"If you have been still enough for long enough, your eyes will have attuned and begun to read the sea-surge fluently, so you recognize the blunt curve and flourished tail of a diving otter. Home your eyes in on that portion of the sea, permit nothing else to move, and you will see the otter eel-catching, resurfacing."
It is a special privilege and a richly rewarding experience to observe a wild animal hunting, interacting with its young or its mate, exploring its habitat, or escaping a predator.
To watch wildlife, it's essential not only to learn an animal's ways, the times and places you may find it, but also to look inward: to station yourself, focus, and wait. The experience depends on your stillness, silence, and full attention, watching and listening with minimal movement and if possible staying downwind so that your presence is not sensed.
With decades of close observation of wild animals and birds, Jim Crumley has found himself up close and personal with many of our most elusive creatures, studying their movements, noting details, and offering intimate insights into their extraordinary lives. Here, he draws us into his magical world, showing how we can learn to watch wildlife well, and what doing so can mean for our ability to care for it, and care for ourselves.
Jim Crumley has written forty books, mostly on the wildlife and wild landscape of his native Scotland, the impact of human activity on the natural world, species reintroduction, and climate change. His work has been shortlisted for prestigious awards such as the Wainwright Prize and the Saltire Society Literary Awards. Jim is a widely published journalist and has a monthly column in The Scots Magazine, as well as being a poet and occasional broadcaster on both radio and television.
"Scotland's foremost living nature writer."
– The Courier, Scotland
"The pre-eminent Scottish nature writer."
"Delightful [...] The lyrical prose elevates Crumley's detailed descriptions of the natural world he encounters [...] Readers will be transported by this immersive outing."
– Publishers Weekly
"Jim Crumley [...] has been our predominant writer on the natural world [...] [He] is a naturalist with a great gift for observation [...] His work engages us in the best ways [...] We are drawn alongside him, to appreciate what he appreciates."
– Kathleen Jamie, Scotland's national poet
"Virtuoso writing [...] Crumley's books come from an intelligence drawn from place."
– BBC Countryfile