This event is part of North Cascade Institute’s Nature of Writing Series!

Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast is a unique field guide that combines state-of- the-art features for identifying dragonflies—such as range maps, flight season charts, life size and annotated photos for each species—as well as exciting new discoveries about their lives. An example of the latter is the splash-dunk/spin-dry behavior, in which a dragonfly plunges into the water multiple times to bathe, and then spins at 1,000 rpm in mid flight to shed the water—the fastest known spinning motion of any animal! The guide also introduces the intriguing Happy-face Dragonfly—whose official name is the Paddle-tailed Darner—and provides tips on how to get a dragonfly to perch on your finger. Filled with beautiful photos and original illustrations, this field guide will help to get you on a “first name basis” with these wonderful, yet little-known, creatures.

James S. Walker is a retired professor of theoretical physics from Washington State University, where he was the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Science and Mathematics Education. He received his Ph. D. in theoretical physics from the University of Washington, and has also taught physics courses at Western Washington University. The author of several university-level textbooks on physics, Professor Walker and his wife Betsy divide their time between Washington and Arizona, and enjoy birding and dragonflying in both locations.