Synopses & Reviews
The Butterflies of Cascadia
covers every species and subspecies found in the Pacific Northwest, from southern B.C to northern California and Nevada, from western Idaho to the Pacific, and all of Washington and Oregon. Virtually every species is illustrated by brilliant photographs from life, while the more difficult and variable groups also have color plates of comparative specimens and superb full-color drawings. Each scientific species account includes all the names the butterfly might be known by, field marks for recognition variation and varieties, life history, caterpillar and adult food plants, flight period, habitat, range, and a distribution map. A second, familiar section presents history, lore, etymologies, and esthetic encounters.
Opening essays introduce the Cascadian Bioregion, along with butterfly ecology, conservation, study, and nomenclature. This book is for serious students, everyone who watches, collects, photographs, rears, or gardens for butterflies, ands for everyone who simply enjoys having them around.
"With his deep and broad knowledge of nature, Bob Pyle has given us another fine book on butterflies, with gorgeous images, meticulous details, and rich prose. Seattle Audubon Society is to be praised for recognizing our need for this book and bringing it to fruition. Its a butterfliers delight!" Dr. Dennis Paulson, Director of the Slater Museum of Natural History, University of Puget Sound and author of Dragonflies of Washington
"Pyles expertise and literary prowess has created The Butterflies of Cascadia, a marvelous compendium of color photographs, life history facts, and range maps that sets a new standard for regional field guides. Easy to use and rich in biological and geographical detail, the book is also a uniquely delicious literary journey into the lore and history of the nearly 200 species that occur in the region." Lincoln P. Brower, Research Professor of Biology, Sweet Briar College
About the Author
Robert Michael Pyle was born on July 19, 1947 in Denver and raised in nearby Aurora, Colorado. His B.S. in Nature Perception and Protection (1969) and M.S. in Nature Interpretation (1973) from the University of Washington were followed in 1976 by a Ph.D. from Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. In 1971, during a Fulbright Fellowship at the Monks Wood Experimental Station in England, Pyle founded the Xerces Society for invertebrate conservation, and later chaired its Monarch Project.
Bob has worked as an assistant curator at Yale's Peabody Museum, as a butterfly conservation consultant for Papua New Guinea, Northwest Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy, and guest professor or writer at Portland State, University of Alaska, Evergreen State, and Lewis & Clark College. He has lectured for scientific, literary, and general audiences in many cities and countries, taught numerous field courses and creative writing seminars, been on the faculties of Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory and the Port Townsend, Pacific Northwest, Sitka, and Desert writing conferences, and appeared on NPR's E-Town. He received a 1997 Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology.
In 1979, Pyle moved from Portland, Oregon to the rural community of Gray's River, on a tributary of the Lower Columbia in far southwest Washington. It was a deliberate migration, in the Thoreauvian sense, toward the requisite setting for confronting life's bare essentials and to see what effect that may have on the creative act of writing. As Michael Pearson has commented: "For a man trained in natural history, science, and conservation much more than in literature, the transformation from scientist into full-time writer was a daring step into terra incognita, a metamorphosis reminiscent of the butterflies he studies."
As a professional writer, Pyle has published hundreds of papers, essays, stories, and poems, in many journals. His ten books include the The Thunder Tree, Wintergreen (winner of the 1987 John Burroughs Medal for Distinguished Nature Writing), Where Bigfoot Walks: Crossing the Dark Divide (1995), the subject of a Guggenheim Fellowship; and Chasing Monarchs: Migrating with the Butterflies of Passage, as well as the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies and the Handbook for Butterfly Watchers. Nabokov's Butterflies, The Butterflies of Cascadia, and Walking the High Ridge: Life as Field Trip (in the Milkweed Credo Series) will appear in 2000. A novel, Magdalena Mountain, and a book about the home he shares with with botanist and silkscreen artist Thea Linnaea Pyle are in progress.