Natural History and Ecology
- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
Albers, Jan. Hands on the Land: A Natural History of the Vermont Landscape. Boston: MIT Press, 2002. In a gorgeous oversized book, Albers details the various factors—geological, ecological, and economic—that have transformed the Green Mountain State.
Beston, Henry. The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod. New York: Owl Books, 1928. Beston’s attempt to “go Thoreau” by living for a year in a small house in the dunes remains the most joyous evocation of Cape Cod’s unique ecology.
Corson, Trevor. The Secret Life of Lobsters: How Fishermen and Scientists Are Unraveling the Mysteries of Our Favorite Crustacean. New York: HarperCollins, 2004. More than just a natural history of lobstering, Corson weaves in a detective story about the decline in lobster stocks and the increasingly hostile disputes between scientists and fishermen about its cause.
Degraff, Richard, and Mariko Yamasaki. New England Wildlife: Habitat, Natural History, and Distribution. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2001. A no-nonsense guide to every last species of mammal, reptile, amphibian, and bird in the region, along with seasonal information and distribution maps. Note, however, that the book is limited to land species.
Kessler, Brad. Goat Song: A Seasonal Life, A Short History of Herding, and the Art of Making Cheese. New York: Scribner, 2009. A lovely and earnest little book, longtime writer Kessler sets out to live the dream that tugs at many of us: leaving the city to go back to live a simpler life out on the farm. What he finds in two years of raising goats is nothing short of connection to our most mythic religious archetypes.
Kurlansky, Mark. Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World. New York: Penguin, 1998. The settlement and economic rise of New England is inseparable from the plentiful groundfish that once populated its waters in astounding numbers.
Muir, Diana. Reflections in Bullough’s Pond: Economy and Ecosystem in New England. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2002. With a sweeping meditation on people’s effects on their environment, Muir casts her fishing pole back over 400 years of New England history while maintaining an effortless, back-porch style.
National Audubon Society. National Audubon Society Regional Guide to New England. New York: Knopf, 1998. The amateur naturalist would do well to pick up this guide, which details many local species of trees, wildflowers, reptiles, and mammals with 1,500 full-color illustrations.
Wessels, Tom. Reading the Forested Landscape: A Natural History of New England. Woodstock, VT: Countryman Press, 2005. A good read before heading off into the hills, this book helps put features of the landscape into their proper context.
Zielinski, Gregory A., and Barry D. Keim. New England Weather, New England Climate. Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 2005. From nor’easters to Indian Summer, this book patiently explains the meteorological underpinnings to New England’s famously wacky weather.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition