Nocturnalia: Nature in the Western Night

By Charles Hood , José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca

Darkness is something humans strive to keep at bay, but under the glow of twilight a nocturnal universe stirs to life. Nightshade blossoms bloom, javelinas parade down city streets, fox eyes gleam under the cover of the forest, and tiny sparrows fly incredible distances, guided by the stars. Naturalist Charles Hood and bat biologist José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca unravel these enigmas in Nocturnalia, inviting readers on an environmental romp through the wonders of the Wild West. Their sundown dispatches, featuring over 100 photographs from California and the American Southwest, take us from the astronomical canopy overhead, to the flora that unfurl under moonshine, to the creatures that go bump in the night. With practical tips for the budding nighttime naturalist, the authors invite citizen scientists of all stripes to expand our knowledge of this final frontier and our understanding of life on Earth. Exploring the evolutionary adaptations of owls, bats, and other nightlife animals; the natural history of nighttime plants; and the celestial patterns that regulate this after-dark kingdom, Hood and Martínez-Fonseca lift their lanterns to illuminate the exquisite and intricate inner workings of nature after nightfall. 

Categories Nature | New Releases

About the Authors

Charles Hood

Charles Hood

Charles Hood has studied birds and natural history from the Amazon to Tibet, and he has seen more than five thousand species of birds in the wild. A widely published poet, he has received numerous fellowships and writing awards and is the author of the Heyday collection A Salad Only the Devil Would Eat. His other Heyday titles include field guides to mammals and birds, and for the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County he was the lead author and photographer for the book Wild LA.

José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca

José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca

José Gabriel Martínez-Fonseca divides his time between Nicaragua and Arizona, where he recently completed a PhD in bat ecology. He owns almost as many headlamps and cameras as Charles does and has contributed images to wildlife publications worldwide. He is also very adroit at catching bats and tarantulas, among other creatures. Martínez-Fonseca is the coauthor, along with Charles Hood and Erin Westeen, of Sea Turtles to Sidewinders: A Guide to the Most Fascinating Reptiles and Amphibians of the West.

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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