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.