Published in association with the Chicago Wilderness coalition, Hunting for Frogs on Elston comprehensively chronicles Chicagoland's unique urban ecology, from its indigenous prairie and oft-delayed seasons to its urban coyotes and passenger pigeons. In witty, informed prose, Sullivan evokes his adventures netting dog-faced butterflies, hunting rattlesnakes, and watching fireflies mate. Inspired by regional flora and fauna, Sullivan ventures throughout the metropolis and its environs in search of sludge worms, gyrfalcons, and wild onions. In reporting his findings to otherwise oblivious urbanites, Sullivan endeavors to make "alienated, atomized, postmodern people feel at home, connected to something beyond ourselves."
In the sprawling Chicagoland region, where an urban ecosystem teeming with remarkable life evolves between skyscrapers and train tracks, no writer chronicled the delicate balance of nature and industry more vividly than Jerry Sullivan. An homage to the urban ecology Sullivan loved so dearly, Hunting for Frogs on Elston is his fitting legacy as well as a lasting gift to the urban naturalist in us all.
Organized by state within the volume, this work informs readers about the wide variety of natural areas across the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains and identifies places that may be near them that demonstrate the importance of preserving such regions.
Since so much of the tallgrass state has been transformed into an agricultural landscape, Mutel focuses on understanding today’s natural environment by understanding yesterday’s changes. After summarizing the geological, archaeological, and ecological features that shaped Iowa’s modern landscape, she recreates the once-wild native communities that existed prior to Euroamerican settlement. Next she examines the dramatic changes that overtook native plant and animal communities as Iowa’s prairies, woodlands, and wetlands were transformed. Finally she presents realistic techniques for restoring native species and ecological processes as well as a broad variety of ways in which Iowans can reconnect with the natural world. Throughout, in addition to the many illustrations commissioned for this book, she offers careful scientific exposition, a strong sense of respect for the land, and encouragement to protect the future by learning from the past.
The “emerald prairie” that “gleamed and shone to the horizon’s edge,” as botanist Thomas Macbride described it in 1895, has vanished. Cornelia Mutel’s passionate dedication to restoring this damaged landscape—and by extension the transformed landscape of the entire Corn Belt—invigorates her blend of natural history and human history. Believing that citizens who are knowledgeable about native species, communities, and ecological processes will better care for them, she gives us hope—and sound suggestions—for the future.
Johnsgard crafts essays featuring snow geese, owls, hummingbirds, and other creatures against the backdrop of Great Plains landscapes. He describes prairie chickens courting during predawn hours and the calls of sandhill cranes; he evokes the magic of lying upon the prairie, hearing only the sounds of insects and the wind through the grasses. From reflections following a visit to a Pawnee sacred site to meditations on the perils facing the stateÕs finite natural resources, Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie celebrates the gifts of a half century spent roaming NebraskaÕs back roads, trails, and sometimes-forgotten places.
Grass, Sky, Song is a blending of personal experience, history, philosophy and scientific research. Filled with evocative “sidebar” descriptions of threatened birds, from the sharp-tailed grouse to the chestnutcollared longspur, this graceful book demonstrates why Trevor Herriot is regarded as one of Canada’s finest non-fiction writers.
Chapters in the first section, "Prairie Ecology," describe prairie plants and the communities they live in, the ways in which disturbance modifies plant communities, the animal and plant inhabitants that are key to prairie survival, and the importance of diversity within plant and animal communities. Chapters in the second section, "Prairie Management," explore the adaptive management process as well as guiding principles for designing management strategies, examples of successful management systems such as fire and grazing, guidance for dealing with birds and other species that have particular habitat requirements and with the invasive species that have become the most serious threat that prairie managers have to deal with, and general techniques for prairie restoration. Following the conclusion and a forward-thinking note on climate change, eight appendixes provide more information on grazing, prescribed fire, and invasive species as well as bibliographic notes, references, and national and state organizations with expertise in prairie management.
Grasslands can be found throughout much of North America, and the ideas and strategies in this book apply to most of them, particularly tallgrass and mixed-grass prairies in eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, northwestern Missouri, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin, and southwestern Minnesota. By presenting all the factors that promote biological diversity and thus enhance prairie communities, then incorporating these factors into a set of clear-sighted management practices, The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States presents the tools necessary to ensure that grasslands are managed in the purposeful ways essential to the continued health and survival of prairie communities.
Several chapters expand on the natural history and specific management techniques of popular species of wildlife, including white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkey, and other species. Experts discuss such special management topics as supplemental, wildlife-food planting, farm pond management, backyard habitat, nuisance animal control, and invasive plant species control.
Leading professionals who work every day in Mississippi with landowners on wildlife and fisheries management created this indispensable book. The up-to-date and applicable management techniques discussed here can be employed by private landowners throughout the state. For those who do not own rural lands but have an interest in wildlife and natural resources, this book also has much to offer. Residents of urban communities interested in creating a wildlife-friendly yard will delight in the backyard habitat chapter specifically written for them. Whether responsible for one-fourth of an acre or two thousand, landowners will find this handbook to be an incalculable aid on their journey to good stewardship of their Mississippi lands.
With a naturalist’s eye, a penchant for local history, and an obvious passion for the subject, Wallace’s new collection is among the first nature writing dedicated entirely to the Bay Area. Informative, engrossing, and exquisitely described, Mountains and Marshes affords unexpected yet familiar views of a beloved region that, even amidst centuries of growth and change, is as dynamic as it is timeless.
Based on two decades of audacious research by scientists around the world, the book also provides an unprecedented, evidence-based glimpse into corvids’ intellectual, social, and emotional lives. But whether viewed through the lens of science, myth, or everyday experience, the result is always the same. These birds are so smart—and so mysterious—they take your breath away.
Savage has spent the last 25 years exploring our complex relationships with the natural world: our prejudices, our growing body of scientific knowledge, our awe. She is particularly interested in bridging the gap between mythology and science, between longing and fact. Creating a livable future for ourselves and for other species, she believes, calls for both knowledge and love, and a deep sense of the value of wildness. This book is a record of Savage’s ongoing quest to engage readers in a conversation that enriches our lives and the lives of the animals whose stories she tells.
When Candace Savage and her partner buy a house in the romantic little town of Eastend, she has no idea what awaits her. At first she enjoys exploring the area around their new home, including the boyhood haunts of the celebrated American writer Wallace Stegner, the back roads of the Cypress Hills, the dinosaur skeletons at the T.Rex Discovery Centre, the fossils to be found in the dust-dry hills. She also revels in her encounters with the wild inhabitants of this mysterious land-three coyotes in a ditch at night, their eyes glinting in the dark; a deer at the window; a cougar pussy-footing it through a gully a few minutes' walk from town.
But as Savage explores further, she uncovers a darker reality-a story of cruelty and survival set in the still-recent past--and finds that she must reassess the story she grew up with as the daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter of prairie homesteaders.
Beautifully written, impeccably researched, and imbued with Savage's passion for this place, A Geography of Blood offers both a shocking new version of plains history and an unforgettable portrait of the windswept, shining country of the Cypress Hills.