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Creatures of the Night A Book of Wild Life in Western Britain   By: (1872-1917)

Book cover

First Page:

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT

By the same Author.

IANTO THE FISHERMAN

AND OTHER SKETCHES OF COUNTRY LIFE.

Illustrated with Photogravures. Large Crown 8vo.

The Times. "The quality which perhaps most gives its individuality to the book is distinctive of Celtic genius.... The characters ... are touched with a reality that implies genuine literary skill."

The Standard. "Mr Rees has taken a place which is all his own in the great succession of writers who have made Nature their theme."

The Guardian. "We can remember nothing in recent books on natural history which can compare with the first part of this book ... surprising insight into the life of field, and moor, and river."

The Outlook. "This book we speak in deliberate superlative is the best essay in what may be called natural history biography that we have ever read."

LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET

[Illustration: "THE BROAD RIVER, IN WHICH SHE HAD SPENT HER EARLY LIFE." ( See p. 50.) Frontispiece. ]

[Illustration: Decoration]

CREATURES OF THE NIGHT

A BOOK OF WILD LIFE IN WESTERN BRITAIN

BY ALFRED W. REES

AUTHOR OF "IANTO THE FISHERMAN"

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS

LONDON JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET 1905

TO

MYFANWY AND MORGAN

"All life is seed, dropped in Time's yawning furrow, Which, with slow sprout and shoot, In the revolving world's unfathomed morrow, Will blossom and bear fruit."

MATHILDE BLIND.

PREFACE.

The Editors of The Standard have kindly permitted me to republish the contents of this book, and I tender them my thanks.

The original form of these Studies of animal life has been extensively altered, and, in some instances, the titles have been changed.

I am again greatly indebted to my brother, R. Wilkins Rees. His wide and accurate knowledge has been constantly at my disposal, and in the preparation of these Studies he has given me much indispensable advice and assistance.

Similarity in the habits of some of the animals described has made a slight similarity of treatment unavoidable in certain chapters.

I may also remark that, in unfrequented districts where beasts and birds of prey are not destroyed by gamekeepers, the hare is as much a creature of the night as is the badger or the fox.

ALFRED W. REES.

[Transcriber's Note: Obvious typographical errors have been corrected, and standardized the hyphenations, otherwise the text has been left as the original]

CONTENTS.

THE OTTER.

I.

THE HOLT AMONG THE ALDERS.

PAGE

Late fishing A summer night River voices A master fisher The old mansion Lingering beauty The otters' "oven" Observant youngsters Careful motherhood The meadow playground Falling leaves A swollen river Dabchick's oar like wings Mysterious proceedings Migrating salmon Hoar fringed river banks An adventure with a sheep dog Slip shod builders Signs of spring A change of diet Fattening trout The capture of a "kelt" "The otter's bite" Lone wanderings. 1 23

II.

THE POOL BENEATH THE FARMSTEAD.

A song of autumn The salmon pool Angling difficulties Bullying a sportive fish An absent minded fisherman At dawn and nightfall A deserted home Practical joking A moorhen's fate Playfulness of youth The torrent below the fall The garden ponds Feasting on frogs A watcher of the night Hounds and hunters Lutra's discretion The spell of fear 24 40

III.

THE GORGE OF ALLTYCAFN.

The Hunt again Fury of despair A "strong place" The terrier's discomfiture Lutra's widowhood Summer drought Life at the estuary Returning to the river Scarce provender A rare and unexpected sight The blacksmith's baited trap The Rock of Gwion Peace 41 50

THE WATER VOLE... Continue reading book >>




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