A Year with Nature is an almanac like none you’ve ever seen: combining science and aesthetics, it is a daily affirmation of the extraordinary richness of biodiversity and our enduring beguilement by its beauty. With a text by herpetologist and natural history writer Marty Crump and a cornucopia of original illustrations by Bronwyn McIvor, this quirky quotidian reverie gazes across the globe, media, and time as it celebrates date-appropriate natural topics ranging from the founding of the National Park Service to annual strawberry, garlic, shrimp, hummingbird, and black bear festivals.
With Crump, we mark the publication of classics like Carson’s Silent Spring and White’s Charlotte’s Web, and even the musical premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. We note the discovery of the structure of DNA and the mountain gorilla, the rise of citizen science projects, and the work of people who’ve shaped how we view and protect nature—from Aristotle to E. O. Wilson. Some days feature US celebrations, like National Poinsettia Day and National Cat Day; others highlight country-specific celebrations, like Australia’s Wombat Day and Thailand’s Monkey Buffet Festival, during which thousands of macaques feast on an ornately arranged spread of fruits and vegetables. Crump also highlights celebrations that span borders, from World Wildlife Conservation Day to International Mountain Day and global festivities for snakes, sea turtles, and chocolate. Interweaving fascinating facts on everything from jellyfish bodies to monthly birth flowers with folkloric entries featuring the Loch Ness Monster, unicorns, and ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian mythology, the almanac is as exhaustive as it is enchanting.
A Year with Nature celebrates the wonder and beauty of our natural world as we have expressed it in visual arts, music, literature, science, natural history, and everyday experience. But more than this, the almanac’s vignettes encourage us to contemplate how we can help ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the landscapes and rich biodiversity we so deeply cherish.