Fetter strong with madness in a silken thread,
Charm ache with air and agony with words
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE 1598/9
The art-house milieu of Cliff J Sidnell – links and other inspirations
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VOICES TO THE CLOUDS, is more than merely a study with a fifteen year compass but a collection of gathered nature notes set in context with the writings of arguably England’s greatest naturalists Gilbert White, John Clare and Richard Jefferies and others. The book is divided into 5 year sections and within each is a monthly narrative with climate tables, first butterfly sighting, birds and butterflies by month, top three daily birds, temperature and pressure summary, frost and heat sequences and more. The final section assembles all the data from the previous three sections and to conclude this collective nature journal there is a fulsome index. VOICES TO THE CLOUDS may best be described as another slice of the natural world that has been extrapolated from the toilsome drudgery of amassing observations for “experience proves that the longer a single locality is studied the more is found in it“. Richard Jefferies 1885
After a journey lasting fifteen years amassing observations day after day and a further year extrapolating and compiling the data into a coherent whole VOICES TO THE CLOUDS The Collective Nature Journal is a worthy result of these endeavours. As a work of reference the book should prove invaluable to devotees of birds, butterflies and climate and, indeed for those of an inquiring disposition into all the natural world has to offer.
The book contains birds by month, frost and heat sequences, first butterfly sightings, climate tables and more, with an engaging narrative ably supported by contextual notes from revered naturalists of the past,
together with a comprehensive index. Perhaps VOICES TO THE CLOUDS Birds Butterflies Climate best strength lies in the presentation of a wealth of data gathered from a fifteen year compass, nevertheless the book remains accessible to all, for scientific study to every interested person that has an affinity with English nature.
THE CUCKOO COMES IN APRIL available on Kindle and in Print
Having kept nature diaries since 1993 it readily became apparent that a large slice from these notes, particularly from notes recorded in the same location, would prove interesting reading for anyone who has more than a passing interest in birds and butterflies. The timespan for The Cuckoo Comes In April is fifteen years but to make the diaries more palatable the monthly narrative has been illuminated with contextual notes from England’s illustrious naturalists, such as Gilbert White, John Clare, Richard Jefferies and others. The Cuckoo Comes In April includes summaries of birds and butterflies by month, the vagaries in the English weather including the average daily temperature, frost and heat sequences, together with date specific information concerning the first and last butterfly sightings of each year. Whilst the period selected may be arbitrary the fact that one location has been studied for fifteen years demonstrates the changes, some subtle and some otherwise, and provides ample data for scientific comparison. More importantly, however, this compilation of nature notes shows that anyone who can make and keep notes, will profit enormously from the enjoyment of being outdoors and to significantly improve their ability to identify birds by song, by flight, by habitat and time of year purely by their own observation.