’m hard pressed to think of a frog or toad that sounds like a barking dog that would be in Lyme.

      July 5, 2016 at 3:24 pm

  61. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. “Every man serves a useful purpose A miser, for example, makes a wonderful ancestor.” by Laurence J. Peter.

    August 14, 2016 at 11:05 am

  62. Always a delight to visit here. Lots to learn and reflect on.

    Regards Thom

    September 29, 2016 at 9:38 am

  63. Judy Detzel

    Love your blog

    November 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm

  64. Barbara Egan

    Thank you for this rich information!

    December 13, 2016 at 8:49 am

  65. Mary I’ve just discovered your Naturally Curious book and subscribed to your blog.

    I was delighted to come across Naturally Curious right around when I was lamenting the demise of the good nature almanac, in the vein of Edwin Way Teale, Hal Borland, more recently Larry Weber, etc. I am a very amateur naturalist (hope to take a Master Naturalist class within a year or two) and still have so very much to learn!

    I am admiring and somewhat jealous of your rich nature writing career, and it dawned on me only today that perhaps I could write some nature books for kids–someday. Currently I am a grant writer in medicine, but have my first “real” book coming out in May (

    I wanted to thank you for the book, which I do not own yet but am sure I will love, having “thumbed” through it on Amazon. Thank you, also, for the inspiration!


    January 17, 2017 at 12:42 pm

    • Hi Katherine,
      I’m afraid I fall far short of Edwin Way Teale and Hal Borland, but I am extremely flattered to be associated with them. Your book looks wonderful, and I’m sure, if writing for children appeals to you, it will happen. I recently published Naturally Curious Day by Day, which may be the book you are referring to, but it follows my first adult book, Naturally Curious. You sound like a kindred spirit and I wish you all the best in sharing your observations with the world! Mary

      January 18, 2017 at 1:08 pm

      • Ah yes–I meant the “day by day” version, but I’ll have to check out the other one, too. Thank you, Mary! I am enjoying get your daily blogs via email.

        January 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm

  66. Alyson Ewald

    Hi Mary,

    My mother, who lives in Vermont, introduced me to your blog and sent us your epic tome, Naturally Curious, for Christmas. We are devouring it voraciously. I now live in northeast Missouri, where most of the information is still applicable (OK, we don’t have moose, but still…). Yesterday our homeschool co-op group (6 kids, grades 1-4) collected scat from squirrel, white-tail deer, cottontail rabbit, coyote, and red fox within 200 yards of our house, and identified them with help from your book.

    My question now is: which of your other books would be best for our co-op? I would love to use your teacher guides in my science classes. These are pretty advanced kids, three age 8, one 6, one 7, one 10; do you think the “Animal ___s” series is too young for them? What about the fox and beaver books? Also, for a very low-income family: do you have any “bundle” discounts?

    Thanks for all your offerings.


    January 28, 2017 at 11:52 am

    • Hi Alyson,
      I get a lot of feedback from parents and teachers who use both of my “adult” books (NC and NC Day by Day) in their elementary classrooms. It’s written in a way that they feel is accessible to 5 or 6 year olds and up. Younger children seem to enjoy the photos. If I were you I would look at a copy of one of my children’s books, and see what you think. The text is very simple, but there are activities and additional information at the back of each book which would be age-appropriate for your group, I believe. I’m delighted you are enjoying Naturally Curious! You might find reading one entry from Day by Day every day is fun for your group, so they know what to keep an eye out for! Thanks for writing. Mary

      January 29, 2017 at 5:08 pm

  67. Alyson Ewald

    …Or perhaps the “NC Day by Day” would be better for our group?

    January 28, 2017 at 11:53 am

  68. To:
    Mrs. Mary Holland

    Dear Mary,
    I am an arachnologist affiliated with the University of Basel, Switzerland. In collaboration with an ecologist from Lund University, Sweden, I most recently completed a scientific study proving that spiders must have an enormous negative effect on insect populations. Our study will be published in the journal ‘Science of Nature’ (Springer Publishers). The University of Basel intends issuing a press release sometime during the next 2-4 weeks. I urgently need a few photos depicting spiders with insect prey. It is our intention to show these photos on the ‘University of Basel Homepage’. At the same time we wish to offer the photos for free to those journalists (from all over the world) who will report on this press release.
    I wish to ask you if you give permission to use two photos of yours posted on your website Of course we would give you full credit for being the photographer who took these photos. Furthermore, journalists would be advised that they are only permitted to use the photos if they give you credit for this and if they accept that you will keep the copyright for these photos.
    I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you!
    Kind regards,

    Dr. Martin Nyffeler
    Senior Lecturer in Zoology
    University of Basel

    February 6, 2017 at 12:24 pm

  69. Day BY Day is one of the best books I have ever read. Just gave it a plug on Facebook and will be writing a blog post about it on my website, I gave it to my mother who is no longer able to get outdoors much, and to a nature-loving friend who is now confined to a nursing home, and both of them have been absorbed and delighted. I myself have lived in the woods since 1984, and in southern Vermont all my 57 years, and I kept saying, ” I didn’t know that!” Terrific! And the photos as well.

    February 27, 2017 at 8:09 am

    • Thank you so much, Jessie. I am grateful for any increased exposure for my books, and it’s especially gratifying to know that those who can no longer get outside are able to vicariously enjoy my outings. Many, many thanks. Mary

      March 2, 2017 at 11:59 am

  70. Treah Pichette

    Hi Mary…..I hope I am not intruding on your private time, but I have a nature question that I can’t seem to find an answer for, & you are incredibly knowledgeable so I’m coming to you!

    We have phoebes nesting around our place every year but they seem to choose the “wrong” place each time i.e. on the western side of our garage where the nestlings roast every afternoon. These nests are rarely successful. This year they are building multiple nests in various places. They (or I guess it’s she who builds) build it to completion & then abandon it. She is working on her 3rd, the 2nd & 3rd being right next to each other. Is this normal? I rarely see any babies except 2 years ago when a couple rolled out of a poorly sited nest with little protection. These probably aren’t the same birds every year, but I’m wondering how they can survive as a species with these habits! Can you enlighten me?

    Thanks so much. I LOVE your blog!

    Treah Pichette

    May 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm

  71. Sue Funicelli

    Please sign me up to receive your blog?
    Thank you! I love your posts! Best Wishes for all your family!

    March 21, 2018 at 7:39 am

    • Hi Sue,
      I’m afraid I don’t have the ability to sign you up – you have to do it through WordPress. Just go to my blog and click on “Sign Me Up!” on the right hand side, and you can enter your email address and they will send you my posts.

      March 21, 2018 at 7:51 am

  72. It’s fantastic to see a new blog every from time to time of which isn’t a similar obsolete rehashed product. Great go through!

    September 6, 2018 at 7:37 am

  73. Deb Clough

    Mary, I’m sure you’ve been asked this a gazillion times including by me!! But I’m ready to buy a new camera and I’d like to know the type of camera you use for most of your pics and does it travel well on hikes? Thanks

    November 3, 2018 at 3:21 am

    • Hi Deb,
      I own a Canon 5D Mark IV, and mainly use Canon’s 100mm macro lens and Tamron 150-600 lens. They aren’t light! You might want to look into mirrorless cameras – much lighter, though I think quite pricey. The Canon SX60 is small, and I’ve seen excellent results, particularly with the zoom. Good luck!

      November 3, 2018 at 5:22 pm

  74. Heather behrens

    Please add me to your blog!

    January 31, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    • Hi Heather,
      Just click on “Sign Me Up!” and it will tell you how. I can’t sign you up, unfortunately!

      February 1, 2019 at 4:17 pm

  75. Marty Allen

    Please add me to your blog

    February 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm

  76. Chris Warren

    I just discovered you!

    Please add me to your email newsletter list.

    I look forward to receiving your photos!

    In the meantime I will purchase a copy of
    Naturally Curious.

    Thank You!

    June 19, 2019 at 11:09 am

    • Hi Chris, I’m afraid I can’t sign you up to receive my posts via email, but you can by going to my website and just clicking on “sign me up.” WordPress handles all the subscription details. So glad you found NC! Mary

      June 19, 2019 at 5:53 pm

  77. Richard LeStage

    Good Afternoon, Mary – I have a number of wren and bluebird houses around my property which I have been taking down for the winter so they don’t weather needlessly. However, I recently read that it’s better to leave them up to provide a refuge for birds during heavy winter storms, and I plan to do that. Question: should I leave the nesting material in the houses (some are chockablock full of twigs, etc) or empty them out so more birds can fit in? Thank you. I am a big fan of your Naturally Curious and eagerly look forward to each one.


    August 28, 2019 at 5:09 pm

    • Hi Richard,
      I would empty them, mostly because of parasites that might be in the nesting material…

      August 28, 2019 at 5:29 pm

  78. Jody Schubert

    Mystery photo are prints of a black bear
    Rubbing its back against a tree.

    December 9, 2019 at 1:43 pm

  79. Linda Hay

    Wood frogs began quacking here on about Mr. 18 whenever the sun is bright. My frog pond has smallish masses of frog eggs floating on it and I have watched the frogs mating. It is a hand dug pond and I can’t remember a year since I first dug it (20+ years ago) that there haven’t been frogs of various sorts. There is also a good sized vernal pool in the woods on the other side of a gravel drive.

    I also have a bog garden next to it and flowers and shrub gardens as well. I love that it is all within about 15 feet of my house.

    March 22, 2020 at 2:38 pm

  80. elizabeth perry

    I would love to be included on your daily email posts. I have devoured your books !!!

    May 28, 2020 at 7:57 am

    • Elizabeth, there should be a “subscribe” button to click on. Afraid I can’t do it for you. Thank you for reading my books!

      May 28, 2020 at 12:26 pm

  81. Ruth van doren

    Don’t see yellow button to donate

    November 18, 2022 at 2:20 pm

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