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Birds and Bees, Sharp Eyes and Other Papers

John Burroughs

Book Overview: 

Probably no other American writer has a greater sympathy with, and a keener enjoyment of, country life in all its phases—farming, camping, fishing, walking—than has John Burroughs. His books are redolent of the soil, and have such "freshness and primal sweetness," that we need not be told that the pleasure he gets from his walks and excursions is by no means over when he steps inside his doors again. As he tells us on more than one occasion, he finds he can get much more out of his outdoor experiences by thinking them over, and writing them out afterwards. These essays are delightful stories about birds, bees, foxes, hounds, fruit (the apple), trees, squirrles and nature in general written by a man who loves watching them and writing about them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ooding mother-bird with the male perched but a yard away in full song, do not copy from nature. The thrasher's nest I found thirty or forty rods from the point where the male was wont to indulge in his brilliant recitative. It was in an open field under a low ground-juniper. My dog disturbed the sitting bird as I was passing near. The nest could be seen only by lifting up and parting away the branches. All the arts of concealment had been carefully studied. It was the last place you would think of looking, and, if you did look, nothing was visible but the dense green circle of the low-spreading juniper. When you approached, the bird would keep her place till you had begun to stir the branches, when she would start out, and, just skimming the ground, make a bright brown line to the near fence and bushes. I confidently expected that this nest would escape molestation, but it did not. Its discovery by myself and dog probably opened the door for ill luck, as one day, not long. . . Read More