A captivating exploration of the natural world by a respected nature writer draws delightfully unexpected connections and encourages readers to rediscover natural surroundings for themselves
For the last 30 years nature writer John Lister-Kaye has taken the same circular walk from his home deep in a Scottish glen up to a small lake. Each day brings a new observation or an unexpected encounter?a fragile spider?s web, an osprey struggling to lift a trout from the water, or a woodcock exquisitely camouflaged on her nest?and every day, on his return home, he records his thoughts in a journal. Drawing on this lifetime of close observation, John Lister-Kaye encourages a second look at nature and discovery of its wildness. He also forges wonderful connections between the most unlikely subjects, from photosynthesis and the energy cycle to Norse mythology, weasels, and the overpopulation of the planet. At the Water?s Edge is a lyrical hymn to wildlife and a powerful warning to respect and protect it.
Editorial ReviewsFor 30 years, British naturalist ListerKaye (Natures Child) has taken the same walk every day from his home in the Scottish Highlands to a nearby loch. In these “”rekindled”” observations from his field diary, he records the life humming on the “”uncompromising”” crags; he waxes on the beauty of peregrine falcons roosting on rock ledges, the happy clamor of osprey and otters feasting on trout, the poetry of photosynthesis, and as the seasons turn, he records the new litters, the migrations, and decay. If Lister-Kaye shifts his focus from the Highlands–to marvel at how tropical birds and flowers have evolved together, with “”orchids mimicking butterflies and spiders,”” or sea algaes dependence on chemosynthesis–its only to return ineluctably to his glen and its particular place in the world. This lyrical and precisely observed book (think Annie Dillards A Pilgrim at Tinker Creek) is an ode to the wonder of nature, “”its sublime design and grim function,”” the miracle of interspecies friendships, and a cri de coeur to find the political will for conservation. (Aug.)