The Nature of Spring
A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.
Spring is nature’s season of rebirth and rejuvenation. Earth’s northern hemisphere tilts towards the sun, winter yields to intensifying light and warmth, and a wild, elemental beauty transforms the Highland landscape and a repertoire of islands from Colonsay to Lindisfarne.
Jim Crumley chronicles the wonder, tumult and spectacle of that transformation, but he shows too that it is no Wordsworthian idyll that unfolds. Climate chaos brings unwanted drama to the lives of badger and fox, seal and seabird and raptor, pine marten and sand martin. Jim lays bare the impact of global warming and urges us all towards a more daring conservation vision that embraces everything from the mountain treeline to a second spring for the wolf.
"There are books that transport us and Jim Crumley's ode to spring takes us there on the wings of a sea eagle ... Exquisitely observed ... uplifting and disquieting ... Crumley's masterful words take you into the canvas of nature as into the work of a grand master ... The joy, the passion, the complete understanding Jim has for his world is a portal. The world on our doorstep." Scottish Book of the Week, The Courier; "Nature writer and poet Jim Crumley returns with a third volume of close observations [and] charts the arrival of spring, from the February song of a mistle thrush to May's drowsy warmth. Crumley quotes Margiad Evans - `Write in the very now where you find yourself' - and takes her advice to heart." New Statesman; "This thought-inducing paean to nature brings the issues of the natural world to the forefront ... Crumley writes movingly about the season of rebirth and transformation which sees the hibernators awaken and the daffodils rise. A wonderful read." Kirstin Tait, Scottish Field; "A fantastic writer ... exquisite observations of details in the landscape as well as sweeping vistas ... remarkable." Ben Hoare, BBC Countryfile magazine; "Compelling ... Radical ... Crumley writes of the creatures and landscape before him like a James Guthrie or Landseer of print ... He could be Ali Smith's naturalist twin." Rosemary Goring, Scottish Review of Books; "Beautifully written ... thoughtful and thought-provoking ... Jim Crumley does not shy away from the important issues facing the natural world [in] a book you'd like to think could have real influence on the world we live in." Undiscovered Scotland; Praise for Jim Crumley's writing: Wainwright Golden Beer Prize 2017, LONGLISTED; The Richard Jeffries Society & White Horse Bookshop Literary Prize for nature writing, SHORTLISTED; "A delightful meditation." Stephen Moss, Books of the Year, Guardian; "Nature writing is like trying to catch birds with cobwebs. Crumley's just has a higher tensile strength than most." Herald; "Breathtaking...This nature book is a delight...words that freshen and sparkle the everyday world and sprinkle warmth and colour into the heart of it." Miriam Darlington, BBC Wildlife; "Enchanting." Sara Maitland; "A passionate, compelling, very personal work... the honesty of his voice is striking." Scottish Review of Books; "Enthralling and often strident." Observer
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?