Books for a Wild Crossroad

This crossroad in my life is an opportunity to change direction more in accordance with my values, interests and skill set. So, fortified by online research with a list of recommended reading from Isabella Tree and armed with my trusty library card, visited my local branch where they only stock one of the titles, and that was out on loan. But they had others, and I returned with an ambitious armload on my chosen subject.

This is the list of books I couldn’t get today with an interesting interview with Isabella Tree.


The book I opened first is 23 spells to ‘Rewild Yourself’. Chapter 1 is about a magic summoning tree and what it summons is butterflies. But the magic is only complete when you buy the lottery ticket and meet the tree halfway by actually looking at the butterfly AND wonder ‘what’s that one?’

Well, with it being November, my magic tree looks like this, with not a butterfly in sight. But by the wonder of modern tech and armed with another list thoughtfully provided by the author, it is possible to prepare in advance of the next arrivals.

The magic tree is Buddliea, this specimen is Indigo and the blooms on this variety are so dark they are almost black. Is it normal that it has new growth and a flower bud in November? The book says it is invasive; my mum says it reminds her of bomb sites in London after WWII and I don’t relish the fragrance. But none of that bother the 5 frequent flyers and the special 6th.

All butterfly pics and info, with more at

Small White: Andrew Dejardin

Large White: Steve Maskell

These two look very similar to me but the clue is in the name. Butterfly Conservation says that the small is 48mm with the large being 63 – 70mm. And I can confirm that the catepillars of the large do love kavolo nero kale as they stripped mine to the ribs but leaving them in the ground, the kale carried on regardless and resprouted to my amazement.

Small Tortoiseshell: Iain Leach

Peacock: Iain Leach

Red Admiral: Adam Gor

Painted Lady: Peter Eeles

Topic source book:

‘Rewild Yourself: 23 spellbinding ways to make nature more visible’

Simon Barnes
ISBN 978-1-4711-7540-4

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