Monday, November 5, 2012

Last Dance of the Grouse?

We had the opportunity attend a Missouri Prairie Foundation meeting Saturday night where we heard Noppadol Paothong and Joel M. Vance discuss their new book, Save the Last Dance.  Noppadol will be repeating this at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center on November 16 at 7:00 PM.*

Anyone who is involved with Missouri conservation and nature study will be familiar with the name Noppadol Paothong from his fabulous photography in the Missouri Conservationist as well as many other national publications and previous awards.  Likewise, they would recognize his co-author, Joel Vance from his 60 year career in writing about Missouri in the Conservationist as well as his many books of humor, nature and fiction.

We hear a lot about the danger of extirpation facing our prairie chicken population in Missouri.  Their new book addresses the bigger picture of other related grouse species, strikingly different in appearance but similar in their colorful mating habits.  All are facing the dangers of decreasing habitat on which they mate and raise their young.

Noppadol will be showing his fantastic photographs as well as describing the process of collecting them over the last 11 years.  His stories include:
  • Treks through waist deep snow in 10 degree below temperatures.  Who knew the birds would still have mating on their minds under these conditions?
  • The attack of a Northern Harrier.
  • The futile battle of the last male of his species trying to bluff competing automobiles.
The video below will introduce you to the making of the book, but can't begin to prepare you for the fantastic story and the photographs you will see.

Nop will be signing copies at the Nature Center.  They won't be for sale there but you can get one for signature one of two ways.
  1. Buy one at ABC Books at 2109 North Glenstone and bring it to the Nature Center.
  2. Buy one through his website and he will deliver it to you at the Nature center that night.  The website is 
* Registration required- call the Nature Center at 417-888-4237.

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