Ull of grass with some muddy patches near the feeding troughs and the gateAnd you would think that is it But it isn t trust me on this it really isn t This field is teeming with lifeThere are the red kites this it really isn t This field is teeming with lifeThere are the red kites on wild and domesticated animals the badgers that patrol the field the playful fox cubs the hidden moles visible only from their mounds that try and consume the thousands of arthworms that populate the soil and the beasts that he rears for market But the star of this book is the grasses and plants that populate his field and the insect and bird life it supports Where he is in Hereford it is fortunate that it has not suffered from the ffects of the industrial farming process that other parts of the country have and the diversity of the wildlife in his field is greater than it would be lsewhere But his land has not been immune to change there have been some losses such as the corncrake and there are no doubt others Through his lyrical and occasionally poetic prose Lewis Stempel really brings his unspoilt small patch of England into crystal clear focus Written as diary ntries through a single year he writes about other vents and local characters that orbit and swirl though his life about the
history of the lands around as well as the weather a hugely important factor for any farmer of the lands around as well as the weather a hugely important factor for any farmer has an ye for detail too this book is full of the minutiae of the things happening in this field from the differences and textures of the grasses to the way that verything is interdependent and reliant on ach other all the way up and down the food chain He uses the phrase a lawn is a meadow in captivity which is a perfect way of summing up the difference between a natural nvironment left to its own devices and finds a balance and that which is controlled and suppressed and is deficient in so much lifeLewis Stempel s passion for this land his land is apparent all the way through the book If you want to understand just how complex a simple meadow actually is this is well worth reading 45 John Clare found his poems in a field Sometimes I find words There is nothing like working land for growing and reaping lines of prose Lewis Stempel is for growing and reaping lines of prose Lewis Stempel is proper third generation Herefordshire farmer but also a naturalist with a poet s A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, eye His day job might involve shooting rabbits cutting hay and delivering lambs but he still finds the time to notice and appreciate wildlife He knows his field s flowers insects and birds as well as he knows his cows he gets uiet and closenough to the ground to watch a shrew devouring beetlesAfter Robert Macfarlane s Landmarks this is my second favorite nature book read this year It s similar to a couple others I read but works much better For instance it s a rough chronological diary of a year in the meadow but unlike Mark Cocker s Claxton it doesn t keep slavishly to its schedule or read like a bunch of short ntries pieced. Cowslips in spring to the hay cutting of summer and grazing in autumn and includes the biographies of the animals that inhabit the grass and the soil beneath the badger clan the fox family the rabbit warrenthe skylark brood and the curlew pair. ,
A lovely book I think the idea of a micro approach to Nature Concentrating On A concentrating on a field is a really ffective way of revealing through the seasons the different wildlife responses to a changing Cinderella Unmasked (Fairytale Fantasies environment What we learn is just how adaptable nature is despite the genuine fears that we have for the planet in the face of climate change deniers like Trump and his ilk and the morons in the Atlantic Bridge wing of the UK Conservative PartyStempel has written a number of high uality nature books but in mystimation this is the best I shall take away the thought that very corner of our world however humble has its own dynamics and is important in its own right Sometimes we look and do not see the daily dramas played out on just one patch of arth Even hoary old professional conservationists like me need reminding from time to time of the wonders all around us Read this and regain your senses If you want to read a book about a piece of land where the writer is truly in love with that piece of land then this is the book for you So many people will probably come a A lovely twelve month journal any nature lover would appreciate The old ways do not seem so mad in an ancient landscape where I can barely see one The Power Of A Choice electric lightand I can hold in my cupped hand theternal peace of night This book is so beautifully written that I know I will be tracking down his other books An intimate look into an English farmer s life a world I ll never be privy to in real life but now I have xperienced a whole season in a meadow in Herfordshire thanks to Lewis Stempel He peppers his daily observations about the birds insects flowers and vegetation in his field with poetry history little scraps of notes he made while out working and the current situation with farming in England and
*climate change i *change I him sitting down very other day at the nd of the day to jot down his thoughts then before he bounds his notes before a diary becomes a draft for a book to be submitted bolsters it with verything The Case for Paleolibertarianism and Realignment on the Right else the history and the poetry and the research I read itvery night just a few days of his life to bring myself Oh My God, What a Complete Aisling even just for a moment to a beautiful day in the meadow It was a beautifulxperience Beautiful beautiful nature writing and lovely illustrations This is a gorgeous homage to the traditional English meadow I was trying to read this book slowly and follow Lewis Stempel through his year on the Lower Meadow of his home in Herefordshire However I could only stretch it out two months because it s such a pleasure to read Lewis Stempel is a man of the land and a poet at heart He spends so much time walking the night meadow that I half Monsieur Pain expected him to turn into a werewolf by thend of the year I m a romantic at heart I learnt so much about English flora and fauna reading Meadowland It just looks like a regular field It has a hedge around it and it is What really goes on in the long grass Meadowland gives an uniue and intimate account of an English meadow’s life from January to December together with its biography In xuisite prose John Lewis Stempel records the passage of the seasons from. Together Whereas Rob Cowen s Common Ground anthropomorphized animal life Lewis Stempel never forgets he is one in a diversity of speciesJune and July are stand out chapters with some truly magical moments One Midsummer s Eve his three horses and donkey trotted out and started prancing around him in a fairy circle Another time his daughter went missing AND HE FOUND HER FAST ASLEEP IN A PILE he found her fast asleep in a pile placid pigs When his mower broke on a stone he had to cut the hay by hand returning him to a centuries gone model of hard laborAnd all delivered in the most lovely prose Here are a few samplesThe all delivered in the most lovely prose Here are a few samplesThe trapped in the webs of countless money spiders has skeined the ntire field in tiny silken pocket suares gnomes handkerchiefs dropped in the swardI fret schatalogically about the curlews as though it
*is their migratory *their migratory that turn the arth and should they fail to appear we will have ntered some cological Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. end time But they are home home to breedTo stand alone in a field in England and listen to the morning chorus of the birds is to remember why life is preciousA crow rows through the sky Wasps soporifically suck on blackberries A few months ago a GR friend reviewed this book and it sounded like just the sort of thing I d love Sadly when trying to locate a copy I found out it isn t readily available in the US I m still baffled as to why an book isn t available but I also know nothing about copyright and publishing laws and business arrangements When I traveled to the UK a few weeks ago this book and a few others were top on the list of souvenirs to bring home This book was a pure joy to read John Lewis Stempel is a keen observer who has the patience and the passion to see in nature what so many others would miss He has a deep rooted connectedness to the land throughout very season His writing is xuisite and by use of all of his senses he transports his readers to that English meadow in Herefordshire In an age when so many books about the arth are bleak and leave readers with a feeling of despair Lewis Stemple manages to addresses cological concerns but keeps the focus on celebrating the beauty and natural rhythms of his field I dog Glitter Bomb (A Scrapbooking Mystery, eared at least 3 dozen pages and underlined numerous passages so I couldasily find them in the future As a closing thought I will share the following To stand alone in a field in England and listen to the morning chorus of the birds is to remember why life is preciousI will proselytize on behalf of the dawn chorus If you rise at dawn in May you can savour the world before the pandemonium din of the Industrial Revolution and 247 shoppingThere s an Il morto di Maigret evening chorus too and it is bestnjoyed on a day like this when the light is seductive in white veils and there is nough moisture in the dusk air to intensify the floral incense of the spring meadowOh the joy to be alive in England in Meadowland once May is here. Among others Their births lives and deaths are stories that thread through the book from first page to lastIn Meadowland Lewis Stempel does for meadows what Roger Deakin did for woodland and rivers in his bestselling books Wildwood and Waterlo.