Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A year in butterflies

My friend Bob Pyle, author and lepidopterist extraordinaire, is embarking on an amazing journey around North America: in 2008, he will attempt to find and observe as many butterfly species as he can in the United States and Canada. His Butterfly Big Year will serve as a witness to the status and lives of our 800-some butterfly species, and also as a benefit to raise funds for - and awareness of conservation of these amazing pollinators. (Imagine knowing how to transform your body from crawling caterpillar to fluttering adult - that's an ordinary part of life for a butterfly.) You can take part in his historic journey by pledging a donation to the Xerces Society for every species he sees and documents, and you'll also be able to read about his travels and experiences in the book Swallowtail Seasons: The First Butterfly Big Year, to be published by Houghton Mifflin (once Bob makes it home at the end of the year and gets to writing!). Bob's a scientist, but he's also a man in love with butterflies, and this journey reflects both his passion and his knowledge. I eager to hear his dispatches from along the way.

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