Over the past few years I've worked hard to overcome my fear of bugs. Not that I was deathly afraid or anything, but I'll admit that they really creeped me out. But, as I mentioned in an earlier blog post, my son Jack is extremely interested in bugs and seems to have a real knack for finding the coolest most colorful ones around.
Being an avid photographer I'm always excited to snap a few photos. You gotta admit they make for some wonderful photo opportunities. I've learned to take closeups of the bugs so we can do a little research when we get home. This is where the educational aspect can be further extended. There are so many great web resources out there and thousands of photographs and search options to narrow things down a bit.
Here's an example:
This past weekend Jack found a beautiful green and metallic beetle of some sort. It was already dead and laying in the red dirt in Sedona. I took a few photos and he actually brought it home for more investigation. When we got home we went to such sites as www.WhatsThatBug.com and www.BugGuide.net to try and identify the bug...but didn't get real far. But we didn't give up...
We also sent a few emails with attached photos to our local university's Department of Entomology and another cool website I found called Firefly Forest. The wonderful thing is that they both got back with us the same day and they both gave us the same answer! The university Entomologist at U of A wrote a field guide called "50 Common Insects of the Southwest" that I think I'll pick up for future reference.
The "glorious scarab" or (Chrysina gloriosa)
I hope to teach my children that so long as we're alive, we should never stop learning!!!