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The Light in High Places: A Naturalist Looks at Wyoming Wilderness, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Cowboys, and Other Rare Species
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The Light in High Places: A Naturalist Looks at Wyoming Wilderness, Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep, Cowboys, and Other Rare Species

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  74 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Naturalist Joe Hutto's latest adventures in wildlife observation take him to Wyoming's Wind River Mountains. Hutto is living in a tent at 12,000 feet, where blizzards occur in July and where human wants become irrelevant and human needs can become a matter of life and death--to study the Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. The population of these rare alpine sheep is in decline. ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by Skyhorse Publishing (first published 2009)
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Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
"There is something tragic about not ending a day witnessing a sunset." This statement elegantly sums up Hutto's stance on how man should experience existence on Earth.

While I enjoyed this book - Hutto's interesting journey as a scientist, ranch hand, and would-be philosopher, all set within his striking landscape descriptions - there were so many times when I found myself thinking that Hutto was writing in wildly fluctuating moods, often even making statements that sounded nice but didn't reall
Aug 18, 2012 added it
Somewhat of a disappointment. I saw a special on TV of this guy who spent a year raising a brood of turkeys--and he didn't have human contact, but pretty literally "became" a turkey. You realize he's a bit of an outlier--communicating with turkeys by gobbling and whatnot is pretty out there. Fascinating though. And you could tell from his narrative that he had a way with language and could certainly write about nature. I found his book about Wyoming to be a little too unfocused. Yes, he beautifu ...more
Jun 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is written by one of my favorite American naturalists. This story is about Hutto's study of Bighorn Sheep in the Whiskey river region in Wyoming. There's also a long section in the book about Hutto's experience as a cowboy on a large WY ranch. He's a terrific writer. I feel like I'm experiencing what the calves go through as they are roped and branded! So many adventures and amazing experiences close to pack goats, big horn sheep, moose....The book is four or five tales in one and it j ...more
James Gash
Feb 16, 2013 rated it liked it
As one reviewer noted, this book is a bit unfocussed. It may start in a tent in the mountains, observing wild sheep, but it quickly diverts itself to a "how I got here' saga that is a sometimes-interesting story of cowboying in the '70's, and a sometimes-meh travelogue of Wyoming that could have been ghost-written by an overzealous Chamber-of-Commerce functionary. Hutto at his best is delightful, and full of insights (like the My Life As A Turkey story) that make this book a worthwhile read, but ...more
Kristy P.
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have been to Middle Mountain several times, and I have lived in Wyoming my whole life. I actually did not think it was all that hard to reach the camp on the mountain, but comming down was the hard part (especially with Tomahawk live traps). My pika research contributed to the study, but it was not mentioned in the book. I wonder why my paper (published in the Journal of Wildlife Diseases in 2007) was not cited.

I agree with the author's thoughts on the future of Wyoming--the ATVs and natural g
Aug 08, 2012 rated it did not like it
I like the premise of this book a lot and there were a few parts that lived up to my expectations, but so much of the writing and description was so over the top. Being an avid backpacker and general outdoorsy person, I appreciate the natural world, but most of the writing in this book just made me cringe. I think Jon Krauker is a much better example of how to write about awe-inspiring natural beauty.
Graham Bell
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As one who has wandered some of the high Wind River wilderness and one who has lived in Lander, I was particularly interested in this book. I found it interesting. It was generally vividly accurate in portraying the area and its peoples. I was, however, somewhat disappointed in the disjointed style of the book, as it lacked temporal continuity.
Dec 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again, nature
Also reread the one about turkeys
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Was not sure I would like this book. Cowboys? But, ended up really loving it. Highly recommend to anyone.
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Recommended by another nature lover. I am not familiar with Wyoming wilderness and am intrigued now to visit. Yellowstone here I come.
FSU Alumni
Sep 25, 2014 added it
Shelves: fsu-alumni
Joe Hutto (B.A. '71)
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“Disturbingly, modern technological society has allowed us all to become nature’s bubble children who artificially dwell in that vacuum of cerebral abstraction that we know simply as material culture. But of course our existence on the planet is not an abstraction. Human culture is not really the universe we live in. That we can so rigorously sustain the illusion that we are somehow removed from the forces that perpetuate and sustain life on this planet is a strong indictment of modern humanity’s separation from nature and hints that simple human reason and common sense might also be largely illusory.” 1 likes
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