Norman and Cheryl Lavers are the authors of 100 Insects of Arkansas and the Midsouth: Their Portraits & Stories (Spring 2018).
Cheryl Lavers grew up in Porthcawl, on the south coast of Wales, in a family of nature lovers. Her earliest memories are of walks in the countryside to see birds and wildflowers, especially the delicate terrestrial orchids of the nearby sand dunes. She studied painting at Bath Academy of Art and since coming to the U.S. has painted birds and plants, most recently concentrating on the wonderful variety of leaves found in Arkansas. Cheryl has enjoyed exhibiting her bird and botanical paintings.
Norman Lavers taught English all over the country before landing at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, where he taught for 25 years. He grew up in Berkeley, California, and from the time he was a child brought home every creeping and crawling thing he saw and kept it as a pet.
Norman interrupted his study of English Literature to spend a year traveling in Europe and North Africa. On that trip, he met a young art student and happened to mention that he had heard the European robin was quite different from the American robin, and he especially wanted to see one. She said, "Wait a minute. There's one right here." He proposed to her a week later. The Lavers have just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
When Norman retired from teaching in 2000, the Lavers began studying and photographing the fantastic insects of Arkansas full time, sharing their enthusiasm for insects through presentations to Master Naturalists and Arkansas Audubon Society Adult Ecology Workshops, as well as other groups. This book is the result of the nearly twenty years the couple has spent observing, enjoying, and teaching others about insects in the wilds and gardens of Arkansas.