ADV: Extension faculty holiday reading suggestions

Extension top 10 team Picks for Holiday reading:

Native Orchids of Minnesota

By Welby Smith

Though often considered exotic and rare, orchids can be found across climates and continents—and Minnesota is no exception, with forty-nine wild orchids. Native Orchids of Minnesota features detailed drawings and color photographs that make reliable identification practical even for beginners—a guide and a resource for the serious naturalist, the weekend botanist, and the connoisseur of natural beauty.

Our Neck of the Woods: 

Exploring Minnesota’s Wild Places by Daniel J. Philippon, editor

What are the odds of finding Minnesota’s tiniest orchid? Why take a Breathalyzer test to study frogs? How does ice fishing warm the heart? Who would live in such a cold, lean region? Our Neck of the Woods takes on these and other urgent (and sometimes quirky) questions, showcasing writers’ own experiences in the best-loved places in Minnesota, including the North Shore, Lake Bemidji, the western prairies and grasslands, the Boundary Waters, and the Mesabi Iron Range.

 Native Plants of the Midwest: A Comprehensive Guide to the Best 500 Species for the Garden

By Alan Branhagen

Native Plants of the Midwest, by regional plant expert, and Director of Operations at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Alan Branhagan, features the best native plants in the heartland and offers clear and concise guidance on how to use them in the garden. Great photos.

Pollinators of Native Plants

By Heather Holm

Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants.  A comprehensive book illustrating the specific relationships between native pollinators, beneficial insects, and native plants.  Beautifully designed and illustrated with over 1600 photos of plants and insects, the book includes information on pollination, types of pollinators and beneficial insects, pollinator habitat and conservation, as well as pollinator landscape plans.

Our Native Bees:  North America’s Endangered Pollinators and the Fight to Save Them 

By Paige Embry

Honey bees get all the press, but the fascinating story of North America’s native bees—an endangered species essential to our ecosystems and food supplies—is just as crucial. Through interviews with farmers, gardeners, scientists, and bee experts, Our Native Bees explores the importance of native bees and focuses on why they play a key role in gardening and agriculture.

Backyard Almanac:  365 Days of Northern Natural History 

By Larry Weber

Backyard Almanac This 365-day journal of daily natural history is a delightful book for anyone interested in the out-of-doors. Larry takes readers on a seasonal tour of the North Woods. Pertinent to the Northeast latitudes, the entries include fascinating facts about insects, trees, wildflowers, frogs, and more – everything relevant to the date one might encounter it in nature.

Field Guide to the Natural World in the Twin Cities 

By John Moriarity

Though the Twin Cities and environs have proven a fine habitat for one particular species, the three million humans who call the area home share these 3,000 square miles with myriad animals and plants, all in a mosaic of various ecosystems.

Life in the Soil:  A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners

By James B. Nardi

Get the dirt about the soil that plants live in. This book by Biologist and acclaimed Natural History Artist James B. Nardi from the University of Illinois gives you that “deep dive” into the mysteries of soil as well as the creatures that live in it. It unfolds like a “strange, revealing and captivating” drama says one critic, giving a new perspective you may have never thought of before.

Sedges and Rushes of Minnesota: The Complete Guide to Species Identification

By Welby Smith

The first comprehensive, fully illustrated field guide to Minnesota’s nearly 250 species of sedges and rushes.

With its finely detailed photographs and descriptions, Sedges and Rushes of Minnesota enables quick and reliable identification of these often difficult-to-distinguish species. As an in-depth introduction or a handy field gui de, the book is the first complete, comprehensive reference on these important plants of Minnesota, an invaluable resource for specialists, naturalists, and wild plant lovers.

 North Woods Field Guide Series

By Stensaas Kollath Publishing

This series includes: many topics of interest to naturalists, and are written to be user friendly. Topics include:  amphibians & reptiles, birds, butterflies, damselflies, dragonflies, ferns, insects, lichens, moths & caterpillars, tiger beetles, orchids, spiders, agates, earthworms and fungi.  Something for everyone!