I enjoyed H is for Hawk, and I’m a sucker for history of science and natural history. So Vesper Flights seemed natural to pick up, I’m so glad I did.
A collection of essays, the format works suits the author’s style. Different snippets of natural history are woven with biography in an elegant style. I’d like to find more collections like this. The book gives a rich picture of a close by natural world, as I walk around scenes keep jumping out at me. I’ve been annoying those on walks with me by describing sections as we meet their subject matter.
A clear blue day? The sky is a primary habitat, with it’s own pelagic wildlife. Nesting birds? The class system dictates who and how nature can be enjoyed. Dead animal? We’re sentimental to, longing for, outraged by animals. It says more about us than them.
Natural history gave me an interest and curiosity for far flung places. Some of the essays follow that tradition here, but I’m surprised to find my favorites are closer to home. During a pandemic when my access to the world has shrunk, I’m finding new excitement in nearby natural history. It feels like a gift to have reasons to look out my own window, or over nearby fields and find fascination.