TRAILS TO NATURE'S MYSTERIES: The Life of a Working Naturalist by Ross E. Hutchins

TRAILS TO NATURE'S MYSTERIES: The Life of a Working Naturalist

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Who wouldn't envy Hutchins his virtually school-free childhood on a Montana ranch where he was allowed to come and go as he liked on his old horse Sneezer, made the personal acquaintance of all the local ""characters,"" and discovered a new species of butterfly purely by luck? The Hutchins family must have been exceptional indeed: his rancher grandfather was an amateur naturalist with cases full of glass ""curios"" and the whole family toured Yellowstone Park on horseback in the days before automobiles were permitted there. The rest of Hutchins entomological career--chasing spoonbill catfish with a camera, jousting with literary agents, and serving the US army on Guam where he collected butterflies and avoided capturing ""Japs""--isn't always as intriguing as he thinks; the anecdotes do ramble on. But just basking in the presence of a man who has been able to turn indulging his natural curiosity into a life's work is a satisfying experience. Those who share Hutchins' delight in mummified grasshoppers and giant water striders or who nourish dreams of becoming a wildlife photographer will be more than willing to tolerate his rocking-chair style of reminiscence.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1976
Publisher: Dodd, Mead