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Science Meteorology & Climatology

The Field Guide to Natural Phenomena

The Secret World of Optical, Atmospheric and Celestial Wonders

by (author) Keith C. Heidorn & Ian Whitelaw

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
Aug 2010
Meteorology & Climatology, Astronomy, Weather
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2010
    List Price

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A vivid portrait of nature's most fascinating and unexpected events.

This is an illustrated guide to nature's most theatrical and mysterious events, from eclipses and the aurora borealis to rainbows and light pillars. Dr. Keith Heidorn combines engaging text with color photographs and line drawings to describe each phenomenon in simple, non-technical terms.

The field guide examines the origins and behaviors of natural phenomena and draws on science, history, folklore, travel and other disciplines. Some are familiar events, yet others are once-in-a-lifetime spectacles. They include:

  • Optical phenomena, such as green flashes, crepuscular rays, coronas, mirages
  • Atmospheric phenomena, such as dust devils, haboobs, lenticular clouds, "pea soupers"
  • Electrical phenomena, such as ball lightning, St. Elmo's fire, will-o'-the-wisps
  • Aquatic phenomena, such as ice circles, diamond dust, tidal bores, waterspouts
  • Geological phenomena, such as stone arches, mud pots, petrified forests, salt lakes
  • Celestial phenomena, such as meteors, comets, eclipses, the Milky Way

Sixteen identification guides detail the phenomena and how each occurs.

The Field Guide to Natural Phenomena provides specific information for general readers and weather watchers about where and when nature puts on these creative performances.


About the authors

Keith C. Heidorn's profile page

Ian Whitelaw and Julie Whitaker are English-born authors and editors now living with their two children on Vancouver Island, Canada, where they divide their time between writing and looking after the horses and alpacas on their small farm. They are both Anthropology graduates of Durham University, England, and have worked on a wide range of book projects.  Ian’s published work includes Habitus Disgustica: The Complete Handbook of Annoying, Rude and Unpleasant Behaviour and A Measure of All Things: The Story of Man and Measurement. He is co-author of, among others, This Is Not a Book: Adventures in Popular Philosophy.


Ian Whitelaw's profile page

Editorial Reviews

An illustrated tour of everyday events and amazing spectacles, from mirages and meteors to ball lightning.

Science News

What is an eclipse? How are dust devils created? What makes a geyser work? Questions like these concerning natural phenomena have been around as look as mankind. What were once attributed to the work of ancient gods are now known to be naturally occurring events. With easy-to-understand explanations authors Heidorn and Whitelaw guide us through these wonders. Using photographs and diagrams the inner workings of our natural world are made clear.

North Shore News

Other titles by Ian Whitelaw