The Life of the Fields

The Life of the Fields

by Richard Jefferies

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Overview

Green rushes, long and thick, standing up above the edge of the ditch, told the hour of the year as distinctly as the shadow on the dial the hour of the day. Green and thick and sappy to the touch, they felt like summer, soft and elastic, as if full of life, mere rushes though they were. On the fingers they left a green scent; rushes have a separate scent of green, so, too, have ferns, very different to that of grass or leaves. Rising from brown sheaths, the tall stems enlarged a little in the middle, like classical columns, and heavy with their sap and freshness, leaned against the hawthorn sprays. From the earth they had drawn its moisture, and made the ditch dry; some of the sweetness of the air had entered into their fibres, and the rushes-the common rushes-were full of beautiful summer. The white pollen of early grasses growing on the edge was dusted from them each time the hawthorn boughs were shaken by a thrush. These lower sprays came down in among the grass, and leaves and grass-blades touched. Smooth round stems of angelica, big as a gun-barrel, hollow and strong, stood on the slope of the mound, their tiers of well-balanced branches rising like those of a tree. Such a sturdy growth pushed back the ranks of hedge parsley in full white flower, which blocked every avenue and winding bird's-path of the bank. But the "gix," or wild parsnip, reached already high above both, and would rear its fluted stalk, joint on joint, till it could face a man. Trees they were to the lesser birds, not even bending if perched on; but though so stout, the birds did not place their nests on or against them. Something in the odour of these umbelliferous plants, perhaps, is not quite liked; if brushed or bruised they give out a bitter greenish scent. Under their cover, well shaded and hidden, birds build, but not against or on the stems, though they will affix their nests to much less certain supports. With the grasses that overhung the edge, with the rushes in the ditch itself,

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781647995928
Publisher: Bibliotech Press
Publication date: 06/24/2020
Pages: 162
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

About the Author

John Richard Jefferies (6 November 1848 - 14 August 1887) was an English nature writer, noted for his depiction of English rural life in essays, books of natural history, and novels. His childhood on a small Wiltshire farm had a great influence on him and provides the background to all his major works of fiction.Jefferies's corpus of writings includes a diversity of genres and topics, including Bevis (1882), a classic children's book, and After London (1885), an early work of science fiction. For much of his adult life, he suffered from tuberculosis, and his struggles with the illness and with poverty also play a role in his writing. Jefferies valued and cultivated an intensity of feeling in his experience of the world around him, a cultivation that he describes in detail in The Story of My Heart (1883). This work, an introspective depiction of his thoughts and feelings on the world, gained him the reputation of a nature mystic at the time.

Table of Contents

1. The field-play; 2. Bits of oak bark; 3. The pageant of summer; 4. Meadow thoughts; 5. Clematis lane; 6. Nature near Brighton; 7. Sea, sky and down; 8. January in the Sussex woods; 9. By the Exe; 10. The water-colley; 11. Notes on landscape painting; 12. Village miners; 13. Mind under water; 14. Sport and science; 15. Nature and the gamekeeper; 16. The sacrifice to trout; 17. The hovering of the kestrel; 18. Birds climbing the air; 19. Country literature; 20. Sunlight in a London square; 21. Venice in the east end; 22. The pigeons at the British Museum; 23. The plainest city in Europe.

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