The Wild Out Your Window: Exploring Nature Near at Hand
Down East Books, 2002
“Here are some of the neat things you learn from reading Sy Montgomery: The madness of March hares is real (since March is when they mate); by some estimates New England has lost 70 percent of its honeybees in the last two years; rhododendrons produce a chemical that makes it impossible for other plants to grow near their roots. Unlike many nature writers, Montgomery has an eye for the cool (she compares voles to Star Trek’s Klingons) and offbeat: she knows the most interesting thing about pigeons is that they are generally monogamous, occasionally adulterous. You couldn’t ask for a better guide to the weird wonders of the natural world.”
“Insightful, poignant, filled with reverence and wonder for the splendor of the world, The Wild Out Your Window is a ‘must read’ for both armchair travelers and active nature enthusiasts.
—The Midwest Book Review/The Bookwatch
“Nothing is commonplace about nature—even in your own backyard. It’s full of sex, violence, intrigue and mystery. The (49 essays) are short and entertaining, aimed at catching the reader’s eye. But this is not simply popular science. Montgomery cites fascinating studies and quotes scientists searching for answers to these natural mysteries….Everyone will learn something new from these delightful essays. Highly recommended for public libraries.
“…abounds with the sights, sounds and scents of nature in New England. The combination of eloquent prose and scientific fact make The Wild Out Your Window a worthy addition to all nature collections. This is one “Window” you will open again and again. Rating: 3 Librarian’s Eyeglasses— Excellent.
—The Shy Librarian.
“The author leads her readers on a magical journey into their own backyards. Centered primarily on New England flora and fauna, this collection delves into the magic and mystery that we can experience right at our fingertips. Very engaging and through-provoking.”
“Montgomery has a real knack for storytelling, and may be at her best when considering subjects most of us consider too small, or unspectacular, to warrant much consideration. The essays include something for everyone—native grasses, underwing moths, turkey vultures, river rocks, predaceous diving beetles, salamanders, coyotes, deer in rut and tropical fish drifting to New England shores in Gulf Stream eddies the size of Massachusetts…Her aim is true.”
—Northern Sky News
“These essays are by turns enlightening, entertaining, absorbing and informative. Filled with natural history and lore, these essays will inspire readers to appreciate the natural world around them.”
—Northern New Hampshire magazine
“The Curious Naturalist is an excellent addition to anyone’s library. Not only will you learn more about the world around you, but you’ll be bitten with the bug to learn more and more….Homes with children will appreciate the way this book will make kids want to read, and adults will love the way this book is accessible and interesting. Grade: A+.
“Sy Montgomery is the most natural of naturalists. Whether the realm is plant or animal, the territory the Amazon River of the Appalachian Trail, she is not only comfortable with her facts, she is downright expansive. Montgomery easily weaves references to Walt Whitman, Zen gardens and children’s literature into her graceful stories about the world around us….What Montgomery is pursuing is not amazement, thought here is much to wonder at in each of her 49 essays. Montgomery is seeking to convey the vision that will get people looking deeper at what they see, whether it’s birds out their window or flowers on top of Mount Katahdin. For with the seeing comes caring, the knowledge that layers of life, deeper than we can imagine, inhabit our woods, gardens lawns, pools sometimes even our homes. With simple, lighthearted essays, Montgomery guides us to this depth right out our window, and by understanding them, expands the range not just of our vision, but of our lives.”
—Bangor Daily News
“This is one of the best books on nature I’ve read. It celebrates and elucidates many of the small events that take place around us every day, events that are momentous for those astute enough and patient enough to watch them unfold.”
—The Enterprise (Bucksport, Maine.)