Buffalo for the Broken Heart

Buffalo for the Broken Heart PDF Author: Dan O'Brien
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 0307430731
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 272

View

Book Description
For twenty years Dan O’Brien struggled to make ends meet on his cattle ranch in South Dakota. But when a neighbor invited him to lend a hand at the annual buffalo roundup, O’Brien was inspired to convert his own ranch, the Broken Heart, to buffalo. Starting with thirteen calves, “short-necked, golden balls of wool,” O’Brien embarked on a journey that returned buffalo to his land for the first time in more than a century and a half. Buffalo for the Broken Heart is at once a tender account of the buffaloes’ first seasons on the ranch and an engaging lesson in wildlife ecology. Whether he’s describing the grazing pattern of the buffalo, the thrill of watching a falcon home in on its prey, or the comical spectacle of a buffalo bull wallowing in the mud, O’Brien combines a novelist’s eye for detail with a naturalist’s understanding to create an enriching, entertaining narrative.

Wild Idea

Wild Idea PDF Author: Dan O'Brien
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803250967
Category : Biography & Autobiography
Languages : en
Pages : 272

View

Book Description
For more than forty years the prairies of South Dakota have been Dan O’Brien’s home. Working as a writer and an endangered-species biologist, he became convinced that returning grass-fed, free-roaming buffalo to the grasslands of the northern plains would return natural balance to the region and reestablish the undulating prairie lost through poor land management and overzealous farming. In 1998 he bought his first buffalo and began the task of converting a little cattle ranch into an ethically run buffalo ranch. Wild Idea is a book about how good food choices can influence federal policies and the integrity of our food system, and about the dignity and strength of a legendary American animal. It is also a book about people: the daughter coming to womanhood in a hard landscape, the friend and ranch hand who suffers great tragedy, the venture capitalist who sees hope and opportunity in a struggling buffalo business, and the husband and wife behind the ranch who struggle daily, wondering if what they are doing will ever be enough to make a difference. At its center, Wild Idea is about a family and the people and animals that surround them—all trying to build a healthy life in a big, beautiful, and sometimes dangerous land.

Bad Land Pastoralism in Great Plains Fiction

Bad Land Pastoralism in Great Plains Fiction PDF Author: Matthew J. C. Cella
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587299399
Category : Literary Criticism
Languages : en
Pages : 252

View

Book Description
At the core of this nuanced book is the question that ecocritics have been debating for decades: what is the relationship between aesthetics and activism, between art and community? By using a pastoral lens to examine ten fictional narratives that chronicle the dialogue between human culture and nonhuman nature on the Great Plains, Matthew Cella explores literary treatments of a succession of abrupt cultural transitions from the Euroamerican conquest of the “Indian wilderness” in the nineteenth century to the Buffalo Commons phenomenon in the twentieth. By charting the shifting meaning of land use and biocultural change in the region, he posits this bad land—the arid West—as a crucible for the development of the human imagination. Each chapter deals closely with two novels that chronicle the same crisis within the Plains community. Cella highlights, for example, how Willa Cather reconciles her persistent romanticism with a growing disillusionment about the future of rural Nebraska, how Tillie Olsen and Frederick Manfred approach the tragedy of the Dust Bowl with strikingly similar visions, and how Annie Proulx and Thomas King use the return of the buffalo as the centerpiece of a revised mythology of the Plains as a palimpsest defined by layers of change and response. By illuminating these fictional quests for wholeness on the Great Plains, Cella leads us to understand the intricate interdependency of people and the places they inhabit. Cella uses the term “pastoralism” in its broadest sense to mean a mode of thinking that probes the relationship between nature and culture: a discourse concerned with human engagement—material and nonmaterial—with the nonhuman community. In all ten novels discussed in this book, pastoral experience—the encounter with the Beautiful—leads to a renewed understanding of the integral connection between human and nonhuman communities. Propelling this tradition of bad land pastoralism are an underlying faith in the beauty of wholeness that comes from inhabiting a continuously changing biocultural landscape and a recognition of the inevitability of change. The power of story and language to shape the direction of that change gives literary pastoralism the potential to support an alternative series of ideals based not on escape but on stewardship: community, continuity, and commitment.

Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume 2

Dictionary of Midwestern Literature, Volume 2 PDF Author: Philip A. Greasley
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253021162
Category : Literary Collections
Languages : en
Pages : 1064

View

Book Description
The Midwest has produced a robust literary heritage. Its authors have won half of the nation’s Nobel Prizes for Literature plus a significant number of Pulitzer Prizes. This volume explores the rich racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of the region. It also contains entries on 35 pivotal Midwestern literary works, literary genres, literary, cultural, historical, and social movements, state and city literatures, literary journals and magazines, as well as entries on science fiction, film, comic strips, graphic novels, and environmental writing. Prepared by a team of scholars, this second volume of the Dictionary of Midwestern Literature is a comprehensive resource that demonstrates the Midwest’s continuing cultural vitality and the stature and distinctiveness of its literature.

America's Natural Places [5 volumes]

America's Natural Places [5 volumes] PDF Author: Stacy S. Kowtko
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313350892
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 908

View

Book Description
This timely set invites readers to celebrate the most beautiful and environmentally important places in the United States. • Covers one region per volume with entries organized by state within the volume • 200 illustrations depict America's most treasured landscapes

To Save the Wild Bison

To Save the Wild Bison PDF Author: Mary Ann Franke
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 9780806136837
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 328

View

Book Description
Examines the ecological and political aspects of the wild bison controversy in and around Yellowstone National Park and how it reflects changing attitudes toward wildlife. By the author of Yellowstone in the Afterglow: Lessons from the Fires.

Tied to the Great Packing Machine

Tied to the Great Packing Machine PDF Author: Wilson J. Warren
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
ISBN: 1587297744
Category : History
Languages : en
Pages : 317

View

Book Description
Tied to the Great Packing Machine tells the dramatic story of meatpacking’s enormous effects on the economics, culture, and environment of the Midwest over the past century and a half.

Not Just Any Land

Not Just Any Land PDF Author: John Price
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803260269
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 225

View

Book Description
Blending elements of memoir, literary criticism, and nature writing, an anthology of essays--including conversations with such regional authors as Linda Hasselstrom, Dan O'Brien, and William Least Heat-Moon--offers an evocative portrait of the endangered prairie environment, his own quest for a new relationship with the natural life of the prairie, and the region's personal and environmental legacy. Reprint.

America's Natural Places: Rocky Mountains and Great Plains

America's Natural Places: Rocky Mountains and Great Plains PDF Author: Kelly Enright
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 0313353158
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 172

View

Book Description
From Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Kansas, this volume provides a snapshot of the most spectacular and important natural places in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. • Illustrations depict 50 of the most treasured landscapes in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains

BUILT FOR SPEED

BUILT FOR SPEED PDF Author: John A. Byers
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674029135
Category : Nature
Languages : en
Pages : 256

View

Book Description
North America's fastest mammal, the pronghorn can accelerate explosively from a standing start to a top speed of 60 miles per hour--but it can also cruise at 45 miles per hour for many miles. What accounts for the speed of this extraordinary animal, a denizen of the American outback, and what can be observed of this creature's way of life? And what is it like to be a field biologist dedicating twenty years to studying this species? In Built for Speed, John A. Byers answers these questions as he draws an intimate portrait of the most charismatic resident of the American Great Plains. The National Bison Range in western Montana, established in 1908 to snatch bison from the brink of extinction, also inadvertently rescued the largest known remnant of Palouse Prairie. It is within this grassland habitat--home to meadowlarks, rattlesnakes, bighorn sheep, coyotes, elk, snipe, and a panoply of wildflowers--that Byers observes the pronghorn's life from birth to death (a life often as brief as four days, sometimes as long as fifteen years) and from season to season. Readers will also experience the vicarious pleasures of a biologist who is eager to race a pronghorn in his truck, scrutinize bison dung through binoculars, and peer through the gathering dusk of a rainy evening to count the display dives of snipe. A vivid and memorable tale of a first-rate scientist's twenty-year encounter with a magnificent animal, the story of the pronghorn is also a reminder of the crucial role we can play in preserving the fleeting life of the native American grassland. Table of Contents: Preface 1. Anatomy of a Speedster 2. Spring and the Sounds of Snipe 3. First Field Season 4. The Adult Bullies 5. Milk Politics 6. Little Speedsters 7. Columns of Dust 8. Bachelor Workout 9. The Turning Year 10. Making Next Year's Fawns 11. After the Equinox 12. After the Solstice 13. The Floor of the Sky Notes Acknowledgments Index Table of Contents: Foreword by Rick Bass Preface 1. Anatomy of a Speedster 2. Spring and the Sounds of Snipe 3. First Field Season 4. The Adult Bullies 5. Milk Politics 6. Little Speedsters 7. Columns of Dust 8. Bachelor Workout 9. The Turning Year 10. Making Next Year's Fawns 11. After the Equinox 12. After the Solstice 13. The Floor of the Sky Notes Acknowledgments Index Reviews of this book: Byers, a biologist, has studied pronghorns on a refuge in western in Montana for more than 20 years, and this firsthand account of fieldwork in the high-plains grasslands evokes the wonder and beauty of the region as well as the mechanics of how to study such an alert and speedy animal. --Nancy Bent, Booklist John A. Byers is a field biologist who has spent almost a quarter of a century chasing pronghorn antelopes in Montana's National Bison Range. Byers observes his subjects with such patience that he can recognize individual faces the way most people recognize friends and family. He's read John James Audubon and John Muir, and, as he proves with stirring accounts of his experiences in big-sky country, he can spin a phrase with a skill worthy of those master wordsmiths. --Laurence A. Marschall, Natural History Reviews of this book: This is a swift, short take on a fascinating animal. --National Geographic Adventure Byers at all times writes with lucidity and warmth for the animal he has spent literally decades studying...Byers has called our attention to an often overlooked corner of creation: the shortgrass prairie. He urges us--through the strength of his prose and the sincerity of his passion--to conserve that very thing whose absence will be our confounding. --John A. Murray, Bloomsbury Review A Year in the Life of Pronghorn is natural history at its best, a first-person narrative by zoology professor John A. Byers, told with the grace and agility that have made these four-legged Shelby Cobras famous. --Dan R. Barber, Dallas Morning News Byers, professor of zoology at the University of Idaho, has spent 20 years closely observing pronghorn on the National Bison Range in Montana. His account of the animal's ways is thorough and fascinating. --Scientific American This is a book of natural history, rather than an ethological study of a single species, and it brings to mind Frank Fraser Darling's classic study of animal behaviour, A Herd of Red Deer, first published in 1937. In similar style, Byers writes simply and with sensitivity about the ways of life of the pronghorn, and he also brings in his observations and thoughts about the landscape of the prairie and its other inhabitants, from bison to grasshoppers. --Juliet Clutton-Brock, Times Literary Supplement [UK] After describing the basic anatomy of pronghorn, [Byers] details the social system of adult females and their offspring, the feeding and playing behavior of fawns, the behavior of males before and during the rut, and the behavior of males and females after the rut as they prepare for the long winter on the prairie. Throughout, Byers also includes his personal observations of other species that are associated with this region, including snipe, meadowlarks, bison, and elk. With its vivid descriptions of the prairie and the animals that inhabit it, this book is an entertaining read for all audiences. --E. H. Rave, Choice Although a biologist who is obsessed with his subject could spout facts and numbers for hours, Byers suppresses neither his highly poetic sensibility nor his boundless joy in the marvels of life. The result is a work of literature, as when he describes the song of meadowlarks as 'a low flood of burbling that spreads across the prairie like the sheet of light that fireflies make at grass tops after a thunderstorm.' But readers also gain a tremendous sense of pronghorns' lives, down to the tiniest details of how fawns survive. --David Lukas, Los Angeles Times John Byers's Built for Speed is the best modern natural history I know. His profound sense of place, welded to his tenacious observations of the behavior of long-lived individuals, and his knowledge of deep time have exposed the ghosts of predators past on pronghorn. Added pleasure comes from Byers's prose, which is sometimes as thrilling and amusing as watching pronghorn run. You won't find a more passionate exegesis of what it is to be a modern animal behaviorist anywhere. --Patricia Adair Gowaty, PhD, Professor of Ecology, University of Georgia John Byers's beautifully written account of his twenty-year study of pronghorn antelope was sheer pleasure to read. With the eye and empathy of the keenest naturalist, and the voice of a poet, Byers evokes the sights and sounds of the western prairie so vividly that I felt as if I was there in Montana beside him. This splendid book certainly made me want to be. --Sarah Hrdy, author of The Woman that Never Evolved Readers of this book will be transported by its engaging prose into three very different worlds. First, they will gain an appreciation for what fieldwork on large mammals is really like. Second, they will see how there is no substitute for long-term research on marked individuals to gain knowledge on large mammal ecology. Thirdly, they will see a prehistoric world where cheetahs chase pronghorns over the North American Plains, and will be invited to think about how those distant events may affect the biology of modern-day pronghorn. --Marco Festa-Bianchet, Professeur, Ecologie, Universite de Sherbrooke Listen to this serenade for American wild life sung by a biologist who has spend an unimaginable amount of time following his favorite animal, the pronghorn. With great love and humor, John Byers describes the ins and outs of this unassuming but remarkable animal's life while effortlessly educating us about ecology and evolution. --Frans de Waal, author of The Ape and the Sushi Master (BasicBooks, 2001).