Monday, June 29, 2009
I was cleaning out my freezer the other day and realized that quite a significant area of one of the shelves was being taken by jars and bags of frozen insects. Yep - bugs in the freezer. It's not that I didn't know they were there. But I decided it was time to reoccupy my freezer space with food. So we gathered the supplies together for a pinning session.
I recognize that this may gross some people out. But I have been exposed to these kinds of things my entire life. I have early memories of my brother's insect collection in our "science closet." For those of you that have visited my childhood home - you know that we had a long hallway lined with closets. The decorating closet, the art closet, the desk closet, the toy closet, the fabric closet and the science closet. This last closet smelled like moth balls and formaldehyde and was filled with birds nests, rocks, shells, collecting jars with frogs and fishes, insect nets, identification charts and a shelf full of National Geographic magazines. This was one of my favorite places when I was kid - so much to explore and so much to discover!
My personal introduction to insect collecting began in high school when in preparation for Mr. Webb's zoology class (check out other Mr. Webb posts HERE) - Rachel and I spent a summer hunting June beetles after dark at the BYU bell tower and driving along the fields by Utah lake with our nets out the car window. I even had a couple of specimens that I brought back from France! I meticulously pinned each insect making sure that each antennae, wing and leg were in place exactly. And we had to identify each insect with its scientific name and the location where it was found - like this:
I loved this zoology class and always took pride in my insect collection. We had to collect something like 150 insects - do you remember how many exactly Rachel? Since Weston took this same class a few years before me - he also had an insect collection and when we got married - we combined the two. As our kids have grown older we have encouraged them to start their own. So here we go!
Now we just have to identify them! Now where did I put that dichotomous key?...