Review of The Naturalist’s Notebook


The Naturalist’s Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World around You

Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and Bernd Heinrich

Storey Publishing

October 19, 2017

Blurb: Become a more attentive observer and deepen your appreciation for the natural world. The unique five-year calendar format of The Naturalist’s Notebook helps you create a long-term record and point of comparison for memorable events, such as the first songbird you hear in spring, your first monarch butterfly sighting of summer, or the appearance of the northern lights. Biologist Nathaniel T. Wheelwright and best-selling author Bernd Heinrich teach nature lovers of all ages what to look for outdoors no matter where you live, using Heinrich’s classic illustrations as inspiration. As you jot down one observation a day, year after year, your collected field notes will serve as a valuable record of your piece of the planet. This deluxe book, with a three-piece case, gilt edges, a burgundy ribbon bookmark, and a belly band with gold foil stamping, is a perfect gift for all nature lovers.




Catch Up Time

And now for something completely different.

If you follow my blog, you know that I am all over the place. But that’s life. None of us are just one thing. So, here I am to prove it again via my review of The Naturalist’s Notebook.

As I read through this beautifully illustrated book, I was struck by what a wonderful gift this would make for parents of young children who are trying not only to carve out family activities but also to get them involved in pursuits beyond electronic ones.

The authors provide a great deal of guidance on how to become a naturalist, an observer of the natural world around you, what to look for, how to record observations, and information for further research.

As an individual who tries to observe the world around me everyday and has a philosophy of observing and not interacting in the natural world in any way that could do harm, I was not keen on the “experiment” sections, but others will probably find these sections very useful. Who knows they could even nurture a budding biologist!

The end section is a five-year calendar with sections for writing observations so this becomes not only a guide but a keepsake.

I would recommend this for anyone who would like to begin to observe their natural environment and, as I mentioned, it would make a wonderful gift. The dimensions are 8.2 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches so I think it could easily be carried around in a knapsack for easy access.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From Amazon

rating:  4-and-a-half

4 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies


7 thoughts on “Review of The Naturalist’s Notebook

  1. Hi Sascha. I will look this book up. Over the years I have started dairies and kept field notes on natures gifts. But I found that was not my forte. But writing fictional stories about what I see, that is right for me. I only wish that I had found my writing voice much sooner.

    1. I hate to throw in the old cliche, better late than never. Some people never get the courage to even try to find their writer’s voice. One of my favorite short fiction writers, Ellen Gilchrist, didn’t start writing until her late 40’s.
      Yes, everything we see and record becomes fodder for our writing. Good on you for adding it to your work! I think knowing the details adds some special to writing.

    1. Oh, no, not gruesome. Although I did wonder if the insects involved in the experiments would make it out alive. But this is the stuff of biologists and that ilk. It’s a lovely book though. I was certainly enthusiastic to see it! 🙂
      ps should I alter my review to indicate that it’s not gruesome? Being the type of individual who puts most insects back outside into the natural world (mosquitoes don’t get that special treatment), I have a lower tolerance than most. I suspect you may as well.

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