Wintering: A Season with Geese. Published 26 September, 2019.
“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.
Wintering: a season with geese can be pre-ordered here.