Sunday, September 15, 2013

Introducing Robert Michael Pyle

Our next essay, titled "The Extinction of Experience," was written by a well-known nature writer as part of his book The Thunder Tree: Lessons from an Urban Wildland. Robert Michael Pyle was born in Denver in 1946 and now lives in Grays River, Washington. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Washington, and his M. Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale. He is a respected lepidopterist who wrote The Audubon Society Guide to the Butterflies of North America along with a number of books about nature.

To learn more about Robert Michael Pyle, watch this 15 minute video interview by the North Cascades Institute.

9 comments:

G Van Horn said...

I'm excited to see Robert Michael Pyle's essay as the upcoming reading. I had the pleasure of meeting him and having him as an instructor at the Wildbranch writing workshop this summer. Bob (as he had us call him) is an amazing writer and teacher. I'm currently working my way through The Tangled Bank, a collection of short columns that he wrote for Orion magazine over many years. For those with an interest, you can see how his thoughts on "the extinction of experience" influenced a project I am now working on: http://www.humansandnature.org/blog/subtle-kind-extinction

WILD READ Team said...
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WILD READ Team said...

Thank you for sharing your blog, G Van Horn. I really like the way you describe Pyle's essay in your own words. If I may borrow from your blog page to share here: "It’s not that exotic animals in foreign lands aren’t important. In the grand scheme of things, they matter deeply. But contact, real contact, is what leads to relationship. Borrowing a page from ecologist Aldo Leopold who wrote, 'We only grieve for what we know,' Pyle lays his point out plainly: 'People who care conserve; people who don’t know don’t care. What is the extinction of the condor to a child who has never known a wren?' " Beautifully summarized. This theme of the emotional importance of species and habitats that are perhaps not the most ecologically important is a thread that runs through Betsy Hiestand's "Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah", our first essay. In a way, Pyle's writing completes the circle for this read. We welcome your thoughts on our upcoming posts - thanks again for sharing your blog with us.

Mark LaRoux said...

I guess my question addresses both Pyle's and Hiestand's essays...How could you NOT act?
Much like Arjuna watching the world's vastness unfold through Krishna's counsel in the Bhagavad Gita, the inevitability of what has to be done is already apparent (literally), just the doing is left to be done. Whether we are skimmers or pelicans only matters when the fish are there...remove the fish and......
I'd say keeping every piece of every puzzle (or every fish) in this world of ours is impossible..just like keeping every story alive is impossible. But keeping the ones that connect to others, and the 'border pieces' is the only way to see a bigger picture. Yes, we can argue over which pieces, but the goal is always the same--Preserve our source of 'fish'...our wisdom...our stories...our skimmers and pelicans for the future. Most people will do 'the right thing' if they are given the right role models to choose from. Its just a matter of education.

R. M. Pyle said...

Thanks for doing such a beautiful job with this, friends...I love Jim's "pelicans & skimmers" into, and am honored to be included with these other writers I so much like and admire. It was fine seeing the Wild Read folks at NCTC in June, ans scribbling with Gavin in Vermont in July. Mark's comments hit to the heart of things.I might only add to "it's just a matter of education" this afterthought: "...and somehow coming to a solid understanding and genuine response to the natural limits that every expanding species must face."
Bob Pyle

American said...

Yes, I must say Robert Michael Pyle is a respected lepidopterist. I started reading this book in August, within two weeks of the date when Robert Michael Pyle set out on his journey to follow the monarchs on their migration. The brilliance of his writing is in the way he captures the colors, textures, sounds, and smells--the FEEL--of the landscapes he's traveling through.

Largest said...

The forum sounds like an awesome event.

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Sachinder Kumar said...

Great Informative blog.. thanks for share with us.
Now a days cutting the trees and deforestation is very big problem for Nature... So we need conservation services and environmental services for good environment and better future.