Hunting for Frogs on Elston, and Other Tales from Field & Street
Published in association with the Chicago Wilderness coalition, Hunting for Frogs on Elston comprehensively chronicles Chicagoland's unique urban ecology, from its indigenous prairie and oft-delayed seasons to its urban coyotes and passenger pigeons. In witty, informed prose, Sullivan evokes his adventures netting dog-faced butterflies, hunting rattlesnakes, and watching fireflies mate. Inspired by regional flora and fauna, Sullivan ventures throughout the metropolis and its environs in search of sludge worms, gyrfalcons, and wild onions. In reporting his findings to otherwise oblivious urbanites, Sullivan endeavors to make "alienated, atomized, postmodern people feel at home, connected to something beyond ourselves."
In the sprawling Chicagoland region, where an urban ecosystem teeming with remarkable life evolves between skyscrapers and train tracks, no writer chronicled the delicate balance of nature and industry more vividly than Jerry Sullivan. An homage to the urban ecology Sullivan loved so dearly, Hunting for Frogs on Elston is his fitting legacy as well as a lasting gift to the urban naturalist in us all.
“Sullivan had a unique passion for urban ecology and his writings bring out the naturalist in all of us. A master of the short essay (each is 1000 to 1500 words), the author captivated his audience by skillfully blending ecological theory, natural history, and humor. . . . . An excellent resource for any urban dweller with an interest in natural history. . . . The essays can be enjoyed equally by scientists and nonscientists, whether or not they have ever been to or lived in Chicago. This book is also a 'must read' for any high school or college environmental science class, especially [in] the growing field of urban ecology.”