After the success of her book, "The Sea Around Us," Carson resigned from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in 1951 to pursue writing full time. And by 1952 she had received a Guggenheim Fellowship, which, combined with her books' royalties, enabled her to buy a small patch of land on the coast of Maine in 1953 [source: NWHM].
There she devoted herself to writing full-time. In 1955, she published "The Edge of the Sea," which was another bestseller. By this time, her nieces were grown and her mother, Maria, lived with her. Maria Carson had little formal education, but she had a bright and curious mind and had a lifelong fascination with birds.
In Maine, Maria taught her daughter how to identify the myriad birdsongs that surrounded them in the warmer months. Carson, who had for so long focused on life beneath the waves and at the tide's edge, now began to extend her interest to the creatures of the air.