Our Friends the Termites
By Pat Lowe
Take a journey into the micro-world of one of the most maligned creatures on the planet and discover the real story of termites. Find out the environmental benefits of termites and how for some they are a source of food. After years of keen observation in Western Australia’s Kimberley region, Pat Lowe shows that there is more to these industrious insects than their propensity to eat houses and furniture.
Termites are usually regarded as pests to be poisoned and removed at all costs. They can equally be seen as the earthworms of the tropics as they provide nutrients to arid soils. They have been an important food for people and other animals throughout the centuries and their nests have been used as a building material. This is commonly known as antbed.
Our Friends the Termites will enlighten anyone who has travelled through northern Australia and wondered at the strange mounds that dot the landscape. It is a fascinating and delightful read for backyard naturalists, entomologists and the simply curious.
Price $19.95 plus postage
Listen to Pat as she reads excerpts from the book. http://www.narrativeslibrary.com/science-fact-and-fiction/
Philip Adams interviewed Pat Lowe. Listen to the interview
That termites are the friends of humans is at the heart of this delightful book. Broome-based author and environmentalist, Pat Lowe, takes readers on an engaging, personal journey across times, places and cultures (especially Australia’s north) to explore not only the value of termites to humanity and all living things, but also why termites suffer such ‘bad press’. What’s especially remarkable is that termites form such terrific subject matter. Readers come to care for the daily chores termites undertake, where they live and why, family life, the types of materials they like to eat (or not), and how they are learning to adapt to cultural and environmental change. Lowe’s curiosity and creative writing ensure that Our Friends the Termites is a good story that is wonderfully well told. It is also the latest book from the small but vibrant publishing house in Broome, Backroom Press, where the aim is to take books from the ‘Kimberley to the World’. Sandy Toussaint, author and Honorary Professor (Anthropology) UWA.
Praise for this publication:
What a delightful read – entertaining, informative and (pardon the pun) groundbreaking. I am happy at the end of life, to find out what all those ‘flying ants’ are doing around lights when its wet. This book on termites turns those interminable mounds into pillars of fascination! Bob Brown, Environmentalist and former Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens.
Reading Our Friends the Termites is like walking with Pat Lowe through the bush – she artfully reveals the unexpected, you wonder at tiny marvels, and discover larger truths. You’ll never walk past a termite mound again without getting down close to check out their weird headgear, complex society, and recycling enterprise. Mark Horstman is a science journalist with the Catalyst program on ABC-TV.
It is a masterly amalgam of fact, culture, biology and history.
– Dr Geoff Monteith, formerly Senior Curator of Insects at the Queensland Museum.