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Bringing Nature Home; Douglas Tallamy (2007)

As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity.There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife ― native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction.Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition ― with an expanded resource section and updated photos ― will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy’s practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference. -$19.95

 living landscape

The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity; Rick Darke, Douglas W. Tallamy (2014)

Many gardeners today want a home landscape that nourishes and fosters wildlife. But they also want beauty, a space for the kids to play, privacy, and maybe even a vegetable patch. Sure, it’s a tall order, but The Living Landscape shows how to do it. By combining the insights of two outstanding authors, it offers a model that anyone can follow. Inspired by its examples, you’ll learn the strategies for making and maintaining a diverse, layered landscape—one that offers beauty on many levels, provides outdoor rooms and turf areas for children and pets, incorporates fragrance and edible plants, and provides cover, shelter, and sustenance for wildlife. Richly illustrated with superb photographs and informed by both a keen eye for design and an understanding of how healthy ecologies work, The Living Landscape will enable you to create a garden that is full of life and that fulfills both human needs and the needs of wildlife communities. -$39.95

guide to Indiana Wildflowers

Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers; Kay Yatskievych (2000)

Forty percent or more of Indiana’s wildflowers will not be found in any of the available field guides. Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers magnificently fills that gap. The book includes all of the herbaceous species―a total of 1,568―recorded in Indiana (except grasses, sedges, and rushes). It contains 640 color photographs, one for every group of visually similar species.
Photographs containing more than one species are accompanied by helpful explanations and numerous drawings of the characteristics that separate each of the individual species.

Each species entry includes the scientific name, common name, habitats, general distribution in the state, months of blooming, size of the plants and the flowers or inflorescence, and a brief additional description of the plant. Photographs or drawings accompany most entries. Flowers that were introduced to the state or are on Indiana’s endangered, threatened, and rare list are marked with a one-word notation indicating their status.

Species are grouped into families, which are arranged so that the most closely related and usually visually similar are in proximity. To assist the reader in identifying unknown wildflowers, a “Flower Finder” section depicts species based on the number of colored parts of the flower and also provides small drawings as visual guides.

With an emphasis on completeness, strong visual presentation, and simplicity of terminology, this book is useful to a broad audience, from the most inexperienced amateur to botanical professionals.

Kay Yatskievych’s love of wildflowers began when she was growing up on a Johnson County, Indiana farm. Since 1990, she has served as co-editor of a 9-volume series, the Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana, published by the Missouri Botanical Garden, while taking photographs and undertaking research for Field Guide to Indiana Wildflowers in her spare time. A founding member of both the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society and the Brown County Spring Wildflower Count, Yatskievych has led dozens of wildflower walks and given numerous slide presentations about plants. Many of her photographs have been published as posters and have been featured in books, magazines, and newspapers. -$19.95

101 trees

101 Trees of Indiana; Marion T. Jackson (2004)

So many trees, so little time. What’s a nature lover to do? If you can’t tell the difference between an Eastern hemlock and a scrub pine, or a cottonwood and a black willow, 101 Trees of Indiana is the field guide for you.101 Trees of Indiana contains all you need to identify a tree in the Hoosier State, whatever the season. Not since Dr. Charles Deam’s Trees of Indiana was published in 1953 has the subject been covered so thoroughly. Ecologist Marion T. Jackson has selected approximately 101 species of trees, mostly native to the state but also others that are widely naturalized or planted extensively. Jackson’s comments about individual trees alone are worth the price of the book.

Illustrations by Katherine Harrington provide clear and accurate botanical details. Ron Rathfon’s vivid color photographs make identification in the field a breeze. Further aiding in identification are text descriptions and species keys for both summer and winter conditions. Distribution maps indicate the counties in which each tree has been found and recorded. These maps have been updated to include more than 2,000 new county records discovered by scientists, foresters, and naturalists since the publication of Deam’s work.

101 Trees of Indiana will fit handily into a pocket or backpack, and the information for each tree, including drawings and photographs, is on facing pages―no flipping back and forth from text to picture. Naturalists, hikers, landscapers, and students will thoroughly enjoy this lovely and authoritative book. -$22.00

butterflies

Butterflies of Indiana: A Field Guide; Jeffrey E. Belth (2012)

Winner of the 2013 National Outdoor Book Award for best Nature Guidebook.
This book is the first field guide to Indiana’s butterflies and their close relatives, the skippers. All species and subspecies recorded from the state are shown. An illustrated “Quick Key” narrows the identification process to several similar species. Photographs with arrows pointing to “field marks” then highlight the differences between those species and allow easy identification, even for people just beginning their study of butterflies. Text, range map, and abundance graph are opposite the photographs for easy reference. Also included are photographs of eggs, larvae, or chrysalises of many species. Numerous plants important to butterflies, either as larval hosts or as nectar sources, are also depicted. Fully illustrated chapters describing Indiana’s natural regions, how to find butterflies, watching and photographing butterflies, butterfly biology and behavior, butterfly habitats, and butterfly conservation, are also included. -$20.00

catterpillars

Caterpillars of Eastern North America: A Guide to Identification and Natural History; David L. Wagner (2005)

This lavishly illustrated guide will enable you to identify the caterpillars of nearly 700 butterflies and moths found east of the Mississippi. The more than 1,200 color photographs and two dozen line drawings include numerous exceptionally striking images. The giant silk moths, tiger moths, and many other species covered include forest pests, common garden guests, economically important species, and of course, the Mescal Worm and Mexican Jumping Bean caterpillars. Full-page species accounts cover almost 400 species, with up to six images per species including an image of the adult plus succinct text with information on distribution, seasonal activity, foodplants, and life history. These accounts are generously complemented with additional images of earlier instars, closely related species, noteworthy behaviors, and other intriguing aspects of caterpillar biology.

Many caterpillars are illustrated here for the first time. Dozens of new foodplant records are presented and erroneous records are corrected. The book provides considerable information on the distribution, biology, and taxonomy of caterpillars beyond that available in other popular works on Eastern butterflies and moths. The introductory chapter covers caterpillar structure, life cycles, rearing, natural enemies, photography, and conservation. The section titled “Caterpillar Projects” will be of special interest to educators.

Given the dearth of accessible guides on the identification and natural history of caterpillars, Caterpillars of Eastern North America is a must for entomologists and museum curators, forest managers, conservation biologists and others who seek a compact, easy-to-use guide to the caterpillars of this vast region.

  • A compact guide to nearly 700 caterpillars east of the Mississippi, from forest pests to garden guests and economically important species
  • 1,200 color photos and 24 line drawings enable easy identification
  • Full-page species accounts with image of adult insect for almost 400 species, plus succinct text on distribution and other vital information
  • Many caterpillars illustrated here for the first time
  • Current information on distribution, biology, and taxonomy not found in other popular works
  • A section geared toward educators, “Caterpillar Projects”
  • An indispensable resource for all who seek an easy-to-use guide to the caterpillars of this vast region -$29.95
midwestern native garden

The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants, an Illustrated Guide; Charlotte Adelman (2011)

Winner of the 2012 Helen Hull Award, presented by the National Garden Clubs.

Midwestern gardeners and landscapers are becoming increasingly attracted to noninvasive regional native wildflowers and plants over popular nonnative species. The Midwestern Native Garden offers viable alternatives to both amateurs and professionals, whether they are considering adding a few native plants or intending to go native all the way. Native plants improve air and water quality, reduce use of pesticides, and provide vital food and reproductive sites to birds and butterflies, that nonnative plants cannot offer, helping bring back a healthy ecosystem.

The authors provide a comprehensive selection of native alternatives that look similar or even identical to a range of nonnative ornamentals. These are native plants that are suitable for all garden styles, bloom during the same season, and have the same cultivation requirements as their nonnative counterparts. Plant entries are accompanied by nature notes setting out the specific birds and butterflies the native plants attract.

The Midwestern Native Garden will be a welcome guide to gardeners whose styles range from formal to naturalistic but who want to create an authentic sense of place, with regional natives. The beauty, hardiness, and easy maintenance of native Midwestern plants will soon make them the new favorites. -$26.95

pollinators

Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects with Native Plants; Heather N. Holm (2014)

This is the first comprehensive book to illustrate the specific relationships between native pollinators and native plants. Organized by plant communities, the book profiles over 65 perennial native plants of the Midwest, Great Lakes region, Northeast and southern Canada and the pollinators, beneficial insects and flower visitors the plants attract. With its easy-to-use format, the book provides the reader with information on how to attract, plant for and identify pollinators with 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. This is an important book for gardeners, students, native plant enthusiasts, landscape restoration professionals, small fruit and vegetable growers and farmers who are interested in attracting, identifying, supporting or planting for pollinators. -$25.95