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Nature's Child

John Lister-Kaye

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Prose: non-fiction, Natural history

A wonderfully lyrical look, through the eyes of John Lister-Kaye and his young daughter, at the workings of nature - from jackdaws in Scotland, to fossils in Lyme Regis, to scorpions in Botswana.

As I write Hermione's twelfth year is drawing to a close. The years of innocence are waning. But we have had the good fortune to live through a period when a child's mind is wide open and as absorbent as a sponge. Blessed years of exploration and discovery, fat and full of the natural world, which surrounds her here ... the mountains and forests and ospreys, eagles, otters and pine martens of a beautiful land.'
NATURE'S CHILD is John Lister-Kaye's account of bringing up his daughter to appreciate the nature around her so beloved to himself. It is also a moving meditation on that world, and on their relationship, as he shows her how caterpillars metamorphose into moths; how beavers build dams in Norway; how half a million sea birds migrate to Shetland once a year to breed; how white rhinos behave in the wilds of Swaziland; how baby polar bears are raised on an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. As John puts it: 'Life is a collection of fragments of time charged with deeply personal sensation and meaning ... we had watched polar bears for a few minutes, but the recollection of those images are locked in for life. What is love if not time given in joy and delight

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John Lister-Kaye

Sir John Liste-Kaye is one of Scotland's best-known naturalists and conservationists. He has lectured on wildlife and the environment on three continents and served prominently in the RSPB, the Nature Conservancy Council, Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Wildlife Trust. He lives at Aigas with his wife and family.

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