Monday, May 22, 2006

Beetle Reunion

Yesterday was the 20th annual Bug Fair at the California Museum of Natural History. The family usually goes but this time it was just Anne and myself. It isn't that the kids have outgrown or metamorphosed beyond such things but they just had other plans. The first booth you see even before paying to get in is the Western Exterminators, a tad ironic, but I can understand the logic. They do have a great practical knowledge of the local insect population especially the ones I'm interested in, the stinging biting guys. Here I am with Timmy, the Western Exterminator mascot. He didn't speak but he was really good with sign language and enjoyed looking at my collection of butterflies and moths. What we usually do is get a box and start going around buying colorful or unusual bugs for display. This time I got moths and butterflies. Last year it was beetles. Outside, they have a butterfly garden with a couple dozen species flitting around.
I bought a textbook on spiders which are technically arachnids, not insects, but they're small and bug spray kills them. Call them whatever you like. Anne got some really good field guides to butterflies and they are, of course, in color. My big complaint to the spider book is that it's in black and white which makes identification difficult. You can also buy live insects, silk worms and several species of tarantulas from the big mellow guys which crawl slowly over your palm or the smaller angry biting guys (why is it always that way - little guys with attitude and gentle giants?). There are speakers who visit classrooms some of whom seem a bit too enthusiastic about bugs with a wild windswept look in their eyes. I forgot to photograph my bugs so I'll post those later.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

yah, i bet timmy is really good with sign language considering he has two-whole fingers on each hand! need a pic of the infamous black tie!


2:16 PM  

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