Prairie Spring

A Journey Into the Heart of a Season

By Pete Dunne; Linda Dunne (Photographer)
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Hardcover, 9780618822201, 274pp.)

Publication Date: March 2009

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Description

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 dramaman versus the environmentand 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.




About the Author
Pete Dunne is the author of a dozen birding books, including "Pete Dunne's Essential Field Guide Companion", "The Art of Bird Identification", "The Feather Quest", and "Tales of a Low-Rent Birder". Birding ambassador with the New Jersey Audubon Society's Cape May Bird Observatory, he has written articles for virtually every birding magazine and for "The New York Times".

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