A selection of savvy observations on urban ecology from one of the Midwest's foremost authorities on the subject, Hunting for Frogs on Elston collects the best of naturalist Jerry Sullivan's weekly Field & Street columns, originally published in the Chicago Reader. Engaging, opinionated, inspiring, and occasionally irreverent, Hunting for Frogs on Elston pays tribute to Chicago's natural history while celebrating one of its greatest champions.
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.
Jerry Sullivan (1938-2000) was a career naturalist and journalist best known for his column Field & Street, which appeared weekly in the Chicago Reader. He also served as associate director for land management with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County until his death.