Wintering: A Season with Geese.
Selected in The Times’ list of best nature books of the year 2019.
You can read an extract from Wintering here.
“I am falling more deeply for geese on a daily basis. Although I am told the winter won’t always be like this – they are wild geese after all, predictably unpredictable – the regular skeins flying over are captivating me. Sinking deep inside me. It is new for me. In a new place they are making me feel, tentatively, at home …I am one insignificant human to them but they are reminding me that I am a part of the world that stretches as far away as Iceland, part of the running rhythm of winter.”
In the autumn of 2018 Stephen and his partner moved to a house near the Solway Firth in Dumfries. As they settled into their new home thousands of pink-footed geese were arriving on the Firth from the Arctic Circle to make it their winter home. The arrival of huge flocks of geese in the UK is one of the most evocative and powerful harbingers of winter; a vast natural phenomenon to capture the imagination.
Wintering: A Season with Geese traces the lives and habits of six of the most common species of goose that winter here. With an expert eye and clear, elegant prose he paints perfect portraits of these large, startling, garrulous and cooperative birds. But this is also a compact and beautifully written study of the place the goose has in our culture, our history and, occasionally, on our festive table. A vivid tour of the landscapes they inhabit and a celebration of the short days, varied weathers and long nights of the season.
“Rutt’s melancholic prose and reverence… are a poignant testament to how we can find peace in the rhythms of the natural world.” Patrick Galbraith, The Times.
“Writers explaining their bonds with nature inspire us to look to further our own environmental connections and Stephen Rutt’s story makes me want to search out the wildlife that surrounds me and connect with it, nurture it and cherish it more than I already do. In these dark times we can all do something to help the world around us. It is all we truly have.” Ceri Levy, Caught by the River
“By the end, you have spent enough time with our native wintering geese species to be left with the essence of each… deftly combining facts with personal anecdote, I learned something new about geese in every [chapter].” Teresa Frost, BTO News.
“Geese aren’t necessarily to every birder’s taste, but Stephen Rutt’s new book acts as a powerful reminder of what resilient, intelligent and, ultimately, beautiful birds they are.” Josh Jones, BirdGuides.com
“I love the way that Rutt makes birding and reasonably technical information feel really accessible to someone like me (interested but lacking in anything more than general knowledge)… A lot of nature writing can feel exclusive, but this doesn’t. More than anything though Rutt is just really good at what he does, and an absolute pleasure to read.” Hayley Anderton, Desperate Reader.
Wintering: a season with geese can be ordered here.