The Beginning Naturalist: Weekly Encounters With the Natural World by Gale Lawrence. My friend Lorraine tipped me off to this nice little book several years ago. I like its simplicity, its quiet tone. It begins with “Midwinter to Mudtime”—such an evocative phrase!—and strolls slowly through the year, focusing on one nature-study topic each week. Each chapter discusses a kind of plant, animal, insect, or some other aspect of nature—the Big Dipper, for example. The “Spring into Summer” section begins with essays on foxes, edible wild foods (although, amusingly, there is more talk of poisonous plants and what NOT to eat), frogs, and robins. The leisurely pace lends itself beautifully to a Charlotte Mason-style nature study scheme.
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