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A grasslands nature trek that “weaves together spiritual insight, plant biology, geology lessons and American history—and a plethora of bird sightings” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).
A nature writer and avid birder offers a portrait of a season in the heartland of North America as he and his wife travel through the country and share stories of all that they encounter: people putting their lives back in place after a tornado, volunteers giving their time to conservation efforts, and the drive of all species to move their genes to the next generation, which manifests itself so abundantly in spring.
“Their journey begins in New Jersey and continues to Nebraska, their arrival timed to witness the annual migration of half a million northbound sandhill cranes. Next come Colorado and a primer on how homesteading sodbusters transformed an ocean of vibrant prairie grasses into a devastating dustbowl; New Mexico and the Sixth Annual High Plains Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival; back through Colorado and the Pawnee National Grasslands for a glimpse of the threatened prairie dog, once (along with bison) among the environmental engineers of the 19th century Western plains; and into South Dakota, home to between 800 and 1,400 free-ranging bison. Dunne’s melodic prose and rhapsodic connection with the natural world brilliantly entice an estranged audience to explore a . . . now alien environment.” —PublishersWeekly, starred review
“Although a theme of humanity’s effects on the prairie runs as an undercurrent throughout the narrative, it never overwhelms the sense of awe and wonder at the natural beauty of the grasslands and their inhabitants.” —Booklist