Otter Country

Miriam Darlington

A plan formed in my mind. I would explore the places in this land that hid my grail. I would spend a whole year or longer, if that’s what it took, wading through marshes, hiding between mossy rocks, paddling down rivers and swimming in sea lochs; recording my journey through the seasons as I searched for wild otters.

Mysterious, graceful, and ever-clever, otters have captivated our imaginations, despite the fact that few people have encountered one in the wild. In Otter Country, celebrated nature writer Miriam Darlington captures the fascination she’s had for these playful animals since childhood, and chronicles her immersive journey into their watery world.

Over the course of a single year, Darlington takes readers on a winding expedition in pursuit of these elusive creatures—from her home in Devon, England, and through the wilds of Scotland, Wales, the Lake District, and the countryside of Cornwall. As she’s drawn deeper into wilder habitats, trekking through changing landscapes, seasons, and weather, Darlington meets biologists, conservationists, fishing and hunting enthusiasts, and poets—enriching her understanding, admiration, and awe of the wild otter. With each encounter, she reveals the scientific, environmental, and cultural importance of this creature and the places it calls home.

Full of wonder, hope, and an abiding love for the natural world, Otter Country: An Unexpected Adventure in the Natural World is a beautiful and captivating work of nature writing, pursuing one of nature’s most endearing and endlessly fascinating creatures.

 

The Wise Hours

Miriam Darlington

 

Owls have existed for over sixty million years, and in the relatively short time we have shared the planet with these majestic birds they have ignited the human imagination. But even as owls continue to captivate our collective consciousness, celebrated British nature writer Miriam Darlington finds herself struck by all she doesn’t know about the true nature of these enigmatic creatures.

Darlington begins her fieldwork in the British Isles with her teenage son, Benji. As her avian fascination grows, she travels to France, Serbia, Spain, Finland, and the frosted Lapland borders of the Arctic for rare encounters with the Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, Long-eared Owl, Pygmy Owl, Snowy Owl, and more. But when her son develops a mysterious illness, her quest to understand the elusive nature of owls becomes entangled with her search for finding a cure.

In The Wise Hours, Darlington watches and listens to the natural world and to the rhythms of her home and family, inviting readers to discover the wonders of owls alongside her while rewilding our imagination with the mystery, fragility, and magnificence of all creatures.