I fell in love the moment I opened David Sibley's new Guide to Trees. I stood there at the kitchen table, slowly paging through the book and looking at the drawings. My coat was still on, the dogs needed to go out, and I couldn't put it down.
Sibley is best-known for his bird identification guides, of course, and this is his first non-bird field guide. I read an interview with him where he said he wasn't planning to do guidebooks for other species, which would be a shame. I love this book so much I'd simply love to see him do the same thing with butterflies and just about anything else, too.
For those of you who have Sibley's bird identification book, this one is the same size and format. Lots of drawings of trees, leaves, buds, nuts, etc., plus lots of information about the trees and their habitats. Nearly every species gets its own page, and I've already learned I know less about trees than I thought I did.
As with his bird guides, this book is a bit large to be carting around in the field in your backpack. It's not impossible to carry it with you, but it's not the kind of thing I'd want on a 10-mile hike--maybe a 1-mile stroll would be okay, though. This book is the kind of thing I'd curl up with in a winter evening with a cup of tea at the side. It's meant to be studied and enjoyed and then kept handy for easy reference.
I've already been wandering through my front forest with the book in hand. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to wait until it stops raining before my next foray with it.