The natural world is full of mysteries, whether the masses of twigs that look like abandoned nests, fuzzy red balls on roses, stranded ponds on hilltops, or even the shaded ways we walk along.
One of Britain's best-known naturalists, John Wright here introduces us to the natural (and unnatural) mysteries of the countryside, giving us the tools to identify Witch's Broom, Robin's Pincushion, Dew ponds and Hollow Ways, and also their histories, how they come to be, and where to find them. From the enormous to the truly tiny he illuminates the oddities that pepper our countryside and the pleasure of spotting and understanding them.
Beautifully illustrated, practical and entertaining, this is for anyone who has wondered what is that? or simply longs to get outside again.
John Wright is a naturalist and one of Great Britain's leading experts on fungi. His most recent book, The Naming of the Shrew: A Curious History of Latin Names was published by Bloomsbury in 2014. His publications include books on how to forage in hedgerows and seashores, on the delights and perils of gathering fungi and mushrooms, and how to make your own booze, all published in the popular River Cottage Handbook series.
"He writes so engagingly [...] [This book] is a treasure. It is beautifully produced, designed and illustrated."
– John Carey, The Sunday Times
"John Wright writes as though he's talking directly to you, a good friend in the same room. His harvest of fascinating information is worn lightly, with funny, whimsical observations [...] this wonderful book should be well-thumbed by anyone who is interested in the natural world."
– BBC Countryfile
"A hugely useful, well-illustrated and often funny book"
– The Times