I first shared the cover of this book with you last month, along with others I am reading this hot, humid and unusually wet Summer in the southeast. Last Saturday evening, into the late night hours, we had a tremendous storm which dumped 4 inches of non-stop drenching rain on the city of Raleigh and surrounding areas. I can honestly say I don't remember getting that much rain in just a few hours ever. Fearful the cottage would float away, there was nothing we could do but watch much of the back garden relocate to the front, a moat form, and a river rush down the driveway turning the cul-de-sac into a lake. We are now way over the average rainfall for the year, with oppressive days close to 100F and extreme humidity. Where can I move to? A safe place with perfect weather doesn't appear to exist!
Anyway, back to the book which is helping to keep me sane these days. I seem to always have two or three books on the go at the same time - but this particular beauty I'm finding hard to put aside even with other exciting ones waiting in the wings.
It's somewhat difficult for me to describe Meadowland. If you, unlike me, didn't grow up in England and spend much of your childhood playtime in the countryside, in all honesty this book may not be your cup of tea. Unless of course, you, like me, love rolling country fields, farmland, animals both domestic and wild, sweet birds and their songs, and everything growing underfoot, in hedgerows, woodlands, along river banks etc. John Lewis-Stempel's eye for detail and the poetic imagery of his sentences are brilliant as he charts a year in the life of a field on his farm located on the Herefordshire/Welsh border. Meadowland is somewhat folksy and funny at times, but books have been written about entire countries that contain less interesting facts about flora and fauna in just one English meadow. I learned so many interesting new facts about so many creatures. When it comes to grass, now knowing more about the amazing stuff going on beneath it, a whole new world, I decided perhaps we should stop mowing because, as Lewis-Stempel says, "a lawn is a meadow in captivity."
Are you enjoying a good book during these hot Summer days?