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Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Hare and the Crow.... oh dear!

Oh dear the credit card has taken another bashing and the profits of a well known Internet bookstore named after an area of South America have risen again. I'm meant to be on an economy drive and well the body is willing but the mind is weak.

I've had my eye on these species related tomes for a while now, as I'd come across the 'Crow' volume while researching corvids in the autumn. These species led monographs are part of the Animal series of books, published by Reaktion Books. They are not a field guide. In fact if you were to use them as a field guide, you'd be sadly disappointed.

Illustration from the Crow

What they are is a veritable smorgasbord of exploration into the historical significance and impact on humans of a wide range of animals, everything from mythology to religion and science, alongside the trade in that animal, art and culture and their roles in literary imagination.

Anyway on Monday evening I was chatting to a colleague and we discussed these books. In a flash I had produced my flexible friend, fired up the laptop, and in less time than it takes to boil and egg, purchased 5 books. 2 for me, the Hare and the Crow and three for my colleague, Snail, Snake and Spider. I'll say nothing about his choice of species other than, he lives alone!

Illustration from the Hare

This afternoon these books arrived and having a bit of a flick through they're fabulous. The Hare book is particularly apt, as next Tuesday I'm off to a secret location in East Anglia to visit a wonderful woman who has been studying hares on a farm for decades. Weather permitting, guaranteed sightings and guaranteed a wonderful day as the individual hares are known to her by name.

I wonder if they (the females) will be boxing yet? A bit early but you never know. I feel a photo opportunity coming on.

14 comments:

  1. Cant beat books, never a waste of money :-) Good luck with the Hares !

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  2. I agree about books Warren. And I can't wait to see the hares, we need a sunny day as today the researcher was there and it was cold and damp, hares were there but looking fed up.

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  3. These illustrations alone would be worth the cost of the books. I am in full agreement that books are not a waste of money.

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  4. Hi Lisa, I find it very comforting that in an era of mass electronic media and publishing, if one goes into a bookshop it is still full of people browsing. Books will last forever I hope

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  5. They are quite iconic Celia. Less is always more.

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  6. The books look delightful Andrew. I can happily spend far too much money on books and find book shops much more interesting than clothes shops! I was given a copy of Bewick's British Birds for Christmas, the woodcuts/engravings are wonderful.

    Good luck with the Hares, that sounds very exciting, your job does give you some great opportunities! Keep us updated :)

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  7. Thomas Bewick's woodcuts are just fabulous, what a lovely Christmas present you received Songbird. Years ago, back in the 1970's I succumbed to temptation and bought a limited edition of 150 hand made twin volume of his entire output, on handmade paper. It cost an absolute fortune for me in those days, but what a book and is now one of my treasured book possessions, housed back at the ancestral pile behind glass along with some of my other mad book purchases in the 70's and 80's. Not many teenagers or lads up't north in those days were buying antiquarian books so they were reasonably priced when I attended the auctions of books from broken libraries. Explains a lot really, I never did do normal youth type things. Bewick will never be equalled in that art form, an absolute genius.

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  8. The books look lovely, Andrew. I feel very tempted to buy one but have already well exceeded this month's book allowance and its only the 4th! Oh well, there is always next month! Enjoy your trip to see the hares - I do hope you get to see some "boxing" but it will be a magical experience anyway.

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  9. I can't wait Raged Robin, it is all weather dependent but to be given access to the hares in this way will me magical. Lets hope for sun. Oh go on, exceed the budget :-)

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  10. Hi Andrew, like Celia, I too love the illustrations. I also wish you well in your search for Boxing hares.

    When it comes to stunning photo captures of hares my thoughts instantly go to Rich at Wildlife Photographic Journals. He has secret locations too and generally gets up very early in the morning to capture his images. Guessing you'll need to set an early alarm clock too ;-)

    Search his labels for Brown Hares and enjoy... I absolutely love the expression he gets and I'm sure you will too. See http://wildlifephotographic.blogspot.com/search/label/Brown%20Hare where I'm certain you'll find Boxing Hares somewhere. He definitely has ones shadow boxing.

    Enjoy these photos and your own sightings and opportunities to take photos. They really are beautiful animals and to think I never rated or considered them at all until I saw these photos. I'll look forward to hearing your tales and seeing your photos too :-D

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  11. Came across your interesting blogs, I'll be dropping in and following you through the year.

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  12. Shirl, thanks for the link to the hare photos, very impressive. Don't be too dissapointed by anything I collect on my trip.

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  13. David, thanks for leaving a comment, your blog is of an area I know little about, I'll enjoy seeing more walks in wild places in the coming months.

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