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Prairie spring : [a journey into the heart of a season]
Pete Dunne
Adult Nonfiction QK110 .D86 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Dunne (Golden Wings) presents an intimate account of a two-month trek-accompanied by photographer wife Linda-following the coming of spring across America's prairie grasslands. Theirs is an odyssey into "the time of beginning" that weaves together spiritual insight, plant biology, geology lessons and American history-and a plethora of bird sightings, from the mating trysts of the increasingly rare lesser prairie chicken to the plight of the threatened mountain plover. 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." Photos. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

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 prairies in spring. Leading us through grasslands, national parks, and small towns, Dunne highlights the myriad, often humorous, ways people and animals celebrate the season. In one essay displaying his characteristic folksy wit, Dunne juxtaposes the palpable hormonal energy of a high school baseball game with the comic-mating dance of New Mexico's lesser prairie-chicken. The book also explores the shifting nature of the prairie biome, which continues to evolve through drought, fire, wildlife management practices, and agricultural use. Dunne's conversational writing style effectively conveys the emotional experience of the prairie environment, while Linda Dunne's color photographs document its people, settings, and wildlife. Recommended for regional collections and larger public libraries.-Kelsy Peterson, Johnson Cty. Community Coll., Overland Park, KS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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