How to See Na­ture

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Wild At Home - Miriam Dar­ling­ton Na­ture writer

PAUL EVANS, PAV­IL­ION BOOKS , £16.99

This se­ries of highly sci­en­tific yet lyri­cal en­coun­ters with na­ture is a tal­is­man for our ‘en­vi­ron­men­tally anx­ious’ era of losses. From the rich­ness of sand martins who in­habit sands as un­sta­ble as our times, to in­ti­mate meet­ings with orb-weaver spi­ders, “adorned in the ex­tra-terrestrial glow of their pearl di­adems”, Evans moves us from con­cern to in­spi­ra­tion, blend­ing close ob­ser­va­tion and rev­e­la­tion with char­ac­ter­is­tic pas­sion and ac­cu­racy. We learn that ravens are un­der­tak­ers, and that nightin­gales are ven­tril­o­quists (singing, ac­cord­ing to Co­leridge, from their own “wan­ton tipsy joy”). The or­di­nary be­comes ex­tra­or­di­nary, writ­ten with a heart-lift­ing mix­ture of lit­er­ary and per­sonal in­sights.

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