Bees, butterflies, and being a better human being

A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm - Dave Goulson

A Buzz in the Meadow: The Natural History of a French Farm was a logical choice. (Its predecessor, A Sting in the Tale, which focused on bees exclusively has now been added to the list.) This book focused on Goulson's quest to recreate a meadow with biodiversity of fauna and flora on a plot of land (used to harvest cereal before his purchase) he bought in France. Not only was he hoping to play his part in conservation by starting this project but he was discouraged by the limited resources of his university for conducting wildlife experiments over extended periods of time and hoped this would remedy that problem. He has gone to great lengths to learn as much as he can about the creatures and plants that inhabit his small paradise. Each chapter begins with a small journal excerpt  from the summer months when he and his family live on the property. (These are typically humorous or wistful in turns.) The book was divided into parts which covered his cultivation of the meadow, different plant and animal species and their behavior, his work with bees which was covered in his first book extensively, and ecological conservation. It wasn't written in dry, academic jargon so the layperson should feel comfortable enough to give this book a shot. If you're curious about the mysteries of the natural world or want to dip your toe into conservation/environmental sciences  then I definitely recommend this book to you. (Also, I think we should all read A Sting in the Tale together.)