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

Reviews of Naturally Curious

NATURALLY CURIOUS is a marvelous new nature guide. And quite naturally, it’s by Mary Holland, one of the East’s most seasoned naturalists. She’s also something of a Renaissance woman: educator, advocate, columnist, and photographer… What makes this guide stand out is the way it’s organized. Starting in March, with the first signs of spring, it covers the changes in the natural world, on a month to month basis. You can’t go wrong with this guidebook. it’s one that you’ll use over and over—naturally.”

–National Outdoor Book Awards

“There is something interesting, informative, curious—or all three—on every page of this fascinating and beautifully designed book. What a treat it is!”

–Stratton Magazine

“What a wonderful book! It’s a guided tour of the noteworthy natural happenings of each month, tying together everything from maples to mayflies to moose. If you’re curious about the natural world, you’ll find a wealth of information and insight here to carry you through the year.”

—David Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds and The Sibley Guide to Trees

Naturally Curious is a marvelous book…I admire everything about it—the organization, the photographs, and the richly informative text. Although I have many field guides, none of them do what Naturally Curious does—prompt an informed look at nature. By helping people to understand and appreciate what they’re seeing, Mary and her book are advancing public support for conservation of natural areas and wildlife.”

–Peter Stettenheim, Ornithologist

“This may be the ultimate book for nature-curious New Englanders. Not only is it smart and comprehensive, it’s laid out in a way that corresponds with how we actually see the world around us: not one group of species at a time but all at once—birds and frogs and plants and everything else—what a treat!”

—Bill McKibben, educator, environmentalist, author of The End of Nature and Eaarth, and founder of

“This book is a must-have for all curious naturalists. Organized by the month, Holland covers numerous and varied species found in New England—from insects, amphibians, and reptiles, to birds, mammals and plants. Very well illustrated with color photos throughout, it’s all there, ready to enrich your life throughout the year.”

—Paul Rezendes, photographer, master tracker, and author of Tracking and the Art of Seeing and The Wild Within


“Mary Holland has the sharpest, most insightful eyes of any naturalist around. Between  the magic of her lens and the sharpness of her prose style, she brings New England’s natural world to life in an informative and entertaining way I’ve seldom seen equaled—and I learned something new on every page. Naturally Curious is a top-shelf book I’ll reach for often.”

—W. D. Wetherell, author of The Smithsonian Guide to Natural America


Naturally Curious is well-named as it will undoubtedly compel many readers to go outside at any time of year to see in nature what Ms. Holland so deftly explains in her book. It is filled with useful information, whether you are a skilled naturalist or someone just beginning to know and love nature.”

—Laura Johnson, President, Massachusetts Audubon Society


“In one volume, Mary Holland offers an encyclopedia of nature in New England—really, the Northeast—lavishly illustrated and rich in fact and lore. You know she knows the fauna and flora of which she writes, because this patient and experienced observer has documented what she’s seen with more than 700 of her own splendid photographs. Birds, mammals, plants, fungi, reptiles, amphibians, insects, even the Fairy Shrimp of vernal pools, are not only described, but discussed. It’s like wandering the woods, fields, and marshes with a knowledgeable naturalist at your side. If you love nature, you’ll keep this book close at hand, and enjoy it often.”

—Jack Sanders, author of The Secrets of Wildflowers and The Internet Guide to Birds and Birding

“I love this book! Naturally Curious is the field guide to New England that I wish I’d been issued the moment I moved here. Now into my third decade exploring our fields, woods, and marshes, I found to my delight that Mary Holland has much to teach me. This is a wonderful, readable, fact-packed volume, full of stunning photos and dramatic stories. No nature library should be without it.”
—Sy Montgomery, author of Birdology; The Wild Out Your Window; and The Curious Naturalist

“From the depths of winter to the lushest summer day, there is always something fascinating for the New England naturalist to find. In Naturally Curious, Mary Holland takes the reader through a year in the Northeast, from the smallest insects and spring wildflowers to flocks of migrant birds, “congresses” of breeding salamanders, and the natural antifreeze in a moose’s feet—and it’s all illustrated with her wonderful photographs. This book belongs on every woods-wanderer’s shelf.”

—Scott Weidensaul, author of Of a Feather and Living on the Wind


Naturally Curious is a delight to pore through. Rich in information and photographs, it gives readers a fascinating tour of many aspects of nature through a New England year. Mary Holland’s book is one to refer to repeatedly.”
—Ernest H. Williams, author of The Nature Handbook and the Christian A. Johnson Professor of Biology at Hamilton College

“The best way to learn about the natural world is to go outside and explore your own backyard, nearby woods and fields, and local streams and ponds. And it’s even more fun when you can bring along an enthusiastic, experienced, and patient naturalist to show you all the wonderful organisms and phenomena you’ve been missing. Naturally Curious is like having Mary Holland with you on the best hike ever, in every month of the year. I wouldn’t miss an opportunity like that!”

– Lisa Purcell, Director, Four Winds Nature Institute


“Mary Holland’s journal is an inspiring window into New England’s natural history. With great pictures and accessible narrative, Naturally Curious is a great read and an important home resource.”

—Ben Kilham, author of Among the Bears


“With Mary Holland as our seasoned guide, Naturally Curious leads us into a year of natural wonders. A remarkable achievement, her book got me outside on a full moon again to listen for owls.”

—Tim Traver, author of Sippewissett: Or, Life on a Salt Marsh


2 responses

  1. Carole Russell

    I was surprised to see, on page 67, Quaker Ladies listed as an alternate name for Spring Beauty wildflower. I believe Quaker Ladies is actually an alternate name for Bluets, (or Houstonia caerulea), quite a different wildflower.

    March 16, 2012 at 11:28 pm

    • Hi Carole,
      Yes, I , too, am more familiar with the name “Quaker Ladies” as another common name for Bluets, but according to John Eastman, in his book FOREST AND THICKET — Tree, Shrubs and Wildflowers of Eastern North America, it is also an alternative common name for Spring Beauty. I know a lot of research goes into his writing, and I trust him implicitly, but because most people associate the name Quaker Ladies with Bluets, I could and perhaps should have left it out of the description of Spring Beauty!

      March 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

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