Sunday, August 19, 2007

Blog Reading For Reliable Book Recommendations.

Having always been an ardent reader the local library is a bi-weekly stop to pick up books ordered online from the Library catalog. A great idea making a system wide catalog available that can be searched by author,title,subject or medium(book,audio,etc).

Waiting to be picked up this week is 'The Savage Garden' by Mark Mills. Mentioned by a blogger somewhere (sorry,I have forgotten where) it sounded interesting. I am a mystery buff as well as an avid garden book reader.
Just bought 'Last Child in the Woods' by Richard Louv A book mentioned at the Rachel Carson blog and Bev at Burning Silo has recommended a series of field guides, written by John Eastman and illustrated by Amelia Hansen, that sound very useful.
An excerpt on
Square Metre Patrick Roper
from 'The Humble Bee' written in 1912 by F.W.L Sladen is surely reason enough to go looking for a hard to find copy.
A single copy is available on Amazon at $138.00. Expensive for a book I still know too little about. Maybe the wonderful librarian that found 'One Straw Revolution' for me will have more luck.


On a cold wet evening in July when the news bulletins were full of reports about the disastrous floods in the Midlands, I found a dying bumble bee on Troy Track. She was the epitomy of coldness and wetness and I picked her up on my finger tip and put her out of harm's way among the leaves of one of the hypericums.
By the morning she would be dead and the whole episode reminded so much of a wonderful passage in F. W. L. Sladen's 1912 book on the Humble-bee:

In the case of B. pratorum, and probably of other species whose colonies end their existence in the height of summer, the aged queen often spends the evening of her life very pleasantly with her little band of worn-out workers. They sit together on two or three cells on the top of the ruined edifice, and make no attempt to rear any more brood. The exhausting work of bearing done, the queen’s body shrinks to its original size, and she becomes quite active and youthful-looking again. This well-earned rest lasts for about a week, and death, when at last it comes, brings with it no discomfort. One night, a little cooler than usual, finding her food supply exhausted, the queen grows torpid, as she has done many a time in the early part of her career; but on this occasion, her life-work finished, there is no awakening.


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