The Best of BB

I recently found this unread book in my bookcase.

BB was the nom de plume of Dennis Watkins-Pitchford.

He lived in the era when a naturalist felt no qualms about hunting and fishing.

By rights I should have struggled with this book as he describes an attempt to shoot the first Pine Marten he’d ever seen.

Then again if I’d been born fifty years earlier I too would have been an egg collector, and broken all the logical rules for environmental safeguarding.

Read in the context of the ‘tween and after war” years this book is brilliant.

There’s a fabulous passage where the author does battle with a huge carp in Lake Balaton.

So good it made me think I might try fishing!

I particularly identified with one passage where the quest for a close up encounter with deer nearly ends in disaster.

A rapidly descending mist turning a one hour walk into a 7 hour quest to get back to his caravan.

By the end of the book BB is doing his bit to preserve Purple Emperor butterflies.

Yes, he redeems himself.

A great window on life in the UK shortly before I was born.

Well worth reading.

4 and half stars!

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