The First Butterfly Big Year
By Robert Michael Pyle
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hardcover, 9780618945399, 576pp.)
Publication Date: September 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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Part road-trip tale, part travelogue of lost and found landscapes, all good-natured natural history, Mariposa Road tracks Bob Pyle’s journey across the United States as he races against the calendar
in his search for as many of the 800 American butterflies as he can find. Like Pyle’s classic Chasing Monarchs, Mariposa Road recounts his adventures, high and low, in tracking down butterflies in his own low-tech, individual way. Accompanied by Marsha, his cottonwood-limb butterfly net; Powdermilk, his 1982 Honda Civic with 345,000 miles on the odometer; and the small Leitz binoculars he has carried for more than thirty years, Bob ventured out in a series of remarkable trips from his Northwest home. From the California coastline in company with overwintering monarchs to the Far Northern tundra in pursuit of mysterious sulphurs and arctics; from the zebras and daggerwings of the Everglades to the leafwings, bluewings, and border rarities of the lower Rio Grande; from Graceland to ranchland and Kauai to Key West, these intimate encounters with the land, its people, and its fading fauna are wholly original. At turns whimsical, witty, informative, and inspirational, Mariposa Road is an extraordinary journey of discovery that leads the reader ever farther into butterfly country and deeper into the heart of the naturalist.
ROBERT MICHAEL PYLE is the author of fourteen books, including Chasing Monarchs, Where Bigfoot Walks, and Wintergreen, which won the John Burroughs Medal. A Yale-trained ecologist and a Guggenheim fellow, he is a full-time writer living in southwestern Washington.