Did you know that dragonflies and damselflies have excellent vision, but can’t hear; have six legs, but can’t walk; are fierce predators of other insects, but are harmless to humans? Retired Professor James Walker, “Dragonfly Whisperer,” is the author of Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast, 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. Dragonflies, and their close relative the damselflies, have been the focus of Professor Walker’s interest for the past ten years. He has led numerous dragonfly field trips, along with his wife Betsy Walker, and has given numerous presentations on dragonflies in both Washington and Arizona.
James S. Walker is an Anacortes resident and 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.
Don’t miss Jim’s engaging presentation on the amazing and unusual behavior of dragonflies and damselflies of the Pacific Coast.
Always on the 4th Tuesday of the month: