I cannot explain the overwhelming joy I felt when receiving our copy of this through the post - Brigit is a long time friend who has known she wanted to write a book for all the years I've known her and I know that to finally have completed and published it will have created untold joy and excitement after one of the toughest times anyone can go through. Anyone who has had the privilege of hearing Brigit talk about bees will know of her infectious enthusiasm for her subjects and for the whole of the natural world and it is this voice that keeps you turning the pages getting more and more immersed in the world being conjured from the pages. Be warned though this immersion includes one of the most poignant chapters I have ever read - do not approach "The upside-down bird" without a hanky to hand, it is both a beautifully gentle and heart-rendingly sad recounting of the love for and loss of a parent that left me with tears streaming down my face but so very glad Brigit found the courage to leave it in the book.
Recounting her explorations of the natural world without pretension Brigit enables you to learn things without being preached at or feeling like you are somehow lacking. As a witness Brigit highlights the dangers of disconnection, of pesticides, of viewing nature as a purely human-centric economic resource and provides plenty of references to organisations, resources and papers for those who wish to pursue the research and follow the science as well as the emotion. As Brigit rediscovers her connection to the natural world you will find stories of close encounters with Gannets, Curlew and Corncrakes as well as elusive Moss Carder Bees and Great Yellow Bumblebees in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Further south you'll meet the delightfully named Hairy-footed Flower Bees and the elusive and artisanal Potter Wasps and join in close encounters with Hawthorn hedgerows, dandelions and a growing connection and re-connection with place and self that has left me feeling so very proud of my friend and so very happy to recommend "Dancing with bees" as an uplifting book of discovery for anyone who already loves nature or feels as if they could with just a little bit of help....
|Ivy in the hedgerow - such a valuable plant for so many critters|
Dancing with bees - a journey back to nature by Brigit Strawbridge Howard is published by Chelsea Green Publishers. ISBN 978-1-60358-848-5