Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Trip to the Pond

A Trip to the Pond
written and illustrated by Melita Hofmann/ published 1966 by Doubleday & Company

A wonderful nature book that focuses specifically on things that live in or near the pond. I bought it for $1 off the markdown shelf at a secondhand book shop and still regard it as one of my greatest finds. My tadpole lovin' butt would have been all over this book as a child. My absolute favorite part being the end pages where the author lists various forms of pond life, their average sizes, how to catch them, how to transport them once you catch them, what to put them in, what to add to the thing you put them in, what to feed them, and finally, what behaviors you should look out for while watching them. Example:

Name: Frog or Toad (up to 6 inches)
Catch: Strainer or dip net or by hand.
Carry: Net or cloth bag.
Put Them In: Large wooden box with screen cover.
Add: Must have large pan of water and dry ground too. Can add turtle and snails.
Feed: Small bits of fish and worms.
Watch: Catch insects. Hop, breathe, etc. Shed skin.

The illustrations are old school nature guide and remind you of every natural history museum you've ever loved. This one has an inscription which is particularly idyllic and telling.

January 11, 1969

To Tracy:
To add to your science shelf. We look forward to a time when we can buy a book on turtles written by Tracy Burnett! Lots to study, isn't there?
The Pittmans

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