Laird R. Blackwell, who received his Ph. D. from Stanford University, has taught field wildflower classes in the American West for over 25 years. He lives with his wife, Melinda, in Tahoe, where he is professor and department chairman of Humanities at Sierra Nevada College. Laird has spent more than 10 years exploring the Sierra, the Mojave and the Great Basin. He hopes that his books deepen the reader's knowledge and love of this remarkable part of the world. He also hopes that everyone will be fortunate enough to see the high desert in a wet year, for he believes it is one of the most glorious of wildflower treats.