A Buzz in the Meadow

A Buzz in the Meadow

Book - 2014
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Another fascinating book by the author of A Sting in the Tale.
      A Sting in the Tale , Dave Goulson's account of a lifetime studying bumblebees, was one of the most gratifying success stories of 2013. Brilliantly reviewed, it was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for the best non-fiction book of the year.
      In A Buzz in the Meadow Goulson tells the story of how in 2003 he bought a derelict farm in the heart of rural France, together with 33 acres of surrounding meadow. He wanted to create a place for his beloved bumblebees to thrive. But other creatures live there too, a myriad insects of every kind, many of them ones that Goulson has studied before in his career as a biologist. You will learn about how a deathwatch beetle finds its mate, about the importance of houseflies, why butterflies have spots on their wings, about dragonfly sex, bed-bugs and wasps. As in A Sting in the Tale , Goulson is brilliant, and very funny, at showing how scientists actually conduct experiments.
      The book is also a wake-up call, urging us to cherish and protect life on earth in all its forms. Goulson has that rare ability to persuade you to go out into your garden or local park and get down on your hands and knees and look . The undiscovered glory that is life in all its forms on planet Earth is there to be discovered. And if we learn to value what we have, perhaps we will find a way to keep it.
Publisher: London : Jonathan Cape, 2014.
ISBN: 9780224101745
Branch Call Number: 638.1092 GOULS
Characteristics: xi, 266 pages ; 23 cm.


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Apr 15, 2020

"A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm" by Dave Goulson is a memoir of Goulson's ten years ownership of a small farm in France. Goulson is a professor of biology at the University of Sussex who specializes in insects. Over the decade, Goulson recounts mostly the insects (especially the butterflies and bees), the flowers and plants, and the miles he runs during his frequent visits to his 33-acre meadow: that is the first part of the book and the majority of the pages. The latter sections are both more scientific and taker a grander look at ecology as Goulson explains such things as neonicotinoids and the downfall of Easter Island.

Feb 09, 2019

Very readable, yet full of interesting facts about the smaller animals on Earth. Goulson talks about the history of life on earth, including a mention of moas. Also, about his life as a scientist and some experiments he was involved in. His studies on the effect of pesticides on bees are downright scary. And he also talks about his old house and meadow in France.

Aug 06, 2018

An unassuming little book about bees, bugs and butterflies like the illustration on the cover: June bugs; butterflies; and dragonflies.But definitely as it turns out with a lot of substance. What starts out as a little book that takes us for a undemanding walk through a languorously warm ramble through a deliciously delightful meadow near a ramshackle old house somewhere in south central France soon turns into much more than that. In language that any layperson can understand, author Goulson takes of on a walk through biology, etymology and ecology. He gives us the medicine without the bitter taste and with lots of sugar. He doesn't preach: he tells, he explains. He is the uncle, the friend who tells us the stories of what his little farm have taught him. A thought-provoking book well worth reading.

May 22, 2018

Good writing. Combination of memoir and science lessons.

Feb 13, 2017

Loved it. Afterwards I was outside sitting amongst my flowers watching life wide-eyed. Both Goulson's books were such a joy to read, with humour, facts, experiences and enthusiasm, but also distressing at times.

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