Jim Crumbley & Stephen Moss
All Senter, in conversation with Scottish wildlife author Jim Crumley and Bafta award winner (Springwatch 2011) Stephen Moss on the launch of Crumley’s new book The Nature of Autumn . Describing the power of Autumn Crumley states in one chapter: ‘And the first day of autumn is the beginning of everything, the first stirrings of rebirth. The forest fall (it is better named in America than here) thickens the land with limitless tons of bits and pieces of trees. The earth is hungry for these, for they break down into food: all spring, all summer, it has been thrusting life upwards and outwards, and by the last day of summer it is tired. Autumn is the earth’s reviver and replenisher, the first day of autumn is the new beginning of everything and the last day of autumn is the beginning of next spring. Autumn is the indispensable fulcrum of nature’s year.’ Autumn it seems is the perfect fusion of form and function but , ‘nature is in big trouble.’ When Jim is asked why Autumn is his favourite season by Al Senter he simply and eloquently replied, ‘it’s nature’s state of grace.’
Having spent the entire autumn last year from as north as Harris to as south as Wigton this child of autumn gathered the necessary content of his book which is his widest interpretation of his title so far. Expect thoughts on his first sighting of a golden eagle reversing beautifully into its nest, studied by Jim for thirty years and now discovering that this piece of theatrical aviation had been denied to him till now. There is always something new to discover, to see or just to hear. Stephen Moss suggests to ,‘go out , stand and listen and close your eyes.’
It is heartening to hear Jim enthuse of the great Trossachs forrest, ‘ the scale of it is the sort of thing that can make a difference. It seems ironic that ecotourism and supermarkets came in the same year. 1959. While some were off to see the highlights of urban innovation the smart ones were osprey watching. They talked at length on the trial introduction of beavers in Scotland. Believing wolves would do more good than harm they advocate their return to our shores. Apparently elk do not behave elk like until a wolf appears when they suddenly discover a long lost ability to move at speed!
I learnt a lot about what is happening in the countryside north of here. So, what to look out for? Whooper swans, Scandinavian rushes, red deer ruts and aspen oaks.
Reviewer : Clare Crines