The Value of Field Guides
by Ric Hubbard • December 29, 2019
“A field guide is a book designed to help the reader identify wildlife (plants or animals) or other objects of natural occurrence (e.g. minerals). It is generally designed to be brought into the ‘field’ or local area where such objects exist to help distinguish between similar objects. Field guides are often designed to help users distinguish animals and plants that may be similar in appearance but are not necessarily closely related.
It will typically include a description of the objects covered, together with paintings or photographs and an index. More serious and scientific field identification books, including those intended for students, will probably include identification keys to assist with identification, but the publicly accessible field guide is more often a browsable picture guide organized by family, color, shape, location or other descriptors.”
There are tools that I consider indispensable to personal preparedness. None more then knowledge. Most people I talk to get my love of the Peterson Field Guides right off the bat, but surprisingly I have come across one or two preppers that don’t.
Because of this I wanted to wright a quick post about the Peterson Field Guides and encourage readers to consider adding them to their prepper library. I keep a small collection of the Guides that I find most useful on my bookshelf and you should too.
I have chosen that topics that I find most useful to me and that most interest me. I have them available to me when I have a question I want answered and my wife recently gave me an excellent example of why. The other night she came in just after dark and told me that she had seen a Grey Fox in the neighborhood, and I wasn’t sure if they were found in this part of Texas.
So, to satisfy my curiosity, out came Petersons Field Guides: Mammals of North America. Sure enough, my lovely, native Texan wife was right, it was a Grey Fox. Texas is part of the natural range of the Grey Fox. I am also a little jealous, I only seem to come across the Red variety and have yet to see one outside of a zoo.
Proving one right or wrong is one thing, but what is the value as a preparedness tool. If you are saying that it’s obvious, you are right. Learning the habits of the animals that live in your area has incredible value in preparedness and basic survival. Take the Field Guide to Insects or Hummingbirds. Neither of these species travel far from water. Seeing many Bees or Hummingbirds is a clear indicator of nearby surface water.
What happens if your smart phone battery runs out and you can’t get a weather report? Impending rain is usually obvious, but what about the near future? Peterson Field Guides has a guide to the Atmosphere that will help the reader to learn to predict the weather.
This is just two examples of the usefulness of Field Guides and the Peterson Field Guides are the best. They are easy to use because they were written for the amateur naturalist and the layman to be able to make easy use of them. They can be an excellent addition to your library.
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