Chasing Dragonflies

Chasing Dragonflies : A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History

4.5 (10 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Illustrated by 

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Chasing Dragonflies: A Natural, Cultural, and Personal History is an engaging, beautifully illustrated introduction to these remarkable insects. Drawing on her experiences as a natural history instructor, dragonfly monitor, cancer survivor, grandmother, and steward, Crosby tells the stories of dragonflies: their roles in poetry and art, their fascinating sex life - unique within the animal kingdom - and their evolution from dark-water dwellers to denizens of the air. We follow Crosby and other citizen scientists into the prairies, wetlands, and woodlands of the Midwest, where they observe the environment and chronicle dragonfly populations and migration to decipher critical clues about our changing waterways and climate.

Woven throughout are personal stories: reflections on the author's cancer diagnosis and recovery, change, loss, aging, family, joy, and discovering what it means to be at home in the natural world. Crosby draws an intimate portrait of a landscape teeming with variety and mystery, one that deserves our attention and conservation. As warm as it is informative, this book will interest gardeners, readers of literary nonfiction, and anyone intrigued by transformation, whether in nature or our personal lives.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 248 pages
  • 127 x 203 x 17.78mm | 317.51g
  • Evanston, United States
  • English
  • 20 colour images
  • 0810142309
  • 9780810142305
  • 1,626,219

Table of contents

1.Why Chase Dragonflies? All About Odonates
2. What's a Dragonfly, Anyway? An Anatomy Lesson
3. Embracing Change: Transformation
4. The Bachelor: Romance Along the Waterways
5. They Go Where? The Mysteries of Migration
6. So Many Dragonflies: So Little Time
7. Yin and Yang: Joy and Terror in the Wetlands
8. Dragonflies as Creative Muse: Insect-Inspired Art
9. A Fragile Flyer: The Hine's Emerald Dragonfly
10. The Girl With the Dragon(fly) Tattoo: More than Insects
11. Dragonfly Monitoring: The Thrill of the Chase
12. The Dragonfly Chasers: Much Ado About Odes
13. Experiencing Dragonfly Magic for Yourself: Putting Your Knowledge to Work
14. Fostering the Dragonfly "Bug" in Kids: Sharing the Love
15. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? The Dragonfly-Friendly Garden
16. Ode Addiction: A Cautionary Tale
17. Chasing Dragonflies: On Paying Attention
For Further Discover
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Review quote

Chasing Dragonflies is an engaging introduction to the Lilliputian world of these ancient creatures. Cindy Crosby reverently weaves their natural history into our modern lives, providing the reader with a better sense of self and place. Her writing is as delightful, and as fresh, as a teneral damselfly." - Marla Garrison, McHenry County College

"Anyone who loves nature should have this delightful and educational book, written by a naturalist who has learned so much and has so much to teach the rest of us. After reading this book, you may just agree that dragonflies are the most interesting creatures on Planet Earth." - Dennis Paulson, Slater Museum of Natural History

"This delightful book, built with personal, passionate prose, is an inspiration. Crosby's dragonfly wanderings and observations make me want to get up and get out there. A delightful and informative read." - Kurt Mead, author of Dragonflies of the North Woods
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About Cindy Crosby

Cindy Crosby is the author of The Tallgrass Prairie: An Introduction (Northwestern University Press, 2017). She is a natural history instructor in the Chicago region who coordinates dragonfly monitoring programs at two sites: the Morton Arboretum and Nachusa Grasslands, a Nature Conservancy site.

Peggy MacNamara is the artist in residence at Chicago's Field Museum.
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Rating details

10 ratings
4.5 out of 5 stars
5 60% (6)
4 30% (3)
3 10% (1)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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