Arctic Autumn

Arctic Autumn

A Journey to Season's Edge

By Pete Dunne

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Hardcover, 9780618822218, 258pp.

Publication Date: September 2011


The Arctic doesn't spring to mind when most people think about autumn. Yet in his continuing effort to invite readers' curiosity through unpredictability, Pete Dunne chose to pair the transitional season of autumn with this fragile environment in flux.

The book begins on Bylot Island in Nunavut, Canada, at the retreating edge of the seasonal ice sheet, then moves to Alaska, where the needs of molting geese go head to head with society's need for oil. Then on to the Barren Lands of Canada, and a search for the celebrated caribou herds that mean life and death for human and animal predators alike.

A canoe trip down the John River is filled with memories, laughter, and contemplation; a caribou hunt with a professional trapper leads to a polemic on hunting; and Pete travels to an island in the Bering Sea, off the coast of Alaska, to look for rare birds and ponder the passionate nature of competitive bird listers.

No trip to the Arctic would be complete without a trip to see polar bears, so Pete and his wife visit Churchill, Manitoba, the polar bear capital of the world. These majestic, but threatened, creatures lead Pete to think about his own life, our interactions with the natural world, and the importance of the Arctic, North America's last great wilderness.

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". He lives in Cape May, New Jersey.