Pocket Finders are a great, portable way to identify trees, flowers, constellations, and animal tracks. They’re easy to slip into a backpack or breast pocket, and they never run out of battery. Nature Study Guild has been publishing pocket guides to the natural world for over 50 years. Begun by Naturalist May Theilgaard Watts, Nature Study Guild remains an independent, third generation family business. The wonderful scientific illustrations, are hand drawn with skill, and even a little bit of humor.
Nature Study Guild Finders, lead you step by step through the identification process, using a key and well defined criteria such as shape, texture, or orientation and pattern. Whether you’re a nube or a flummoxed expert, Finders are the perfect way to identify flora without the need to leaf through an endless lineup of identical looking pictures.
As woodworkers, identifying trees is a wonderful way to connect with the craft. Keep one of the guides in the pocket of your favorite jacket, and after a few weeks of use, even a walk around the block will be as exciting as a trip to the lumber yard.
The Constellation and Track finders are popular with kids, and are a great way to explore the natural world. The track finder especially sparks the imagination, illuminating the "secret" life of forrest creatures as they scamper about.
Flower Finders make a great gift, for yourself and others. The beautiful scientific illustrations highlight important plant features for positive identification.
We offer 4 tree finders, 3 flower finders, an animal track finder (a favorite with kids) and a constellation finder. Each finder covers a specific region or season:
If you purchase four or more Study Guide books, you are entitled to a 20% discount. The discount is automatic and will show up as an entry in your basket.
Covers Trees US and Canada East of the Rocky Mountains. Author: May Theilgaard Watts
Winter Tree Finder
Covers Trees that have shed their leaves in the US and Canada East of the Rocky Mountains.
Authors: May Theilgaard Watts and Tom Watts
Rocky Mountain Tree Finder
Covers the Rocky Mountain, and foothill region, south to the US-Mexico Border, and North into Southern Alberta and British Columbia.
Authors:Tom Watts and Bridget Watts
Pacific Coast Tree Finder
Covers the West Coast of North American From Southern British Columbia, down to the Northern portion of the Baja Peninsula.
Author: Tom Watts
Shows stars as seen from the 40th parallel (Northern Hemisphere). Folks living between 50 and 30 degrees North latitude will be able to see most of the constellations illustrated in the book.
Author: Dorcas S. Miller
Identify animal tracks in snow or mud based on shape and pattern. Also includes information on habitat, scat (droppings) and other signs. Covers Eastern North America, although many of the animals identified range coast to coast. This book is a ton of fun for kids.
Author: Dorcas S. Miller Illustration: Cherie Hunter Day
Redwood Region Flower Finder
Covers flowers along the range of Sequoia Sempervirens
, otherwise known as the Redwood. Central California to South-Western Oregon.
Author: Phoebe Watts Illustration: Sarah Watts
One of the original finders. Identifies spring wild flowers in the eastern United States, North of the Smokie Mountains.
Author: May Theilgaard Watts
Rocky Mountain Flower Finder
Identifies wild flowers of the Rocky Mountains from foothills to tree line. Bonus Points if you correctly identified the cover illustration as a Rocky Mountain Columbine - the state flower of Colorado.
Author: Janet L. Wingate, PhD
In general, the Pocket Finders cover native plants, with the exception of a few widely planted, introduced species.
Please Note that Pocket Finders are currently (and possibly indefinitely) out of print. We will not be able to order more once we sell out - so get yours while they're still available!!
Nature Study Guild Pocket Finders are Printed in the USA on recycled paper containing at least 30 percent post-consumer waste
My grandfather was a woodworker, and naturalist. In the basement next to his workshop in northern California, stacked high on wonderfully overbuilt redwood and masonite shelving, sat the family’s stock in trade: pocket sized books, each one containing an intuitive yet sophisticated key to identifying species of a specific Phylum, Class, region, or eco-system.
Nature Study Guild, was begun by my Great Grandmother, May Theilgaard Watts. Over The last 5 decades, Nature Study Guild has published a small library of titles, many of them researched, written, and illustrated May Watts herself. The publishing business along with May's love of disambiguating flora and fauna were passed along to my Grandparents, who in turn passed it along to their children.
Despite the technical nature of the Pocket Finders, the books have a human touch, and humor that goes beyond the old-fashioned layout, and hand inked illustrations. In my mind the spirit of the pocket finders is encapsulated by a pair of illustrations and captions in the Winter Tree finder. On the lower half of page five, my Grandmother and Grandfather’s initials appear carved into the smooth bark of a tree surrounded by a heart. The illustration and caption to the right, of a cookie cutter housing tract, strikes a different tone, typical of my Grandfather's dry humor:
In a ticky-tacky tract? Try:
Thornless Honey Locust