Mistletoe Winter by Roy Dennis

4 out of 5 stars

A copy of this was provided free of charge from the publisher in return for an honest review.

This is a companion volume to the earlier book, Cottongrass Summer that was published in 2020 and in this book he takes us through each of the seasons with thoughts and essays on a wide variety of subjects. He has taken

The book begins, as you’d expect with Mistletoe, a plant that Dennis doesn’t see where he lives now, but always comes across when he is in Southern England in the winter. As the leaves fall away in the autumn, the heavy globes are their most visible. They had an attraction to people who used these still green plants in ritual ways, as well as being an important food for mistle thrushes who spread the sticky seeds onto other trees. He writes about a friend who has a barn owl in her shed and the alarm call of the Ptarmigan.

This was written during the first lockdown of 2020 and that world-changing event is reflected in some of the essays in here, he sees more of the comings and goings in his garden than he would have done previously and it gives him the time to track the white-tailed eagles that were released on the Isle of Wight. One of them has even been in Poole Harbour recently. It is not just about the UK though, there is an essay on the Californian condor, Rocky Mountain goats and Pears for bears in Germany.

He is a passionate writer with a series of persuasive arguments for always seeking to improve the way that we care for the natural world. The constant theme that runs through the book, is a warning that what we have now can be so easily lost and when it is gone, it is gone forever. It is not so much a timely book more of an urgent reminder to do something to change. Great stuff.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    That’s exciting about the eagle! I’ve seen one in Scotland, well I was told it was one …

    • Paul

      I have seen them in the far distance in Sicily, but too far away to make a positive id. Even then they were enormous

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