The Nature of Winter

During winter, dark days of wild storms can give way to the perfect, glistening stillness of frost-encrusted winter landscapes – it is the stuff of wonder and beauty, of nature at its utmost.In The Nature of Winter, Jim Crumley ventures into our countryside to experience firsthand the chaos and the quiet solitude of nature's rest period. He bears witness to the lives of remarkable animals such as golden eagles, red deer and even whales as they battle intemperate weather and the turbulence of climate change. In the snow Jim discovers ancient footsteps that lead him to reflect on the journey of his personal nature-writing life – a journey that takes in mountain legends, dear departed friends and an enduring fascination and deep love for nature. Simply, he evokes winter in all its drama, in all its pathos, in all its glory."Connoisseurs of nature and good writing will be enthralled by his first-person wildlife encounters. His...
Views: 292

The Last Wolf

The best nature writer working in Britain today' - Los Angeles Times Book Review In The Last Wolf, Jim Crumley explores the place of the wolf in Scotland - past, present and future - and challenges many of the myths that have been regarded for centuries as biological fact. Bringing to bear a lifetime's immersion in his native landscape and more than twenty years as a professional nature writer, Crumley questions much of the written evidence on the plight of the wolf in light of contemporary knowledge and considers the wolf in today's world, an examination that ranges from Highland Scotland to Devon and from Yellowstone in North America to Norway and Italy, as he pursues a more considered portrait of the animal than the history books have previously offered. Within the narrative, Crumley also examines the extraordinary phenomenon of wolf reintroductions physically transforming the landscapes in which they live that even the very colours of the land change under the influence of...
Views: 66

In the Watershed

For several years, Ryan Schnurr watched media coverage of Lake Erie algae blooms with a growing sense of unease. An Indiana native, he wanted to learn more about role of the Maumee River in the lake's environmental woes: the Maumee is Lake Erie's largest tributary and the center of the largest watershed in the region, spanning more than 6,600 square miles of land.So in the summer of 2016, Schnurr walked and canoed the length of the river from its headwaters in Fort Wayne, Indiana to its mouth in Toledo, Ohio. In The Watershed: A Journey Down the Maumee River is the story of that voyage. As he walks the banks, Schnurr tells us the history of the river, from its formation by glaciers, function in Native American and American history, uses by industry, and role in current economic and environmental issues.Part cultural history, part nature writing, and part narrative, In the Watershed is a lyrical work of non-fiction in the vein of John McPhee and Ian...
Views: 63

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar

A beautifully told, deeply personal growing-up memoir from the BBC presenter about life, death, love and nature.Every minute was magical, every single thing it did was fascinating and everything it didn't do was equally wondrous, and to be sat there, with a Kestrel, a real live Kestrel, my own real live Kestrel on my wrist! I felt like I'd climbed through a hole in heaven's fence.An introverted, unusual young boy, isolated by his obsessions and a loner at school, Chris Packham only felt happy in the fields and woods around his suburban home. But when he stole a young Kestrel from its nest, he was about to embark on a friendship that would teach him what it meant to love, and that would change him forever. In his rich, lyrical and emotionally exposing memoir, Chris brings to life his childhood in the 70s, from his bedroom bursting with fox skulls, birds' eggs and sweaty jam jars, to his feral adventures. But pervading his story is the search for...
Views: 53

Return of the Sea Otter

A science journalist's journey along the Pacific Coast from California to Alaska to track the status, health, habits, personality, and viability of sea otters—the appealing species unique to this coastline that was hunted to near extinction in the 18th and 19th centuries.These adorable, furry marine mammals—often seen floating on their backs holding hands—reveal the health of the coastal ecosystem along the Pacific Ocean. Once hunted for their prized fur during the 1700s and 1800s, these animals nearly went extinct. Only now, nearly a century after hunting ceased, are populations showing stable growth in some places. Sea otters are a keystone species in coastal areas, feeding on sea urchins, clams, crab, and other crustaceans. When they are present, kelp beds are thick and healthy, providing homes for an array of sealife. When otters disappear, sea urchins take over, and the kelp disappears along with all of the creatures that live in the beds. Now, thanks to...
Views: 51

Following the Water

The writer, naturalist, and artist David Carroll illuminates the ecology and life histories the tree frogs, hawks, foxes, and the increasingly rare wood and spotted turtles he has been tracking for decades with the precision and passion that won him a 2006 MacArthur "genius" award.Following theWater is the intensely observed chronicle of Carroll's annual March-to-November wetlands immersion—from the joy of the first turtle sighting in March to the gorgeously described, vibrant trilling of tree frogs ("lichen with eyes") in late May to the ancient sense of love and loss Carroll experiences each autumn when it is time once again to part with open water.Illustrated with the author's fine pen-and-ink drawings, Following theWater is a gorgeous evocation of nature, an utterly unique "admission ticket to a secret corner of the world" (Bill McKibben).
Views: 42

Stranger in the elevator

What can happen, when library worker meets handsome millionaire? Who will win? Passion or shame?
Views: 34

The Hunt for the Golden Mole

Taking as its narrative engine the hunt for an animal that is legendarily rare, Richard Girling writes an engaging and highly informative history of humankind's interest in hunting and collecting – what prompts us to do this? what good might come of our need to catalog all the living things of the natural world?Girling, named Environmental Journalist of the Years 2008 and 2009, has here chronicled – through the hunt for the Somali golden mole – the development of the conservation movement, the importance of diversity in the animal kingdom, including humankind within this realm, as well as a hard look at extinction.The Somali mole of the title, first descibed in print in a text book published in 1964, had as sole evidence of its existence only the fragment of a jaw bone found in an owl pellet, a specimen that seemed to have vanished as Girling began his exploration. Intrigued by the elusiveness of this creature and what the hunt for the facts of its...
Views: 32