I recently happened upon a new-to-me field guide publisher that I’m loving. Adventure Publications puts out small (4 3/8 x 6″), but jam-packed, guides on all sorts of nature subjects. Most importantly for me, they offer not only general field guides, but many that are state or region specific, too!
Don’t let the fact that they’re compact deceive you – each of the guides include around 300 pages! A large, full-color picture graces the left of each two-page spread, while succinct notes about the animal/plant/constellation are clearly noted on the right. When appropriate, a small map showing range is included on the info page, too. For review, I received Birds of Kentucky Field Guide and Night Sky: A Field Guide to the Constellations. Both are excellent!
Birds of Kentucky
Quite honestly, I’ve put off a serious study of birds because other field guides I’ve used simply cover too many birds and I have a hard time identifying them with confidence. The Birds of Kentucky Field Guide field guide has changed all that! Now I have only four or five blue colored birds, for instance, to choose from (because they are the only ones normally in KY) and my bird identification skills have drastically improved! And I’ll reiterate the fact that actual close-up, nearly life-size photos of the birds are included. The illustrated guide I had been using doesn’t even compare!
In Night Sky: A Field Guide to the Constellations they have separated the book into seasons so that you know which constellations to look for during the year. A bright illustration of the night sky is included for each constellation with the stars pinpointed, labeled with their names, and the constellation drawn in clearly. A graph accompanies each constellation to help you place it in comparison to notable stars like the North Star and the Big Dipper.
On the adjacent info page, you learn such things as where to look in the horizon during each month, the best times to observe it, and fun facts including how it got it’s name. Note that many constellations were named because of mythology, so you will find lots of information about mythology, gods and goddesses. I’ve simply chosen to omit that part of the info and we just use the book to help us locate and recognize things in the night sky. Oh, and a mini night flashlight is included in the back of the book! It shines red so you can see the book at night without having to readjust your eyes over and over!
Enjoy these! We are!!