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The title should be at least 4 characters long. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Reflections On A Summer Sea 3. This is the funny and touching story of a menagerie of eccentric and talented ecologists who, mainly as a hobby, spent forty summers at Lough Ine, a stunning marine lough in a corner of Ireland, where myths seep from the ground like will o' the wisps and, in one of the most unlikely projects in the history of science, were responsible for the reinvention of marine biology.

Tim Janis:"The summer sea"

Among the stars of the book are the marine creatures that occupy the lake: The creatures' eccentric behaviour is matched only by that of the ecologists themselves, whose antics and interactions with their Irish neighbours are all lovingly described with Norton's keen eye for both the wonderful and the absurd. But for all its humour, the book is also a moving account of two ecologists who collaborated for forty years until their friendship came to a tragic end. The book brings together all the rich flavours of Ireland, the wonders of natural history and the magic of being a marine biologist just for the fun of it.

Paperback , pages. Published August 1st by Arrow first published May 3rd To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Lists with This Book. The recollections of a group of marine biologists working at Lough Ine in Ireland. Although this book was published in , the episodes described go back 40 years, so the equipment used, funding and organisation of this exploratory early work in Natural History seem unbelievably basic and haphazard to a modern reader.

The relationships between the scientists are also sometimes rather fraught. It makes for an entertaining and informative read. Jul 14, Philippa rated it really liked it. Reflections on a Summer Sea is the story of a group of English scientists who spent almost fifty summers carrying out research at a unique marine lake in Ireland.

Reflections on a Summer Sea

The author reminisces about the personalities, the experiments, local eccentrics, and life in rural Cork in the sixties. In a laboratory was set up on the shores of Lough Ine rhymes with wine , a saltwater lake joined to the sea by a narrow channel. In the late thirties research on the lake's ecosystem intensified, with scientists, students and divers working on projects every summer. Trevor Norton arrived as a student in and later became a senior member of the research team.


Over the years Lough Ine became the world's most intensively studied patch of seawater, and in was made a marine nature reserve, the first to be designated in Europe. Norton conveys the wonder of the natural world in a way accessible to the layperson, with an eye for detail, and enthusiasm for his subjects including seaweeds, sponges, starfish and urchins.

Studies were carried out on a shoestring, but surprisingly accurate measurements were produced with rudimentary equipment and a bit of ingenuity. Much more than a natural history, Reflections weaves together local legends, snippets of songs, a dash of politics, and delightful descriptions of everyday life: Many an amusing anecdote had me laughing out loud. The book is enhanced by charming black and white line drawings by Win Norton, the author's wife, who also took part in the research.

A strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie developed over the years and then waned. Jack Kitching and John Ebling were the two key scientists involved, and while their complementary personalities enabled a good partnership for many years, it deteriorated towards the end. I felt uncomfortable reading some of the personal correspondence between them, but part of Norton's even-handed treatment is to reproduce their words verbatim.

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The inclusion of a timeline would have been useful to keep track of events. As times changed, money exerted a greater influence over the conditions of research, and frequent pressure to secure funding took its toll. Jul 11, Melanie rated it really liked it. A soft look back at country Irish ways before the EU really got going. Mar 08, Jodi rated it really liked it.

Reflections On A Summer Sea

A delightful book so far. A poetic work as well as one that teaches and enlightens. John Quirk rated it liked it Aug 19,