Robert Michael Pyle's "Buterfly Big Year"

Author, naturalist and leading lepidopterist Robert Michael Pyle was interviewed today on KUOW, a Seattle-based NPR station, about his latest book “Mariposa Road: The First Butterfly Big Year.” Here’s a review of his latest tome from Booklist:

Kenn Kaufman wrote the wonderful Kingbird Highway (1997) about his attempt at a “Big Year,” an effort to find more birds in one calendar year than anyone ever had before. Pyle, author of the equally wonderful Chasing Monarchs (1999), in which he followed the migrating monarch butterflies, decided to try a butterfly “Big Year” and the present book is his delightful travelogue of butterfly hunting around North America. True to his other inspiration, Pyle’s paean to the mariposas (Spanish for butterflies) is as much about the people he met and the places he chased his sometimes elusive prey as it is about butterflies. Pyle keeps things low-tech: Marsha, a cottonwood-limb butterfly net; his 35-year-old Leitz binoculars; and a bunch of field guides, maps, notebooks, and mechanical pencils. Many pints of beer (all mentioned by name) are consumed; many fellow naturalists met up with; and many insect bites, minor injuries, vagaries of weather, and car repairs are dealt with, until by the end of the year Pyle had seen 477 species, all of which are listed in the appendix. This one is great fun. --Nancy Bent

Bob is a good friend of mine through my work with him at North Cascades Institute and it was a pleasure to hear his stentorial voice coming across the airwaves on this sunny first day of February.

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An interview with Tom Robbins * Bellingham, WA * 5.14.09

I had the amazing opportunity to interview the legendary author and psychedelic spelunker Tom Robbins on stage at Boundary Bay Brewery in Bellingham, Washington on May 14, 2009. We gave a reading from his novel B is for Beer to a sold-out audience in the outdoor beer garden, accompanied by live music, skits and general revelrie.

At the end of the event, I joined Tom on stage for a conversation -- I had over 20 questions prepared and rehearsed, though got less than half-dozen out. He was particularly interested in me asking him "How did you get started as a writer?" This question set him up for a delectable riff involving Elvis, a dwarf in a green suit, a blonde-in-distress and secret underground lakes beneath Graceland. Photo by Scott Glackman!

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