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Jonathan and Roseann Hanson

Cost $21.95
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Overall Rating

It is a challenge to write a nature guide that is both informative, with sufficient detail, and yet remain an enjoyable read. Most nature guides that I have used in the past were sufficiently detailed but suffered greatly beyond use as a reference. I believe an almanac on nature should not only educate, but inspire. Inspire the reader to stuff the volume into a backpack and walk off into the desert, looking for an Ajo Lily, or desert pine, a Harris Hawk, or spadefoot toad.

Jonathan and Roseann are not only well studied naturalists, but they are adventurers, and that sense of adventure rings throughout the book, with page long personal accounts, or entertaining descriptive tales of a desert ecosystem. These additions allow the pages to turn easily, as I read about Seri Indians or Sycamores.

The book is organized by calendar months, with a review of the significant floral activities which occur during that time of the year. The monthly chapters also include weather charts, places to visit, and fauna of note, including their activities and the best places for viewing. i found the appendix on the plants blooming calendar to be a great tool.

The Southern Arizona Nature Almanac is slightly more challenging to navigate than a traditional field guide due to the organization by calendar month. However, this really is not a typical field guide, but a great activity planner, with the wildlife of Southern Arizona as your destination. It has proven to be a great resource and more importantly, a motivator to explore...

Southern Arizona Nature Almanac
Roseann Beggy Hanson
Jonathan Hanson

the University of Arizona Press, Tucson
ISBN 0-8165-205-3