Looking for Eagles

Janet Lembke, Author Lyons Press $19.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-55821-077-6
Great Neck Ponit, on North Carolina's Lower Neuse River, teems with wildlife; it was the locus of Lembke's acclaimed River Time. Accompanied by her dog, Sally-doberman, she returns here on a daily survey of bird species and other forms of life. Watching a pair of ospreys build an oversized nest, Lembke recalls that Pliny identified the osprey as one of six kinds of eagles--to him, it was Ossifraga, bone breaker. An interesting foray into the links between scientific nomenclature, myths and history follows, revealing the natural world as seen by the ancients. By modern standards, they were imprecise; Lembke wonders which swan seduced Leda, which vulture feasted on Prometheus. She traces the woodpecker family name, Picidae, to Picus, a son of Saturn. Lembke discourses on snakes, mallards, spiders and biting insects. Ticks, she notes in this wholly satisfying blend of cultural and natural history, do not figure in myths, folk tales, or literature. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
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