The Butterflies of Bend & Central Oregon

(Photo courtesy of Buddy Mays)

Among the most beautiful and mysterious creatures in nature, butterflies are fascinating to watch, gorgeous to look at and certainly stimulating to learn about.

Central Oregon is a butterfly haven and The Butterflies of Bend & Central Oregon, a recently released identification guide by author/photographer/biologist Buddy Mays, describes in words and amazingly detailed color photographs, almost 50 of the most commonly seen butterflies and moths in our area.  From the giant (in butterfly terms) Western Tiger Swallowtail with its four-inch wing-span to the tiny Pumice Blue and Cedar Hairstreak, which seldom exceed more than three-quarters of an inch from wingtip to wingtip, each butterfly and moth in the book is described in layman’s terms and each description is accompanied by from one to four close-up color images.

Mays, a vertebrate zoologist by education, former contract photographer for The National Geographic Society and the Chevrolet Magazine Group, spent three years researching and writing The Butterflies of Bend & Central Oregon, and hundreds of hours in the field and studio photographing what one biologist called Mother Nature’s flying flowers.

A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Mays has visited, photographed and written about more than 60 countries during the past 30 years. His images, taken on six continents, have appeared in hundreds of major publications throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia. He is a former contract assignment photographer for The National Geographic Society, and field editor and writer for Outdoor Life Magazine. He has written 22 books, the latest of which is Santa Fe“, a photographic journey through Santa Fe, New Mexico, from 1970-2000, published by Arcadia Press. His first novel, Hard to Have Heroes, published in July 2012 by the University of New Mexico Press, has won several major awards.

Buddy began his photography and writing career while still an undergraduate studying vertebrate zoology and archaeology at New Mexico State University, working 40 hours a week for the Las Cruces Sun News. After college, he joined the photography staff of the Albuquerque Tribune and remained in Albuquerque until 1972 when he returned to Santa Fe to begin freelancing full-time for TIME, Newsweek and United Press International. In 1978, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Feature Photography for a series of photographs of American cowboys and was among the five finalists. That same year, the Smithsonian Institution requested several of his black-and-white prints of American Indians for their permanent collection in Washington, DC. In 2008, he was selected as one of the world’s 60 best wildlife photographers by Digital Photographer Magazine.

From the late 1970s until the mid-1990s, Buddy spent at least half of each year traveling in the United States and overseas, shooting photographs and writing articles for a variety of companies, including the National Geographic Society, Chevrolet, Northwest Airlines, Abercrombie & Kent, Sobek Travel and other clients. He also wrote and photographed eight books on such varied subjects as whitewater rafting, Southwestern archaeology, Costa Rica and Pueblo Indians. Buddy is a four-year veteran of the United States Coast Guard, first stationed aboard the square-rigged sailing ship Eagle at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, and then aboard the cutter Rockaway as a rescue swimmer in the North Atlantic. He has lived in Bend with his wife and daughter since 1996.

The Butterflies of Bend & Central Oregon is available at Dudley’s Café and Book Store, Paulina Books in Sisters, the High Desert Museum, Wild Birds, and look for it in all local Forest Service offices and Market of Choice stores in early spring.

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