The day after Thanksgiving, I woke up and said, “It’s Christmastime!” like a kid actor in a department store commercial. But I really meant it. Oh boy, did I mean it. And yes, I know that Christmas isn’t about cookies or trees or presents. It’s about the Christmas Bird Count. And presents. No wait…
Anyway, what I mean is that I always think twice about doing a gift guide because Christmas really isn’t about getting presents. But I do love to give gifts, and since I don’t have that many naturalists on my list this year (I’m planning on converting my entire family by next November), maybe a nature lover on your list could use a little something special this year.
1. Mason Bee House: Mason bees are excellent pollinators, and harmless to wooden structures. And this teardrop bee house is super cute, not gonna lie.
2. Warm Long Underwear: A simple treat. Also absolutely necessary for winter snooping.
3. PRBY Long-Sleeved Shirt, featuring U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory code for Northern Goshawk. PRBY is code for Punk Rock Big Year. Their bad-ass apparel will have your friends asking where they can go see that cool band, NOGO.
4. Geode Earrings: These make me think of the clear night sky over Death Valley National Park.
5. The Sierra Club Guide to Sketching in Nature: The best book on sketching I’ve read yet.
6. Water Brush: Pair with #8…
7. Waist Pack: After years of trying to find the perfect backpack setup for nature snoops, this past summer I discovered the benefits of the fanny pack. This one is big enough for a field guide or two, a sketching kit, keys, phone, and magnifying glass.
8. Mini Watercolor Palette: Pocket-sized paints to go. Combine with #6 to for a compact field sketching kit.
10. Birds and Beans Coffee: Shade-grown and fair trade. Creates wintering habitat for some of our most beloved songbirds, while helping coffee farmers make a living caring for their land (splurge on the Holiday Gift Set, a dozen 12 oz. bags of beans)
12. Universal Digiscoping Adapter for binoculars and spotting scopes: A gadget that lets your smartphone camera play nice with your big lenses. This one adjusts to almost every smartphone and scope combination available, even my giant Galaxy S5.
13. Sibley Birds of North America App: It’s a biggun, but it’s a good one. Works on Android and iPhone, and includes song files for when you desperately need help telling a Willow from an Alder flycatcher (quietly, so you don’t disturb the birds). Here’s how to give an app as a gift
14. Headlamp: For mothing, and owling, and sneaking out into the dark woods to look for foxes.
15. Field & Stream Elite SMARTHEAT Gloves: I found a lighter weight version of these gloves earlier this season, and I snatched them up so fast. The grippy silicon on the palms keeps heavy lenses safe, and the touch-screen finger tips mean you don’t have to expose your fingers to the freezing cold to capture that Instagrammable iceberg.
16. Arctic Fox and Northern Lights print: It was really hard to pick just one of artist David Scheirer’s paintings to feature. I love his illustrations as much as his more realistic watercolors. There’s something for everybody in his gorgeous Etsy shop.
17. Tick-repelling Gaiters: Worth their weight in gold. Pair with a lint roller for maximum tick removing power.
Notes: This isn’t *my* wishlist, as I have, and enjoy many of these items. These are also not affiliate links.