Friday, March 20, 2015

Hot off the Press: MOTHS IN YOUR POCKET

The University of Iowa Press is proud to announce the release of Moths in Your Pocket: A Guide to the Saturn and Sphinx Moths of the Upper Midwest, by Jim Durbin, Frank Olsen, and Tom Jantscher.

This welcome addition to Iowa's popular series of laminated guides—the twenty-seventh in the series—illustrates fifty-one species commonly found in the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The Saturniid, or Giant Silk moths, are well named. Their large size—up to 6.5 inches for the cecropia moth—and the soft silk browns, greens, and oranges of their wings are unforgettable when they appear at a lighted window at night. Equally well named are the Sphinx or Hawk moths, important pollinators that hover like hummingbirds when nectar-feeding at dusk and even in daylight. The caterpillars of both families can be just as distinctive as the adults, as anyone who has ever come upon a tobacco or a tomato hornworm can attest.

For each species the authors have included common and scientific names, wingspan, and time of flight for the adults at this final stage in their life cycle. Striking photographs of the adult moths and of their larval stages make this guide as beautiful as it is useful.

For all naturalists captivated by the clear window eyespots of a Swallow-tailed Luna moth, the dark eyespots and bright yellow "pupils" of an Io moth, or the extendable proboscis of a White-lined Sphinx moth flitting from one moss rose to another, the photographs and descriptions in Moths in Your Pocket will be an invaluable reference.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

"Roy Vaughn"—excerpt from OTHERS HAD IT WORSE

I remember I would go over to Roy Vaughn's and get baby Pidgeons to bring home and put them on top of the hen house in boxes and dig fish worms for them. Some I had to hold their mouths open while I would feed them but they were pets. I could holler for them and they would fly down on my Shoulder or head. Some drunk said he would give me a dollar for one. I took the dollar but before I caught the bird I give the dollar back. I could not sell my Pidgeon.

Others Had It Worse: Sour Dock, Moonshine, and Hard Times in Davis County, Iowa, by Vetra Melrose Padget Covert and Chris D. Baker

Monday, March 16, 2015

Books on Food Production—Call for Proposals

Iowa is one of the leading producers of corn, soybeans, and hogs in the United States—indeed, in the world. It also has a lively local food scene, with everything from organic farms and long-lived food coops to farmers’ markets and farm-to-school programs. Building on the state’s long history as an agricultural powerhouse, the University of Iowa Press publishes books focused on the production and distribution of food—how we grow or catch what we eat and how that harvest makes it into the marketplace.

And we’re always looking for good new projects in this field. If you’re writing on these topics, please consider the University of Iowa Press as a publisher. You can find more information about what kind of projects we are interested in and proposal guidelines on our website.