Acclaimed nature writer Jim Crumley turns his poet's instinct, his naturalist's eye, and occasionally his camera on his core territory in Highland Perthshire to produce a book of rare intimacy. "Brother Nature" is based on thirty years of exploring and thinking about the country on his doorstep.
He also applies to that country lessons learned at first hand in other lands, notably on a life-changing trip to Alaska.
The book is in two parts. The first, The Brotherhood, is a series of vivid and intensely personal encounters with grizzly bears, badgers, deer, otters, orchids, ospreys, red kites, golden eagles, ravens, and his beloved swans.
The second part, The Long Way Back, considers how his native Scotland might achieve a closer, more thoughtful relationship with nature.
In a powerful conclusion, Jim Crumley makes the case for the reintroduction of wolves as a catalyst in the process of achieving that relationship.
He writes: "Again and again, walking these wolfless mountains, I feel their absence, or rather I feel the distant, elusive nature of their old presence, for no landscape that has sustained wolves ever loses completely the imprint of their reign. When I go alone among wild places, I feel as if I am trying to repair an old and broken connection, a bridge between landscapes.
We broke it when we exterminated the wolf. That was the watershed."