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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

"The Beauties of Nature"

I've been leafing through an old book, "The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live In" by The Right Hon. Lord Avebury (1st ed. 1892; Macmillan and Co, 1904).

In the introduction (Chapter 1), the author writes:

"The greatest traveller cannot hope even in a long life to visit more than a very small part of our earth, and even of that which is under our very eyes how little we see! What we do see depends mainly on what we look for...In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the coloring, sportsmen the cover for game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not at all follow that we should see them."

He refers to a number of writers who have described the scenery of England and foreign scenery, of  'countries across the ocean', including Professor Colvin, who 'speaks with special admiration of Greek scenery':

"The air has not only a new transparency so that you can see farther into it than elsewhere, but a new quality, like some crystal of an unknown water, so that to see into it is a greater glory".

We should not complain, says Lord Avebury, especially about the south of England, "our winters are mild, and every month has its own charm and beauty:

In January we have the lengthening days.
In February we have the first butterfly.
In March we have the opening buds.
In April we have the young leaves and spring flowers.
In May we have the song of birds.
In June we have the sweet new-mown hay.
In July we have the summer flowers.
In August we have the golden grain.
In September we have the fruit.
In October we have the autumn tints.
In November we have the hoar frost on the trees and the pure snow.
In December we have, last not least, the holidays of Christmas, and the bright fireside".

That sums it up quite well, even in a double-dip recession!
Nature is not in deficit.

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