A respected author and scholar, Paul A. Johnsgard has spent a lifetime observing the natural delights of Nebraska's woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie collects his musings on Nebraska's natural history and the issues of conservation facing our 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 state's finite natural resources, Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie celebrates the gifts of a half century spent roaming Nebraska's back roads, trails, and sometimes-forgotten places.
Paul A. Johnsgard is Foundation Regents Professor Emeritus in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He has received the National Conservation Achievement Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award, both sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, and is the author of more than five dozen books on natural history, including The Sandhill and Whooping Cranes: Ancient Voices over America's Wetlands and Prairie Dog Empire: A Saga of the Shortgrass Prairie (both available in Bison Books editions).
Preface and Acknowledgments Part 1. Wild Places and Natural Treasures 1. A Place Called Pahaku 2. The Life and Hard Times of the Platte River 3. Nebraska's Magical Spring Migration 4. The Birds of Nebraska's Boondocks 5. What Is a Tallgrass Prairie? 6. Close Encounters with Nature at Spring Creek Audubon Prairie Part 2. Seasonal Enchantments Spring 7. The Snow Geese of the Central Flyway 8. A Congruence of Cranes with Karine Gil-Weir 9. The Whooping Cranes Are Still Surviving Tough Odds with Karine Gil-Weir 10. The Strange Courtship of Prairie Grouse 11. The Secretive Shorebirds and Their Amazing Migrations Summer 12. Birds of the Tallgrass Prairie 13. Nebraska's City-Dwelling Peregrines 14. The Ancient Romance of the Yucca and the Yucca Moth Fall 15. A Dazzle of Hummingbirds 16. A Symphony of Swans 17. A Plethora of Pelicans Winter 18. A Gathering of Eagles 19. A Parliament of Owls 20. The Feathers of Winter Part 3. The View from a High Hill 21. A Summing Up Appendix: Latin Names of Plants and Animals Mentioned in the Text Bibliographic Sources