What we leave behind by Stanislaw Łubieński

What we leave behind by Stanislaw Łubieński

Polish Nature Writing

Original tile – Książka o śmieciach

Translator – Zosia Krasodomska-Jones

Source – review copy

As many of you know the last twelve months I have featured a lot more nature writing on the blog so when I was sent a book in translation. that was a nature book it was great to combine to the two genres I really love books in translation and Nature writing. Stanislaw has written a number of books. He contributes regularly to paper in Polish papers and magazines this is his first book to be translated into English. He won the NIKE reader prize for one of his earlier books. The birds they sing. It says on his bio he grew up watching birds with his Soviet binoculars (reminds me of the early days I used bird watch a lot with my grandad’s old military binoculars).

Let’s start with a clarification to avoid any misunderstandings: hunting ducks has no practical justification – it’s purely for sport. A display of dexterity, like shooting live clay pigeons.

But what have the ducks done to deserve to die? Pond owners sometimes complain that they eat fish food. They certainly do. According to studies from the 1980s, they eat between 2 and 7,5 per cent of distributed feed. That’s not very much.

Scientists say that the presence of many bird species at ponds brings advantages that outweigh the drawbacks. Ducks, coots, grebes and even herons prevent the surface water from becoming overgrown, they eat the larvae of predacious insects that feed on spawn and fry, and they clear sick or dead fish from the surfaces Why do we kill ducks, then? Simple: it’s tradition.

The question about the value of Duck hunting is there any these Days !!

The book has the subtle A birdwatcher’s dispatches from the taste catastrophe. The book is formed of eight chapters a number of which take waste he had found. As you know I love correlations to my own life as a reader the journey isn’t just that of escape but sometimes reminds inklings of one’s own world and experiences. The first chapter had a collection of shotgun cartridges just left in the woods he speaks about the growing anti-hunting movements around Europe the ducks in the pond. reminded me of seeing shells often in the area I walked around Northumberland when I lived there many years ago with my dog. What Stanislaw does is mix the waste we see and the world he observes it just shows you how near we are to losing it all at times. The third chapter mentioned Gannets which as I had this some been to North Berwick home to one of the biggest Gannet colonies. He talks about the discovery of huge bands of waste drifting in the oceans discovered by sailors I remember how a container of Rubber ducks scattered in the sea. It had shown how far rubbish lost in the oceans can drift. But the worrying thing he talks about is microplastics are now getting into our food chain and the effects of that are relatively unknown long term. A book that sets you thinking and being watchful about your own impact on the world around you.

It’s more than twenty years since the sailor Charles J. Moore discovered a huge rubbish dump floating in the ocean between Hawaii and California. A mass of plastic packaging, bottles, lids and countless tons of unidentified waste. The area was named the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and its growth has been monitored apprehensively ever since. New debris accumulates rapidly, carried there on the North Equatorial Current.

The huge rubbish dump was found drifting in the oceans.

It is fair to say I loved this it was inspiring and also an insightful book and also sounds a warning shot of how waste is everywhere even in some of the most remote places he visits he is shocked to see waste there. But each piece of waste in itself is a story of where it came from. Then how it could have ended up there. Even how discarded waste at times has changed nature itself over time. The concept of the book is very entertaining and also hits topping home it combines nature but also the great environmental questions facing the world. Do you have a favourite nature book that combines the natural world but also alongside the current environmental situation? It shows you how much we have to go to sustainable resources and move away from Plastic which is happening but it needs to quicken. As one of the first books to match my two reading styles books in translation and Nature writing this was a great book and shows we should try and get more nature writing from around the world. I will be trying to get some more books from around the world. That deal with nature when I see them around.

Winstons score – A this is an insightful book into the current situation of plastic waste and its effect the natural world.

 

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: That was the month that was November 22 | Winstonsdad's Blog

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