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The Nature of Spring


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A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, from the author of the Wainwright Prize-longlisted The Nature of Autumn

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.

REVIEWS OF The Nature of Spring

"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

"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

"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

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The Nature of Spring

About the author

Jim Crumley

Jim Crumley is a passionate advocate for Britain’s landscape and animals, as well as the reintroduction of species such as sea eagles, beavers and wolves. He is a nature writer, journalist and poet with some 30 books to his name.

The Nature of Spring is the third in Jim’s ‘Seasons’ series of books. It was preceded by The Nature of Winter and The Nature of Autumn, which was longlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize 2017 and was for the shortlisted for the Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Bookshop Literary Prize. Jim’s 2014 book, The Eagle’s Way, was shortlisted for a prestigious Saltire Society award, and his Encounters in the Wild series – which sees Jim get up close and personal with Britain’s favourite animals – has found him many new readers. He has also recently written about the return of the beaver to the UK’s wetlands in Nature’s Architect.

Praise for The Nature of Autumn:

“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

“The best nature writer working in Britain today.” Los Angeles Times


Praise for The Nature of Winter:

“This book is all luminous moments, small delights and bright meditations drawn from the northern cold… there is deeply indigenous wisdom here… Crumley invites us to linger a while and witness frosty gifts made vivid by the warmth of his conversation.” Miriam Darlington, BBC Wildlife Magazine

“Connoisseurs of nature and good writing will be enthralled by his first-person wildlife encounters. His accounts…are written with dazzling clarity, lyrical tilt and a story-teller’s skill.” Julie Brominicks, BBC Countryfile Magazine, Book of the Month

“Inviting and informative…Crumley has earned himself the enviable position of our foremost nature commentator…Meditative…bewitching…outspoken…persuasive…a true winter’s tale.” Rosemary Goring, Herald