Pettit seems to have had more than his share of after-dark animal encounters, both accidental (a porcupine in the cellar) and deliberate (barn owls attracted by a homemade squeaker). Much of this is simply a reiteration of such incidents along with a few not especially ""amusing stories"" others have told him (about a bear in the rest room at Yellowstone or beavers in a beaver museum's library--""They were possibly the first beavers in history to dine on wood paneling and table legs""). It's as if the subject happened to arise in conversation and examples were piled up just to keep the ball rolling. For the rest, Pettit offers casual hints on ""reading"" tracks, attracting and photographing small mammals, night birdwatching and fishing, etc., with just enough description of the animals and their habits (eel migration, woodcocks' courtship flights) to point you in the right direction. It's certainly untaxing--something to pick up, perhaps, when you can't get to sleep.