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OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
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Edited Nov 13, 2017, 18:17
Re: OT:Land Lines - finding UK's favourite nature book
Nov 13, 2017, 18:14
That time of year again ... shorter walks and reading about nature. Finally picked up the as yet unread book by John Lewis-Stempel "Meadowland - the private life of an English field". Lewis-Stempel is a farmer as well as a writer so there is nothing sentimental in his writing.

I started fairly near the end at 'November'. There is a very touching passage where he describes the death of Margot his Red Poll cow who had been arthritic for the previous two years. That morning she fell and there was "no Lazarus moment, no miracle" - she can't get up. He resists the impulse to call the vet to euthanize her and lets her die naturally. "Margot. My lovely, cantankerous old cow, a true beast of the field".

In the next passage he talks about cattle in prehistory and how originally they were also used for locomotion - to quote: "There are cattle bones in Neolithic sites showing stress induced damage that comes from hauling and ploughing"
A lovely book (even if I do read it backwards). He quotes William Wordsworth in the Preface:
"Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things
We murder to dissect"

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