My parents are both hard-core biologists, so I grew up being shuttled around to various wild places. My early years were spent living for months at a time at Archibald Biological Station, where I turned sooty black from rolling in the white sugar sand while my parents poked at milkweeds, scratched chigger bites, and beat off the over-tame scrub jays.
Later I spent a lot of time following along on Native Plant Society walks, or keeping up with the LepSoc outings where lepidopterists, armed with butterfly nets, stormed vacant lots and flowery roadsides in search of insect life. When they found some creepy-looking bug with huge venomous pincers they would pounce on it and grab it by the thorax, murmuring a Latin name while they showed it off to everyone.
I grew up thinking having frozen bugs in the freezer beside the ice cream bars was normal.
Just as I was entering adolescence, my father happened to rediscover a thought-to-be-extinct native gourd on the St. John's river, last described by William Bartram. For years after that my weekends consisted of sitting in a canoe or pontoon boat in all weathers, watching the alligators and water lettuce drift by, and avoiding the massive water spiders while my parents slogged enthusiastically through waist-deep black water.
Now with our homestead/farm (farmstead?) we are outside every day and my husband Ethan shares an enthusiasm for pictures of nature observations. We are always finding little things that we think are cool, and we hope someone else will enjoy them as much as we do:
Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head
Autumn Insect Jamboree
A Mysterious Stranger
Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail (and Mr. Coachwhip)
Unexpected Reptiles and Swarms
Life on a Sow Thistle
Birth and Death
Fungus and Something Else
Sun and Moon