The authors describe interactions with wildlife, including elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep and myriad bird species, as well as the challenges of primitive camping conditions, weather extremes, bears, rattlesnakes, flat tires and wildfires. Most memorable of all were the Peregrines themselves, the subjects of hours of observations and binders full of notes, as they matured and took to the skies.
The book is structured on a framework of the scientific, procedural stages of the Peregrine reintroduction process. Enmeshed within each stage are the couple's many personal stories, journal entries, and 36 black and white photos.
Jean C. Beyer Ruhser grew up on a farm in Iowa, earned a bachelor's degree from Morningside College and a Master of Science in Biology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. At the latter institution, she taught Biology and Ornithology for many years. Jean is married to Gary G. Ruhser, author of A Memoir of Holstein: An Engineer Traces His Origin. Gary grew up on an Iowa farm not far from Jean's, and graduated as an engineer from Iowa State University. Now retired, he was licensed as a Professional Engineer, employed by two major corporations, taught evening classes at a technical college, and operated his own consulting business. The couple lives on a partially timbered farm in Wisconsin where they are engaged in re-establishing native prairie grasses and forbs on some of the open fields they formerly farmed.
In 1990, Gary and Jean began engaging in environmental field work that spanned from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota to the mountains of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado, to the barrier islands of Texas, the forests and grasslands of Wisconsin and to the desert of Arizona. As grantees, employees, or as volunteers, the couple worked separately on some projects and together on others. Their variety of fieldwork experiences includes censuses of Greater Sage-Grouse, Sharp-tailed Grouse and Ring-necked Pheasants in Colorado and Wyoming, participating in a variety of other bird monitoring projects in Wisconsin, the Bald Eagle Nest Watch in Arizona, trail and campsite maintenance in the Boundary Waters, Aplomado Falcon reintroduction in Texas, and Peregrine Falcon reintroduction in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. It is their adventures in Peregrine reintroduction during summers 1990-1996 that are the subject of their book, Seven Summers with Peregrines: Finding Midlife Adventures.