Archive for the ‘Butterfly’ Tag


Philips’ Book Reviews


Piotr Naskrecki is very much a man after my own heart; he likes small things.  In this book, The Smaller Majority, he takes you on a journey through the world that lies all around you but not so often explored.  It is a world that is not hidden; it just requires a change in perception and perspective to bring it to the fore.

Most people when they visit a new area or the first time whether it be visiting a country or a previously unfamiliar habitat such as a desert, coral reef or rainforest, they see the big picture.  The cities are new and exciting, the people are exotic and there may be so many strange plants and animals.  Your senses can be overloaded with experience of the unknown.

After a period of time though, if you start to look closer, you will find a myriad of fantastic and amazing forms of life right in front of your eyes, life that we sometimes take for granted and may even consider pests; insects, arachnids and fungi.

Piotr Naskrecki takes us into this small world with the aid of some spell binding photography.  Through his lens we get to view at close quarters so many animals that would normally remain hidden from our sight.  The book is lavishly illustrated with macro photographs of crabs, frogs, beetles, katydids, (he has a special interest in katydids), spiders, ants and butterflies.

The expertly written text provides a compelling insight to the natural history of these animals.  Piotr has a lifelong interest in his subject and that is reflected in the prose.  He is also a scientist but his style is not dry, rather eloquent and entertaining.  He has also been fortunate to pursue his studies and photography all over the world providing a wonderful cross section of small life forms inhabiting rainforests, savannahs and deserts.

There is a small chapter at the end of the book that details equipment and techniques to help you enter the small world for yourself.

All in all, a thoroughly enjoyable book which once you have finished reading it will sit as an attractive coffee table book enticing other readers to enter a world that they not have realized existed.  I would recommend the Small Majority to anyone, familiar or not with its subject matter as a first step into this microcosm.

Philip is a biologist, writer and photographer as well as the onsite naturalist guide at Bosque del Cabo Rainforest lodge on the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.

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