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Chasing spring : an American journey through a changing season
Bruce Stutz
Adult Nonfiction QB637.5 .S78 2006

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Summary: 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 years 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 springs wondrous transformationsfrom a first garden blossom to a world in full flowerwill find in "Chasing Spring" a journey to savor.

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