On a quick visit to the library I found another book by John Lewis-Stempel, The Wood: The Life and Times of Cockshutt Wood. Once again he has observed an area, where he was working, over about a year. As well as his observations, history, science, folklore, recipes and poetry are included. I tend to read too quickly, but this is a book worth reading slowly and really picturing the beech mast, the hazel nuts and all the other naturally occurring objects and creatures described. The industrial-sized pond’s acreage was twice that of the plot my childhood home occupies.
I particularly enjoyed the chapters about May and June, perhaps because these were the months of my recent experience. I could compare notes about the flowers and birds I had observed, although I had only made one visit to a small wood. Each chapter is introduced by a charming picture.