Posted by: atowhee | May 14, 2016


I grew up in the Ozarks where one of the highlights of each hot and humid summer was the “lightning bug” season.  I was no longer a kid when I first heard the more affected name “firefly.”  Whatever you called them they were always a wonder, especially when you had fifty or more in a large Mason jar. Nature’s fireworks.  We always let them go at our bed-time.

Now there’s a beautiful book about them by a woman who never lost her interest or wonder, Tufts University biologist Sara Lewis.SILSPRKS1The field guide section covers all American species.  And I sadly learn there are only dark fireflies here in Oregon, with lumenescent larvae but no flashing adults.  The true bling is all back where forests and fields are wet in summer.SILSPRKS2Lots of great stories and good summary of the science from range maps to biochemistry of  the light.  Good index which really matters in any reference book.

Silent Sparks.  By Sara Lewis.  Princeton Press.  Princeton, NJ.  2016.  223 pages.  $29.95.

Here’s interview with the book’s author.


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