Meet Mary Holland of Hartland, our new guest blogger. She has been working in the field of environmental education for more than 40 years, working for the Museum of the Hudson Highlands, Massachusetts Audubon Society, Vermont Institute of Natural Science and Vermont Center for Ecostudies, as well as designing and leading hands-on programs in schools and libraries throughout New England. For the past 13 years she has written and photographed a column, Naturally Curious, for Vermont/New Hampshire and Massachusetts newspapers, as well as articles for several magazines, including Northern Woodlands, Upper Valley Life and Here in Hanover, N.H. Holland offers programs to adult groups as well as schools and libraries on a variety of natural history subjects.
Holland’s book, Naturally Curious: A Month-by-Month Photographic Journey Through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England, won the 2011 National Outdoor Book Award, Nature Guidebook category. She is also the author of Milkweed Visitors, a children’s book about the insects that visit a milkweed patch, and has another children’s book, Ferdinand Fox’s First Summer, coming out in the spring of 2013.
As a naturalist, I wake up every morning anticipating the discoveries that await me outdoors. They can be something as common as observing a crab spider with prey, or as unusual as a vixen nursing her kits — both give me tremendous joy and insight into the natural world that we live in. For years I have collected skulls, scat and any other signs of animals that I find. In recent years, I’ve documented everything I discover and find interesting by photographing them, rather than by removing them from their natural surroundings. If the photograph tells a story, so much the better. I do have an advantage as a nature photographer — being a naturalist helps me know what to look for, and when and where to find it. After writing my book, Naturally Curious: A Month-by-Month Photographic Journey Through the Fields, Woods and Marshes of New England two years ago, I decided to begin a natural history blog, called Naturally Curious. I post several photographs and accompanying text several times a week in an attempt to share my fascination for all things natural, and hopefully these posts enhance the experience readers have when they spend time outdoors. I will be sharing some of these posts with Vermont Life readers on this website.