Hyland House, 2002. 320 pages, Small quarto, dustwrapper, colour plates.
Joan Semmens tells of the changing seasons as seen in a small area of bushland.
At its most convincing level, this book shows in awesome detail just what it is that we stand to lose when we fail to vigorously protect and conserve even relatively small areas of the little natural landscape that remains of Australia’s once-vast bush and woodlands. At another level, it represents the author’s passion and dedication to the environment in general — and her abiding affection for this particular piece of it. She spent over 15 years of her life studying the plants and creatures in this scrap of remnant vegetation and illustrated them with detailed drawings and enchanting, delicate watercolours. At its most modest level, this beautiful book is a month-by-month record of the yearly cycle of interdependent plant and animal life found in a tiny, 45-hectare woodland nature reserve in north-eastern Victoria, presenting an intricate picture of its complex and delicate biodiversity.