The Last Prairie: A Sandhills Journal

The Last Prairie: A Sandhills Journal

by Stephen R. Jones

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Overview

The Last Prairie: A Sandhills Journal by Stephen R. Jones

It is an area that has captivated and inspired travelers,philosophers,and artists for centuries. Long celebrated as one of the most visually stunning regions of the American landscape,it is also one of the most historically significant. And now,this vast,25,000-square-mile expanse known as the Nebraska Sandhills is brought to life with passion,perspective,and ecological timeliness in an unforgettable collection by Stephen Jones.

The Last Prairie is an extraordinary triumph of the essayist's art. By turns graceful and penetrating,introspective and universal,ruminative and prescient,the 20 essays in The Last Prairie embodies the essence of Sandhills life. Jones delivers a series of riveting accounts of the Sandhills,flora and fauna,wildlife,and rich cultural history. Fascinating descriptions of bald eagles,trumpeter swans,and the annual migratory flight of a half-million sandhill cranes stand alongside equally vivid accounts of trailblazing homesteaders,range wars,and devastating prairie fires. Jones speaks eloquently to such timeless themes as humanity's search for community and the ties that bind man and nature.

It is a region that has long captivated and inspired travelers,writers,and artists. Celebrated as one of the most visually stunning of American landscapes,it is the largest remaining relic of the majestic prairies that once extended from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains. Now this vast but fragile expanse known as the Nebraska Sandhills comes to life in an unforgettable collection of essays by naturalist and author Stephen R. Jones.

Evocative,insightful,and melancholy,the twenty essays in The Last Prairie limn the essence oflife in the Sandhills. Fascinating descriptions of dancing prairie-chickens,courting fireflies,and the annual migratory flight of a half-million sandhill cranes stand alongside equally vivid accounts of trailblazing homesteaders,range wars,and devastating storms. The Last Prairie is both paean and elegy for a place where you can walk for miles through shoulder-high grass or sit on a hill for hours with only the cry of the curlew and the hiss of the wind for company—a place Jones sought for decades and for whose survival he now fears.

The author's vast historical canvas lends a rare perspective and urgency to the book's discussion of recent efforts to save the Niobara River from dams and developers. And in depicting the life of the Plains Indians,including the nature of their cosmology and their doomed resistance to the encroachments of white settlers,Jones speaks eloquently to such timeless themes as humanity's search for community and the ties that bind us with nature. Infused with quiet pathos and vibrant imagery,The Last Prairie is a triumph of the essayist's art.

In graceful,pitch-perfect language,an award-winning environmentalist renders a startlingly vivid portrait of life in the Nebraska Sandhills.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780071353472
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
Publication date: 05/23/2000
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.89(d)

About the Author

Stephen R. Jones is the coauthor of Colorado Nature Almanac and The Shortgrass Prairie. Named by the National Wildlife Federation as one of ten “volunteers who make a difference,” Jones works as a teacher and environmental consultant in breeding-bird ecology.

Table of Contents

MapIntroductionLandmarksAncient VoicesFour WindsShifting SandsPawnee SpringsGrassPine LakeTallgrass DesertWhitetailsA Sense of HomeLost Chokecherry ValleyNightPlums in the WaterRiffraffBlue WaterDune DancersPurdumEast Meets WestTransitionsCrescent LakeBibliographical EssayAcknowledgments

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