I’ve been featuring local bookstores because finding just the right book can be a treasure hunt. And blazing a trail to the buried treasure chest can lead to many different locations.
For instance, if you take a sudden interest in the flora and fauna of your backyard, as I have recently, it can be hard to find places to learn to identity the trees by leaf or the birds by name. (Note that I tried googling “blackbirds in Virginia.” Somewhat helpful but nowhere near as comprehensive as a locally sourced print guide.)
, one of the many nature centers in Fairfax and Arlington Co. They, and other centers, have small collections, open to the public, of precisely this sort of thing: classification guides to the plants and animals, geology, stars, etc.
Lovely! Now I can learn the names of the mushrooms sprouting from my aging mulch.
But the point here is that there are often specialized collections available outside of stores and public libraries, which can be especially useful if you have localized or highly targeted interests. They must be hunted however.
Colleges, local governmental resources like towns and counties are good starting places.
Here are some photos of the charming little collection at Hidden Oaks. It’s as quirky and sincere as it looks.
That last picture came from my backyard. What is this? Is it edible?
Questions: have you had any surprise finds of specialty collections? Do you have any tips for locating these or tracking down a unique title?