Nature Matrix is a gathering of some of Robert Michael Pyle's most significant, original, and timely expressions of a life immersed in the natural world, in all its splendor, power, and peril
Nature Matrix: New and Selected Essays contains sixteen pieces that encompass the philosophy, ethic, and aesthetic of Robert Michael Pyle as a writer and biologist. Drawn from the natural history of human beings and other life-forms, the essays range from Pyle's experience as a young national park ranger in the Sierra Nevada to the streets of Manhattan; from the suburban jungle to the tangles of the written word; and from the phenomenon of Bigfoot to that of the Big Year – a personal exercise in extreme birding and butterflying. They include deep profiles of John Jacob Astor I and Vladimir Nabokov, as well as excursions into damaged Edens with children, teachers, writers, and rockers.
The nature of real wilderness in modern times comes under Pyle's lens, as does reconsideration of his trademark concept, "the extinction of experience" – maybe the greatest threat of alienation from the living world that we face today.
Nature Matrix shows a way back toward possible integration with the world, as it plumbs the range and depth of experience in one lucky life lived in close connection to the physical earth and its denizens. This collection brings together the thoughts and hopes of one of our most widely read and respected natural philosophers as he seeks to summarize a life of conservation.
Robert Michael Pyle is a biologist and writer who has worked in conservation biology around the world. His twenty-two books include Wintergreen, Where Bigfoot Walks, Mariposa Road, three collections of poetry, the novel Magdalena Mountain, and a flight of butterfly books. Founder of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, he was recently named an honorary life fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. Pyle lives, writes, and studies natural history in rural southwest Washington.