Saturday, July 31, 2010

Entomological interests

I love bugs. 

When I was in the 6th grade I had a very cool teacher who had a meticulously organized insect collection.  Each insect was carefully labeled with its name and where it was collected.  I decided to emulate her and create my own, with which I took first place in the science fair.

To this day I remember a particular experience with a predacious ground beetle (an inch-long black beetle common in the Pacific Northwest).  Friends of mine down the street found it in a puddle and brought it to me.  Because it was already dead, I mounted it on a pin and put it on the back porch because my mom wouldn't allow the box of dead bugs in the house. 

About an hour later one of the legs started to twitch.  "You must have hit a nerve," my mom assured me.

Another hour passed to find the beetle twirling in circle on the pin like some sort of macabre carousel animal.  That wasn't just some weird nerve twitch.  Nope - that critter was full-on alive. 

I still love bugs but I haven't put one on a pin since that science fair collection drew to a close. 

Every time a Monarch butterfly flutters by I stop and stare, wishing it well on its long journey.  When the gorgeous three-inch-long blue dragonflies whisk around my yard in the afternoons I cheer them on, knowing that they're helping to manage the mosquito population.

But I especially adore bees.  Even though one of my earliest memories is of being stung by a bumblebee when I was about 2, I still love them.  I often find them warming up in the morning sun because they didn't make it home last night.

I would love to get a beehive someday, wouldn't you?


  1. We have two beehives that a beekeeper has put on our property (in North Seattle). They are so fascinating to watch. We even had a swarm! I have friends who keep their own bees, and they'd be happy to get you set up. Just let me know!

  2. We have a ground hive of misplaced bumblebees. I'd love to keep honey bees someday but that'll have to wait till we have more property.