A Californian’s Guide to Birds Among Us

This unique field guide provides a beautifully illustrative snapshot of California’s birdlife by closely studying 120 specific and easily-scene species. Far more than just an identification guide, the Californian’s Guide to Birds Among Us goes into fascinating detail about the habits, behavior, habitats of common California birds. The best field guides spark curiosity, and Charles Hood has written a book that will draw the casual birder ever deeper into the avian world. 

California Plants: a Field Guide to Our Iconic Flora

If you often find yourself pausing on a hike to wonder what that plant or tree might be, California Plants is just the book for you! Organized by habitat (including grasslands, forests, marshes, and coastal areas), Matt Ritter’s book is accessible for all levels of knowledge. Also available at the Natural Bridges, Wilder Ranch, Seacliff and Santa Cruz Mission ParkStores. 

Fylling’s Field Guide to Pacific Coast Tide Pools

If you’re into tidepools, the Fylling Guide deserves a place on your shelf (or your pack pocket!). Author Marni Fylling completed the UCSC Scientific Illustration program, and her love of Pacific Coast tidepools shines on every page. Also available at the Natural Bridges or Seacliff ParkStores.  

Ohlone Way

The Ohlone Way

Two hundred years ago, herds of elk and antelope dotted the hills of the San Francisco–Monterey Bay area. Grizzly bears lumbered down to the creeks to fish for silver salmon and steelhead trout. From vast marshlands geese, ducks, and other birds rose in thick clouds “with a sound like that of a hurricane.” This land of “inexpressible fertility,” as one early explorer described it, supported one of the densest Indian populations in all of North America.

One of the most ground-breaking and highly-acclaimed titles that Heyday has published, The Ohlone Way describes the culture of the Indian people who inhabited Bay Area prior to the arrival of Europeans. Recently included in the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Western Non-Fiction list, The Ohlone Way has been described by critic Pat Holt as a “mini-classic.”

The California Field Atlas

There are a lot of books about California, but none of them are like this book. The California Field Atlas features mesmerizing illustrations by the wildly talented artist, poet, and philosopher Obi Kaufmann, and it covers the entire sweep of the Golden State. Detailed maps and illustrations cover California’s myriad topographies and ecosystems, rivers, lakes and watersheds, backpacking trails, flora and fauna, and more. Dip into it a little bit every night, and your love and sense of California wonder will blossom and thrive.

Coyote at the Big Time 123

The follow-up to Heyday’s bestselling, A is for Acorn, Coyote at the Big Time 123 takes young readers to a Native California with Coyote as their guide. Counting from one clapper stick up to ten stars twinkling above the gathering, Coyote explores indigenous cultural traditions, including songs, dances, hand games, art and, of course, delicious food. Lyn Risling’s beautiful illustrations depict the diversity of traditions that continue to thrive throughout the state. At once a fun introduction to numbers and a celebration of community, this lively counting book shows babies and toddlers how to take in the beautiful world around them.

The Anza Trail

This important book about the 240 men, women, and children who traveled to settle in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1700s has an important local connection: Juan Jose Castro, the son of one of the original Anza explorers, went on to build the Castro Adobe.

Also available at the Santa Cruz Mission ParkStore, at Castro Adobe Open House events.


The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling

This comprehensive, beautiful book contains everything you need to get started with Nature Journaling.

Never drawn before? That’s OK! John Muir Laws is an incredible teacher, and his detailed, step-by-step instructions will have you sketching realistic poppies, birds, and leaves before you know it.

This book also includes great information on art and journaling supplies & techniques, and how to think like a naturalist and an artist.

This is a book that will open up your world for years and years to come.