Marcia Bonta, naturalist writer

I’m the author of nine books, all currently in print, and over 300 magazine articles. The blog portion of this website includes nearly a complete archive of my “Naturalist’s Eye” column from Pennsylvania Game News, the publication of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Ordering books

I’ve included links to the publishers for each of my books on their respective pages (nature books, history books and Pennsylvania books). They should also be available from all major retailers and through any bricks-and-mortar store. If you’d like signed copies, please contact me for prices and availability.

Game News column

“The Naturalist’s Eye” first appeared in January 1993, as a successor to Charles Fergus‘ “Thornapples” column, and continued each month until December 2021. I’ve recycled only a small portion of these articles into my latter three Appalachian Seasons books.

Because the Game Commission has responsibility for the conservation of all terrestrial wildlife except for reptiles and amphibians, which are under the aegis of the Fish & Boat Commission, the Game News editors prefer that I not cover those species so as not to antagonize their sister agency. But there have been some exceptions granted over the years.

These online versions of “The Naturalist’s Eye” are derived from the text files I emailed to the Game News, and therefore may contain small editorial differences. Also, the column in the magazine is illustrated by wildlife artist Gerald Putt, while here we use photos — either by my son Dave (or sometimes my husband Bruce), or else from various kind people on Flickr and the Wikimedia Commons who have shared their wildlife photos under a Creative Commons license. In the latter case, we always give credit in the captions, and clicking on the photos will take you to the originals (which are usually bigger).

Biography

The following bio may be freely adapted for use in articles and reviews. Contact me for more information.

Marcia Bonta was born and raised in the wooded fringes of a suburban South Jersey town, Woodbury, New Jersey. Daughter of Harold and Leona Myers, she inherited her father’s love for forests, streams and swamps. Her earliest memories are of a childhood enchantment with nature.

She went to Bucknell University because she loved the natural beauty of central Pennsylvania. Her college education gave her a broad knowledge of the liberal arts, a B.A. degree, and a husband, Bruce, whose jobs took the family to Washington, DC, Maine, and, since 1971, back to central PA. They raised their three sons on an isolated, forest-covered, mountaintop farm near Tyrone, where, inspired by the works of such authors as Hal Borland, Edwin Way Teale, Joseph Wood Krutch and Rachel Carson, Marcia began a writing career based on her daily explorations of the natural world.

Marcia wrote weekly columns for local newspapers for ten years before changing her career emphasis to books, magazine articles, lecturing and slide shows on nature and natural history topics. Her work has been reproduced in a number of anthologies, and she has received several awards for her writing. But she treasures most the letters, calls and conversations with people who have been moved by her writing or her slide shows to appreciate nature more strongly, and to join her in trying to protect the natural world.