Wendy Williams, author of “The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, and Other Obsessives Unlocked the Secrets of the World’s Favorite Insect”

Wendy Williams —longtime journalist and author, most recently of  “The Language of Butterflies: How Thieves, Hoarders, Scientists, And Other Obsessives Unlocked The Secrets of The World’s Favorite Insect”—recounts why, with all the things she’s covered as a journalist and all the topics she’s written books about, she focused on butterflies for this book. Williams also outlines what her attitude about butterflies had been before embarking on this project. In a part of the conversation addressing the significant history of butterflies, describes the life and studies of Maria Sibylla Merian, a naturalist and illustrator active during the 1600s in what’s now Germany—a notable figure in butterfly lore, whose work is still viewed and studied centuries later. She also touches on how Charles Darwin figures into the extended butterfly saga. (Mentioned, but not discussed—only because there wasn’t time time to cover everything—was that Vladimir Nabokov, in addition be being an acclaimed novelist, turned out to be a respected butterfly expert. Williams fields a number of questions and comments from listeners, ranging from milkweed to migration. (Photo of Williams: Rich Maclone; of Monarches: Wikicommons) [This was the first show in three-plus months that I was able to produce live at the WMNF studios. Coincidentally, it also marked the 17th anniversary of “Talking Animals.”] (https://wendywilliamsauthor.com, https://www.facebook.com/wendy.williams.731135)

COMEDY CORNER:  Brian Regan’s “Flipper and Gentle Ben”  (https://brianregan.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE:  We didn’t play “Name That Animal Tune” today.

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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