Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Nature Ecology


A Passionate View of the Prairie Grasslands

photographs by Wayne Lynch

Fifth House Books
Initial publish date
Mar 2004
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2004
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it


"To understand the grasslands is to know their worth."

Windswept is a celebration of the subtle beauty and fascinating biology of one of the most threatened large ecosystems on the planet - the grasslands of the Canadian prairies and the northern Great Plains of the United States.

Cradled between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the Canadian Shield to the east, the grasslands both north and south of the border share a common climate, geological history, and wildlife diversity, as recorded in the opening pages of the book.

World-renown natural history writer and wildlife photographer Wayne Lynch describes in detail the evolution and nature of each of five defining grassland habitats - flat to gently rolling plains, sand hills, wooded valleys called coulees, sloughs, and badlands - and the creatures that live there. Written in the informative yet entertaining style that has become his trademark, Lynch's wildlife descriptions, in particular, reflect exciting new discoveries in evolutionary and reproductive biology.

Beautifully illustrated by more than ninety stunning photographs that speak of the visual wonder of the grasslands and its wildlife, this book reveals the grasslands as a landscape of promise and surprise, a mosaic of communities that differ in vegetation and wildlife, and a place where the wind and the pungent smell of pasture sage evoke memories from our unseen past.

Discover the excitement, the diversity, the intricacy, the biology, and the beauty of the northern prairies in Windswept and no doubt you will conclude, as Lynch does, that to allow the grasslands to disappear would be to sacrifice a landscape that raises the quality of life above mere survival.

About the author

Wayne Lynch
Recognized and respected as one of North America's leading wildlife and natural history photographers, Wayne Lynch has spent the last forty-two years capturing images of wildlife in wild places the world over. His impressive photo credits include hundreds of magazine covers, thousands of calendar shots, and tens of thousands of images published in over sixty countries. Lynch is also an award-winning science writer, a popular guest lecturer, and a veteran photo safari leader. His practical and entertaining approach to natural history, whether it be through the written or spoken word, has attracted the admiration of audiences worldwide. He has photographed both common and unusual creatures in their native habitat in more than fifty countries, travelling extensively for long periods of time and often undergoing considerable physical hardship to get the "perfect shot."

With an exceptional ability to write for both adults and children, Lynch has authored more than fifth highly acclaimed natural history books, including The Great Northern Kingdom: Life in the Boreal Forest, Wild Birds Across the Prairies, Penguins of the World,Mountain Bears, Bear: Monarchs of the Northern Wilderness, A is for Arctic: Natural Wonders of a Polar World, The Nature Babies Series and the wildly popular children's book The Scoop on Poop: The Fascinating Science of How Animals Use Poop.

Lynch is a Fellow of the internationally recognized Explorers Club and Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America. Lynch lives in Calgary with his wife of forty-five years, Aubrey Lang.

Wayne Lynch's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Each chapter offers fascinating descriptions in an accessible, articulate style. The photographs are superb. Windswept provides the reader an educated and fascinating account of one of the most beautiful — and threatened — of ecosystems."
Canadian Book Review Annual

"Many people never visit the vast grasslands of the midcontinent, or they cross it with scant attention, speeding down major highways to the more stunning scenery of the Rockies or coastlines. Common perceptions focus on the seemingly boring topography (relatively fiat), near-constant winds, and extreme temperatures. But Wayne Lynch's book of photographs and evocative text captures the subtle, dynamic beauty of the prairie landscape and provides fascinating details about the plants and animals that live there, making even those familiar with this landscape want to look more closely."
University of Nebraska

"Wayne Lynch has the rare ability to recognize a great photograph through his camera's viewfinder, as well as to construct a beautiful, illuminating and clear sentence - his love for nature comes through in both of these talents. Windswept provides a splendid non-technical window into the visually simple but ecologically complex Canadian grasslands, which are the best and most extensive surviving examples of these highly threatened North American ecosystems. Although it is easy to recognize a forest's demise after it has been clear-cut and destroyed, prairies often hide the effects of deterioration from overgrazing, alien introductions and biotic disturbance until it is too late to save them. Wayne's book should help to educate the general reader not only to the subtle majesty of the northern plains grasslands but provide an insight into their history, their fascinating denizens, and the importance of working to assure their survival"
Paul A. Johnsgard, Foundation Professor Emeritus, U. of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska

Other titles by Wayne Lynch