Bluebird Seasons: Witnessing Climate Change in My Piece of the Wild (Paperback)

Bluebird Seasons: Witnessing Climate Change in My Piece of the Wild By Mary Taylor Young Cover Image

Bluebird Seasons: Witnessing Climate Change in My Piece of the Wild (Paperback)

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“This wonderful book is faithful both in its witness to the world’s beauty and to our need to act now to preserve something of that wonder and grace. It brings the bracing air of the Rockies to us all.” —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature 


In this A Sand County Almanac for the twenty-first century, nature writer and zoologist Mary Taylor Young tells the story of the growing effects of climate change on her land in the pine-covered foothills of southern Colorado.
 
Climate change wasn’t yet on the public radar when Young and her husband bought their piece of the wild in 1995. They built a cabin, set up a trail of bluebird nest boxes, and began a nature journal of observations, delighting in the ceaseless dramas, joys, and tragedies that are the fabric of life in the wild.
 
But changes greater than the seasonal cycles of nature became evident over time: increasing drought, wildfires, bears delaying hibernation, and the decline of familiar birds and appearance of new species.
 
Their journal of sightings over twenty-five bluebird seasons, she realized, was a record of climate change happening, not in an Indonesian rainforest or on an Antarctic ice sheet but in their own natural neighborhood. Using the journal as a chronicle of change, Young tells a story echoed in everyone’s lives and backyards. But it’s not time to despair, she writes. It’s time to act.
 
Young sees hope in the human ability to overcome great obstacles, in the energy and determination of young people, and in nature’s resilience, which the bluebirds show season after season.
Award-winning writer, naturalist and zoologist Mary Taylor Young has been writing about the landscape and heritage of Colorado and the American West for more than thirty-five years. Her twenty-two books include Land of Grass and Sky: A Naturalist's Prairie Journey and Rocky Mountain National Park: The First 100 Years. She received the 2020
Lifetime Achievement Award from the Colorado Authors League, was inducted into the Colorado Authors Hall of Fame in 2019, and was the 2018 Frank Waters Award honoree for exemplary literary achievement.
“Young has long engaged readers to support wildlife conservation. With this book she turns her writer’s eye to a critical personal story about climate change. A book to read and take to heart.” —Wayne Lewis, editor, Colorado Outdoor

“Beautifully written, Bluebird Seasons shares Mary Taylor Young’s journal entries from over 25 years at her family cabin, as well as her scientific insights into the changes she has seen. As much a love letter to the land as it is a sober analysis of climate change, Young shares the implications to the ecosystem and to the things she values.” —Jerry Mitchell, chief of biology, National Park Service (retired)

“In Bluebird Seasons, Mary Taylor Young gives voice and humanity to the complex scientific issue of climate change and makes it approachable to all readers. For 25 years she chronicled the lifecycle of bluebirds and other species on her land in southern Colorado. As a scientist herself, she understands the value of documentation and careful analysis; as a nature writer, she sees the world through vivid and poetic eyes. What emerged from her meticulous and expressive journaling was a delineation of the effects of climate change in her own backyard. Young leaves us with hope, a call to action, and optimism that we can and will do the right thing. Anyone who cares about our planet should read this book.” —Janice L. Nerger, Dean of the College of Natural Sciences andInterim Provost, Colorado State University

This wonderful book is faithful both in its witness to the world’s beauty and to our need to act now to preserve something of that wonder and grace. It brings the bracing air of the Rockies to us all.” —Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature 

"Young infuses her accessible climate chronicle with a sense of wonder and a small measure of hope." —Booklist