Whether you are new to the nation’s capital or have lived here all your life, there’s much to learn from Howard Youth’s Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C. (Johns Hopkins Univ., $24.95). An ideal hostess or housewarming gift, this book deserves to be consulted year-round and city-wide; it’s everything the title promises. Starting with a natural history of the region, this information-packed volume proceeds to a comprehensive listing of park networks and forests, with maps and logistical details. Delightful, detailed watercolors by Mark Klingler (themselves complemented by the photographs of Robert Mumford) survey area birds, mammals, invertebrates, trees, flowers, mushrooms, and geological formations. The book particularly emphasizes the contribution of each species to the area’s ecosystem, guiding new and seasoned observers through the breadth of nature resplendent in our city.
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