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

Naturally Curious

Naturally Curious Hiatus

Naturally Curious will be on hiatus for the next month or so due to a move I am making across the state of Vermont to the town of Shelburne.  I will sorely miss the hills, fields, streams and woods of the Upper Valley, but look forward to making new discoveries in the Champlain Valley.  (I’m hoping readers who live near my new abode will be as helpful in letting me know about local flora and fauna as those in the Upper Valley have been over the past 17 years!)

The Naturally Curious blog will resume as soon as I have settled and have a working computer.  The timing of this move isn’t ideal, as there is so much happening this time of year that I would love to be out photographing and sharing with readers, but I look forward to being able to do that again in the very near future, hopefully in July. Thank you so much for your patience and support. Stay naturally curious and may the next month be filled with exciting discoveries! And please stay healthy.  (Photo:  Showy Lady’s Slipper,Cypripedium reginae)

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

Second Edition of Naturally Curious Released

e-cover of NC II -100 ppiNine years after the original edition of Naturally Curious came out, a second edition is being released. New photos have been added and updates have been made. I am delighted that it is still in print, especially because numerous schools and colleges have incorporated Naturally Curious into their curricula and I would love to see this practice continue. Thank you for purchasing a copy of the first edition – your endorsement is what made a second edition possible! A short “book trailer” video of the new edition can be seen here: .  If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the new edition, you can order directly from the publisher by clicking on the image of the cover on the Naturally Curious blog site, or you can order it from online bookstores.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

Mystery Photo

4-17-19 mystery photo_U1A6864Whose tracks are these? This is a loaded question, as these particular tracks are not something you come across every day in the snow. Hints: You would not find these tracks in the dead of winter. The width of the pictured trail is roughly 12” – 16”. It ends in a shallow, open wetland. The photograph was taken two days ago.

Responses may be submitted by going to the Naturally Curious blog site ( and scrolling down to and clicking on “Comments.”

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.


4-10-19 bluebird 548The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

A bluebird comes tenderly up to alight
And turns to the wind to unruffle a plume,
His song so pitched as not to excite
A single flower as yet to bloom.
It is snowing a flake; and he half knew
Winter was only playing possum.
Except in color he isn’t blue,
But he wouldn’t advise a thing to blossom.

— Robert Frost, excerpt from Two Tramps in Mud Time

Naturally Curious Blog Celebrates 9th Anniversary

4-3-19 9th year of NC IMG_4482Nine years ago Naturally Curious, the book, was published, and shortly thereafter this blog was conceived. The natural history events and curiosities of nine springs, summers, falls and winters have been documented on this site. While certain subjects which herald the arrival of a season appear annually, the goal is to introduce new discoveries with most posts. It is my fervent hope that readers have enjoyed traveling through the past 108 months with me, celebrating the diversity and beauty of this magnificent world of ours.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

Second Edition of Naturally Curious to be Released in June

jpeg FINAL COVERWhen I announced last year on my blog that my book, Naturally Curious, was going out of print, the decision by Trafalgar Square Books to issue a second edition had not been made. Happily, they asked me to make some updates, and I can now announce that a new edition is being published and will be available this coming June. It will be available in independent bookstores in June, and can be pre-ordered now on several online bookstores. You can also sign up for notification to pre-order on the publisher’s site,

“Animal Ears” Released

Animal Ears

The fifth book in my children’s series on Animal Adaptations, Animal Ears, has just been released. Like Animal Eyes, Mouths, Tails and Legs, this book introduces the reader to the diversity of design and use of one part of their body. Ears are used to find prey, escape predators and locate a mate, sometimes in total darkness. See how birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects detect sound in very different ways. The entire Animal Adaptation series is geared to three to eight-year-olds. Activities are included in each book. To order from the publisher, go to the Naturally Curious blog ( and click on the Animal Ears cover on right hand side. Also available from independent bookstores and online.

Naturally Curious (the book) Is Going Out Of Print

e-NatCurioCoverMedalI just wanted to let readers know that the publisher of Naturally Curious has decided to let the print version of Naturally Curious go out of print and is planning on releasing an ebook version in May. If you wish to have a hard copy of this book, now is probably the time to get one!

A New Four-footed Companion

Bess 049A2715

As many of you may have heard, I lost my steadfast companion Emma in December. She had 14 good years, but it still seems like too short a life to me. We canoed, hiked, swam, traveled to programs and photographed together for many, many years, sharing close encounters with porcupines, moose, beavers, snowy owls and countless other creatures. You may have seen her in the background in some of my posts – wherever I went, she went. She would literally sit for hours while I photographed. I couldn’t have asked for a better friend.

I think Emma is looking out for me, as I have a 6th Labrador in my life now – her name is Greta. Her breeding days are over and the very kind breeders who owned Greta let me adopt her. She is five years old and one of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known.  She is quickly learning to sit patiently while I photograph – a must for any dog I own! Now and then you may see a spot of yellow, not brown, in some of my posts!


My Absence

7-26-17 Sadie and Otis3 029Thank you so much for your patience and understanding regarding the lack of Naturally Curious posts for the past two weeks. My son-in-law, Waylon, died suddenly and unexpectedly two weeks ago, leaving my daughter Sadie and her two-year-old son, Otis, on their own. I never knew how much a heart could ache.

Because I am technologically challenged, posting remotely from Boston was beyond my capabilities and because I will be living in two places for the immediate future, posts may be sporadic for a while and I apologize. With a little help from a computer-savvy friend, I may manage to post when I’m away. Know that I will do my very best.

A fund (The Sadie and Otis Brown Fund) was set up by Sadie’s incredible friends to help her with the expenses that she will face in raising Otis. (Sadie and Waylon had no life insurance, and Sadie’s job as the recycling coordinator for the city of Melrose, MA just about covers her daycare expenses.) I would like to ask that if you’re ever considering donating to my blog, you consider giving to this fund instead: Thank you very, very much. Naturally Curious posts will resume tomorrow.


Happy New Year!


Merry Christmas!


Naturally Curious posts will resume on December 28th!

Happy New Year!

1-1-16 Happy New Year  077Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

Merry Christmas!

12-25-15 Merry Christmas MH_20091011_004737_4A very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to all of my readers! Having spent the past two years writing a sequel to Naturally Curious (Naturally Curious Day by Day, due out next fall), and having just submitted the manuscript, I’ve decided to recharge my batteries in the coming days. I hope that my readers will understand and tune in when posts resume on January 4, 2016. Thank you for your support, your comments, your corrections, your loyalty and most of all, for providing me with the opportunity to share my passion with kindred spirits.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

Giving Thanks For Naturally Curious Readers

11-26-15 Otis Sumner Brown IMG_5841 I would like to devote this Thanksgiving post to expressing my heartfelt appreciation to all of my readers – those who take the time out of very busy days to read my posts, those who participate in Mystery Photo challenges, those who share my blog with others, those who use it to foster a love of the natural world with youngsters, and those who have chosen to support my blog through a donation. You have all been so generous, and your generosity has allowed me to focus on the work I am so passionate about. Thank you for valuing and supporting this blog – hopefully in some small way it contributes to fostering an awareness of and concern for all things natural, especially in younger generations. (Photo: Otis Sumner Brown, member of our youngest generation and avid reader of the “Naturally Curious” blog)

2016 Naturally Curious Calendar – Order Now!

2016 calendar for blog post- 267I am taking orders for the 2016 Naturally Curious calendar from today through the end of October. This fixed time is so that I can have an accurate count of how many I will need, and can order them early enough to definitely get them to you by Christmas.

The monthly photographs (one per month) of these 11″ x 8″ wall-hanging calendars (11″ x 16″ when hanging) are the following: January-bobcat; February-snow buntings; March-red fox kit; April – beaver; May-fringed polygala; June–barred owl chicks; July-common loons; August-ruby-throated hummingbird; September-black swallowtail caterpillar; October-moose; November-black bear; December-bald eagle. The calendar, made out of thick card stock, sells for $30.00, which includes postage.

To place an order, send me your name and mailing address, as well as email address, and the number of calendars you would like. Include a check made out to Mary Holland to confirm your order. I will let you know that I received it and that you are on my list of recipients. My mailing address is 134 Densmore Hill Road, Windsor, VT 05089. Thank you so much.

Recharging Batteries

lazy crazy days of summmer IMG_5693Every creature needs to take time to stretch out, catch their breath, contemplate the fruits of summer past and recharge their batteries. I’ll be doing this in Maine for the next several days with my daughter Sadie. Thank you for your continued support. Naturally Curious posts will resume on September 9th.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

Thank You For Your Generous Donations

fox kits-donation photo 084I want to take the one-year anniversary of my providing the option to donate to my blog to thank the many readers who have so generously supported it. I am humbled by your magnanimity and greatly appreciate the opportunity to connect with so many kindred spirits. I try to acknowledge every gift and to respond to every question I receive. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day to respond to every “comment,” but I thoroughly enjoy reading them. Thank you so much for your continued support of my effort to foster a connection with the natural world in both young and old.

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.

The Life of a Naturalist Blogger

Mary Holland and dog "Emma"Recently I was asked to write an article for a Vermont newspaper (The Rutland Herald) about my Naturally Curious blog — how it came to be, as well as the inside story on my selection of subjects, the taking of photographs, and the writing and posting of information. As you might imagine, there is quite a bit involved in publishing a natural history blog five days a week. The article ran this past weekend, and I thought that perhaps some of the faithful readers of my blog might enjoy reading it. If you would like to see what I had to say, you can go to this link, MaryHollandArticleJan052014, and get a behind-the-scenes account of what goes into the posts you loyally subscribe to and support! (Photo by Gary Trachier)

Naturally Curious is supported by donations. If you choose to contribute, you may go to and click on the yellow “donate” button.