Book Reviews

Wild Hares and Hummingbirds: The Natural History of an English Village by Stephen Moss

13536536What da cover saysJoin celebrated naturalist Stephen Moss, host award-winning BBC series Springwatch and author of The Robin, for a year in the idyllic village of Mark on the Somerset Levels – a watery wonderland rich in nature and wildlife, from birds to butterflies to badgers

As the year unfolds, Moss transports the reader to the entrancing landscape of flora and fauna that accompanies the dawn of each month. Deeply informative and profoundly inspiring, Wild Hares and Hummingbirds is a celebration of the Great British countryside, animals and the natural world.

What I says:  This is the second book in a row I’ve read which has the author spending a year exploring and learning about where they live.  The first book was Meadowland by John Lewis-Stempel where each character was a month and the book was based in his meadow.  Wild Hares and Hummingbirds is done on a bigger scale, this time a whole village and it’s surrounding area.  The nicest thing about Moss’s book is he is still learning about nature, discovering new things all the time and getting help when needed.  When he does get help he includes the reader on that learning experience, one of the best parts of the book was training on foraging for mushrooms, this is something I’ve always wanted to do, instead of using the eat and see what happens technique.

The village he lives in, Mark (bizarre name for a village) comes across as being very idyllic and supplies Moss with a number of places to explore, bridges, churchyards, meadows and woods.  The range of animals his sees is incredible, makes what you see in Basingstoke very dull, and his knowledge of birds is fantastic, I’m so jealous that he is able to name a bird so quickly.

The one thing I’m going to try and remember from this book is Teasels, we get them in Basingstoke and I’ve always wondered what they are, whether they were related to thistles or not, now I know all about them and can tell my kids next time we spot one.

Great book, full of knowledge and fun to read.


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