Wild Life in a Southern County

Front Cover
Roberts Brothers, 1889 - Natural history - 344 pages

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 11 - The joy in life of these animals — indeed, of almost all animals and birds in freedom — is very great. You may see it in every motion : in the lissom bound of the hare, the playful leap of the rabbit, the song that the lark and the finch must sing ; the soft, loving coo of the dove in the hawthorn ; the blackbird ruffling out her feathers on a rail.
Page 3 - The most commanding down is crowned with the grassy mould and trenches of an ancient earthwork, from whence there is a noble view of hill and plain. The inner slope of the green fosse is inclined at an angle pleasant to recline on, with the head just below the edge, in the summer sunshine. A faint sound as of a sea heard in a...
Page ix - If we go a few hours' journey only, and then step just beyond the highway... and glance into the hedgerow, the copse, or stream, there are nature's children as unrestrained in their wild, free life as they were in the veritable backwoods of primitive England. So, too, in some degree with the tillers of the soil: old manners and customs linger, and there seems an echo of the past in the breadth of their pronunciation.19 Old manners and customs linger: that was the secret of what appealed to writers...
Page 12 - ... the swallow floats above, then slants downwards with a rapid swoop, and with the impetus of the motion rises easily. Therefore it is that this skull here, lying so light in the palm of the hand, with the bright sunshine falling on it, and a shadowy darkness in the vacant orbits of the eyes, fills us with sadness. ' As leaves on leaves, so men on men decay ; ' how much more so with these creatures whose generations are so short.
Page 121 - ... off, and the chaps be all idling about and can't do no work : a pretty penny for wages and not a job done. Them summer ricks be all rotten at bottom. The ploughing-engine be stuck fast up to the axle, the land be so soft and squishey. Us never gets no good old frosts now, like they used to have. Drot these here frosty mornings ! a-cutting up everything. There'll be another rate out soon, a' reckon. Us had better give up this here trade, neighbour ! ' And so on for a thousand and one grumbles,...
Page 247 - I got onder the oak tree, and there on a bough was a redwing singing with all his might. It should be remarked that neither redwing nor fieldfare sings during the winter ; they of course have their ' call ' and cry of alarm, but by no stretch of courtesy could it be called a song. But this redwing was singing — sweet and very loud, far louder than the old familiar notes of the thrush.
Page 11 - Watch the birds in the spring ; the pairs dance from bough to bough, and know not how to express their wild happiness. The hare rejoices in the swiftness of his limbs : his nostrils sniff the air, his strong sinews spurn the earth ; like an arrow from a bow he shoots up the steep hill that we must clamber slowly, halting half-way to breathe. On outspread wings the swallow floats above, then slants downwards with a rapid swoop, and with the impetus of the motion rises easily.
Page 184 - Here and there upon the bank wild gooseberry and currant bushes may be found, planted by birds carrying off ripe fruit from the garden. A wild gooseberry may sometimes be seen growing out of the decayed ' touchwood ' on the top of a hollow withy-pollard.
Page 47 - Sometimes in the evening, later on, when the wheat is nearly ripe, such a shepherd lad will sit under the trees there ; and as you pass along the track comes the mellow note of his wooden whistle, from which poor instrument he draws a sweet sound. There is no tune — no recognizable melody : he plays from his heart and to himself. In a room doubtless it would seem harsh and discordant ; but there, the player unseen, his simple notes harmonize with the open plain, the looming hills, the ruddy sunset,...

Bibliographic information