Prairie Spring: A Journey Into the Heart of a Season

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Mar 19, 2009 - Nature - 288 pages
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A portrait of spring in the heartland of North America In this first of four seasonal narratives, Pete Dunne sends a postcard from the prairie in his characteristically puckish style.The prairie is an exciting place to explore an unfolding drama—man versus the environment—and as Dunne and his wife travel through the heartland, the fleeting nature of the season comes to symbolize the precarious balance between the two. At the Sandhill Crane Festival in Nebraska,Dunne observes the struggle between maintaining the cranes’ habitat and meeting farmers’ needs for water. As in other habitats, human encroachment is only one of the challenges facing the preservation of the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado.
Climate change, invasive plants and animals, and mineral exploitation are just a few of the others. Conflicts over the grassland habitat continue between ranchers and prairie dogs and between oil companies and prairie chickens. Yet Dunne finds affirmation on the prairie: people putting their lives back in place after a tornado; volunteers giving their time to conservation efforts; the drive of all species to move their genes to the next generation, which manifests itself so abundantly on the prairie in spring.
 

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Prairie Spring: A Journey Into the Heart of a Season

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In the first of a series of four seasonally themed books, veteran birder Dunne (Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion; Pete Dunne on Bird Watching) takes us on a grand tour of the American ... Read full review

Contents

Groundhog Day
Westbound into Brown
2 Kearney Nebraska
3 Pawnee Buttes Colorado
4 The Empire Strikes Back
5 Lamar Colorado
Plates 116
6 Milnesand New Mexico
9 Pawnee National Grassland Colorado
10 Custer State Park South Dakota
11 The Little Bighorn Battlefield Montana
12 Crow Valley Pawnee Grassland Colorado
Back Matter
Back Flap
Back Cover
Spine

7 Comanche Grassland Colorado
8 Picture Canyon

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About the author (2009)

PETE DUNNE forged a bond with nature as a child and has been studying hawks for more than forty years. He has written fifteen books and countless magazine and newspaper columns. He was the founding director of the Cape May Bird Observatory and now serves as New Jersey Audubon’s Birding Ambassador. He lives in Mauricetown, New Jersey.

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