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Selections from North With the Spring


In March of 1947, Edwin and Nellie Teale began a 17,000 mile journey that followed the northward advance of spring from southern Florida to the Canadian border. They travelled through 23 states over 130 days. Published in 1951, North With the Spring was the first in a quartet of chronicles, one for each season, that ended with Wandering Through Winter in 1965. The writer Henry Beston said that in these books Teale almost uniquely succeeded in combining "the spirit of modern science and the spirit of beauty."

As a writer, Teale imposed strict deadlines on each stage of his work, and carefully documented his progress. His manuscripts include notebooks, rough drafts, and press clippings for most of his books.

"The seasons, like greater tides, ebb and flow across the continents. Spring advances up the United States at the average rate of about fifteen miles a day. It ascends mountainsides at the rate of about a hundred feet a day. It sweeps ahead like a flood of water, racing down the long valleys, creeping up hillsides in a rising tide. Most of us, like the man who lives on the bank of a river and watches the stream flow by, see only one phase of the movement of spring. My wife and I dreamed of knowing something of all phases, of seeing, first hand, the long northward flow of the season."