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Chasing Monarchs: Migrating With the Butterflies of Passage (Signed By Author)

Pyle, Robert Michael

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ISBN 10: 0395828201 / ISBN 13: 9780395828205
Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School, 1999
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
From gigabooks (Spokane, WA, U.S.A.)

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Hard Cover - VG/VG - Book and dust jacket are clean and tight with light wear - Signed by Author - Index - 307 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 243896

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Chasing Monarchs: Migrating With the ...

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt School

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author

About this title


After chasing Bigfoot in his last book,Robert Pyle has shifted his attention to a smaller creature, but one that is just as remarkable. The monarch butterfly is our best-known and best-loved insect, and its annual migration over thousands of miles is an extraordinary natural phenomenon, though one that is poorly understood. Myths about the monarchs' travels abound, and to separate fact from fiction, Pyle set out late one summer to follow the wanderers south from their northernmost breeding grounds in British Columbia. He migrated with them down the Columbia, Snake, Bear, and Colorado Rivers, across the Bonneville Salt Flats, through Hell's Canyon and the Grand Canyon, to Mexico, then turned up the California coast to track another leg of their migration. CHASING MONARCHS is one of the most fascinating book ever written about butterflies. It's also a lively and compelling travel book about the American West, filled with unforgettable places and characters, both animal and human.


A long-standing bit of American nature folklore holds that monarch butterflies west of the Rocky Mountains migrate to wintering grounds in California, whereas those east of the Rockies migrate to wintering grounds in Mexico--and that the two classes of monarchs never meet and mix. Robert Pyle, a lepidopterist and nature writer, decided as a matter of curiosity to test the verity of this observation. His loosely conceived experiment took him over much of western North America, from a monarch breeding ground deep in the forests of British Columbia to the pine-clad mountainsides of central Mexico. His long journey forms the narrative frame for the aptly titled Chasing Monarchs, a book that mixes literate, and often funny, travelogue with the natural history of Danaus plexippus and its relatives. Pyle takes his readers along countless dirt roads, forest paths, cliffs, and milkweed-lined meadows to follow his quest, which he describes with plain elegance: "I'll find a monarch. I will watch it. If it flies, I'll follow it as far as I can. When I lose it, I'll take its vanishing bearing--the direction in which it disappears. Then I will quarter the countryside, by foot and by road, until I find the next suitable habitat along that bearing, and do it again." The landscape changes constantly in Pyle's quest, keeping things interesting, and Pyle imparts his evident, abundant affection for butterflies to his readers, a contagiously joyful interest that they come to share as his story progresses. --Gregory McNamee

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