Although Mr. Kirkland seems to have enriched his knowledge of plant and animal behavior in his tremulous vigil by a pond, field observation for him seems a high risk occupation. He was pierced by a larva of a dytescus beetle, fanged by a five foot snake, penetrated by occasionally pregnant mosquitoes. Yet instead of swatting, the author spins little webs of glutinous sentiments: ""Would that I had the occult power to gaze into their crystal depths and foretell what manner of creature was being created there. . . "" he murmurs about some oozy mass of eggs. Would that he had hopped it to a reputable insect guide and told us on the spot. ""On what loom was the fabric of those gossamer wings woven?"" hums he on the subject of dragonflies. Within what pods of sweetpea poesy did Mr. Kirkland's ruminations germinate? Unfortunately the hard information, and some respectable observation here cannot emerge through the casing of sentimentality.