England in infra-red: the beauty of the country at night

John Lewis-Stempel is nearly as prolific as the natural world about which he writes so well. His voice is distinctive – that of a traditional agriculturist of lyrical articulacy, an observant ecologist who finds mythopoeic magic in everyday animals, who honours his Herefordshire origins but addresses all England. Cattle in a frosty field are transfigured into witnesses of the Nativity As with his monographs on meadows and ponds, Nightwalking looks at under-appreciated aspects of the rural scene – this time, the most enigmatic of all. Like Robert Frost, poets often aspire to be ‘acquainted with the night’, and many are cited here. But even lifelong country dwellers scarcely know the