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Prairie Spring: A Journey Into the Heart of a Season Hardcover – March 19, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
In this narrative, Dunne chronicles a spring that he and his wife spent on America's grasslands. The journey starts on Groundhog Day at the Pawnee National Grasslands in northeast Colorado. As spring unfolds, the Dunnes move about America's heartland, stopping in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, and South Dakota.
Birds, of course, figure prominently into the account, as many of the characteristic species of this region are encountered. However, unlike Dunne's previous Feather Quest, it does not focus exclusively on birds. It encompasses the entire ecology, and even history, of the American prairie. Topics range from birds to buffalo, farms to fire, wildflowers to weather.
If you've read anything by Dunne, then you know what to expect here (and if you haven't, you don't know what you've been missing). Humorous, insightful, educational, and just plain fun to read, his prose is amazing. I particularly enjoyed his analogy of a prairie-chicken lek and a baseball game. It seems a little weird, but it really worked. However, he stretches a bit too far at times, such as the conversation he had with a painted horse. It was just a little wide of the mark for me. But in most everything else, he was right on target.
But especially so in his description of watching Sandhill Cranes by the thousands descend upon the Platte River to roost. I was as completely enthralled by those birds, a thousand miles and many months distant, as Dunne and his companions obviously were.
This is nature writing at its best.
Apparently this is the first of four books, eventually to cover all four seasons and four major ecosystems. I'm looking forward to the coming volumes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a life member of the New Jersey Audubon Society, it's a great pleasure to receive regular reports from the Society, always with one or more communications from Mr. Dunne. Read morePublished on January 7, 2010 by Robert C. ross