Chasing Spring: An American Journey Through a Changing Season

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Simon and Schuster, Jan 24, 2006 - Nature - 256 pages
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In the tradition of Blue Highways and Silent Spring, Chasing Spring follows nature's season of renewal even as it shows how the delicate mechanisms of spring are increasingly endangered by climate change.

Seeking to revive his body and soul following heart surgery, acclaimed nature writer Bruce Stutz set out on a three-month journey through the unfolding of an American spring. Driving across the country in a twenty-year-old Chevy sedan, Stutz shows readers that spring is not so much a progression as an arousal; each added minute of the lengthening days and lingering sun brings yet another transformation in the greening landscape as well as in the human spirit.

Beginning with the season's southernmost stirrings along the Gulf of Mexico, Stutz sees the first blooms and partakes in the season's festivals -- celebrations with ancient origins that still speak to our wonder at nature's annual rebirth. He follows the migrations of birds northward, the return of life to the forests, and the quickening of snowmelt in the Rockies. He moves across the southern desert, encountering the explosion of cacti and wildflowers and the violence of tornadoes on the drought-stricken Great Plains. He then travels north through the national parks of the West, finally celebrating his journey's end by basking at the solstice amid the beauty of the Alaskan Arctic's twenty-four hours of daylight.

Along the way, he accompanies scientists into the field to study the season's changes and meets farmers, Arctic natives, and even migrant mushroom pickers whose livelihoods depend on the coming of spring. In each location, as he observes the sensitive interplay of light and warmth that draws animals, plants, water, and even the soil itself into the biological ballet that makes for the profound stirring we call spring, he also finds that climate change now threatens the basic pro-cesses of nature. A moving and thought-provoking record of the yearıs most invigorating season, Chasing Spring is a timely reminder that as trees bud and flowers bloom, the human spirit reawakens as well. Anyone who has ever marveled at springıs wondrous transformations from a first garden blossom to a world in full flower will find in Chasing Spring a journey to savor.
 

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Chasing spring: an American journey through a changing season

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Stutz, author (Natural Lives, Modern Times ), formerNatural History editor in chief, and open-heart surgery survivor, is chasing (literally-in a well-preserved 1984 Chevy Impala) more than spring and ... Read full review

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User Review  - Stbalbach - LibraryThing

Bruce Stutz is a 56 year old Jewish naturalist writer from Brooklyn who after a heart-valve surgery decides to drive across the USA following the progress of Spring, moving generally from south to ... Read full review

Contents

The Pumphead in Winter
1
Crawfish Salamanders and Dionysus
32
We Are All Biosphereans Now
66
Geography Is Destiny
106
AltitudeAddled
131
Mountain Man
157
Mushroom Heaven
187
Under the NeverEnding Sun
205
Sources
237
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About the author (2006)

Bruce Stutz is the author of Natural Lives, Modern Times. The former editor in chief of Natural History, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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