Nautilus

Butterfly Wonk Robert Pyle Pens His First Novel 44 Years in the Making

Ecologist Robert Michael Pyle’s imaginative treatment of the nonhuman world—he includes a butterfly and a mountain among his cast of characters—is both a surprise and perhaps a natural result of his artistic development.Counterpoint Press

Last year marked a first for 71-year old Robert Michael Pyle, the acclaimed author, naturalist, and ecologist: the publication of his long-awaited first novel, Magdalena Mountain, nearly half a century in the making.

Pyle has been investigating the butterfly for about 60 years. In that time his prolific output has included several butterfly field guides, chronicles of his adventures in the great outdoors (, , and among them), and the magnum opus , a collection of the novelist’s butterfly writings. Pyle has also made seminal contributions to butterfly research, including his establishment of the Western Monarch’s migration pathway across the U.S. and into Mexico. Forty-eight years ago, he foresaw the acceleration of insect extinctions and

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