Friday, 21 December 2018
The Nature of Winter by Jim Crumley
This book is a meditation on the nature of winter, taking in detailed observations of the natural world during the coldest time of the year in Scotland, thoughts about how winter is changing as climate change starts to impact our world, thoughts on other human impacts on nature, meditations on rewildling and it's positive impact on the landscape and mediations on 'being a nature writer'. I thought there was rather too much of the last and sometimes the language became too flowery and overwritten for my personal tastes.
On the whole though this is an excellent look at the winter season with some wonderful observations of iconic Scottish wildlife including buzzards, golden eagles, the reintroduced white tailed sea eagle, ravens, otters and dipper:
'....a new and weirdly out of season sound: birdsong at the solstice . Weirdly out of season that is, if you don't know about dippers. There is no season of the year, no intensity of cold, no lash of wind or weight of downpour, no blizzard, no fog nor dazzle of midwinter sun .... non of these things can stifle the male dipper's desire to sing.'
This section about the dipper continued for a few paragraphs and leaped out at me as just the day that I read it I had been talking to someone alongside the Water of Leith about how amazing it is to hear the dipper singing in winter.
This is a good book for anyone interested in the nature of Scotland or in how winter is changing and ultimately offers a profound argument for the need to immediately address climate change and our whole relationship with nature.
The Nature of Winter by Jim Crumley published by Birlinn. Printed and bound in the EU on sustainably sourced paper.