Bad Naturalist

One Woman’s Ecological Education on a Wild Virginia Mountaintop
by Paula Whyman

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A journey of humor, humility, and awe as one woman attempts to restore 200 acres of farmland long gone-to-seed in the Blue Ridge Mountains, facing her own limitations while getting to know a breathtaking corner of the natural world.
When writer Paula Whyman climbs to a peak in the...
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Published By Timber Press

Format Hardback


Number Of Pages 240

Publication Date 01/07/2025

ISBN 9781643262178

Dimensions 6 inches x 9 inches

“With dry humor and an always engaging voice, Paula Whyman takes us on an entertaining and unexpected journey restoring a wild Virginia mountaintop. Bad Naturalist is a master class in ecology, humility, and perseverance, that will have you thinking about mid-life larks, plants, and gardens, in a whole new light.”

— Susan Coll, former president of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation and author of Real Life and Other Fictions

"A brilliant, richly layered exploration of the natural world, Paula Whyman’s gripping tale embeds the reader on a mountaintop, sweeping us through the landscape and her life while braiding memoir, biodiversity, expertise, and doubt, along with inevitable setbacks that she counters with sheer determination. Whyman, a ‘pretty good’ naturalist, is the perfect guide to today’s urgent questions, proposing some unexpected answers and delivering it all in unputdownable prose, with a sense of humor and a joyful spirit."

— Jordan Goodman, author of Planting the World: Joseph Banks and His Collectors, an Adventurous History of Botany