Barry Lopez's Arctic Dreams won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1986. He has a penchant for keen scientific observations, a poetic writing style, and a profound reverence for mystery. All of these gifts are on display in this collection of 14 essays in which Lopez takes us to unusual wilderness places and shares some of the peculiar pleasures of close encounters with nature.

Throughout these pieces, landscapes and wild animals are described with a beauty and poignancy that takes one's breath away. Best of all, Crossing Open Ground makes a good case for an ecological vision which recognizes that all living creatures and plants are to be savored and treasured.