Nature's Ways: Lore, Legend, Fact and Fiction |
Trying to understand the ways of the natural world has been a human preoccupation since the earliest times. The knowledge of which animals were helpful and which were dangerous, which plants had the power to heal and soothe and which to harm and kill was of obvious importance, not only to learn, but to remember and pass on. It is therefore hardly surprising that from all corners of the earth, a wealth of stories, signs, symbols, myths and legends about animals and plants have been passed down to us. There are sound principles in some of the traditional advice, wisdom in many of the stories and observations of nature, but there are also highly fanciful superstitions, tall stories and amusing anecdotes. Ruth Binney has collected them all into this entertaining and fascinating volume. Nature's Ways is a fascinating and absorbing miscellany of traditional wisdom, stories, signs and symbols of the natural world. There are intriguing tales of everything from mythical monsters and magical plants to domestic pets and humble weeds, as well as generations of advice, both sound and dubious, from age-old country remedies to predicting the weather through the observation of nature.