Robert E. Marcotte
City, state, country:
Rochester, NY, USA
As an amateur wildlife photographer, I very much appreciate the opportunity to submit the insects I photograph to Bugguide for identification.
My interest in observing wildlife began as a young boy when I saw a male Scarlet Tanager in full sunlight while walking to elementary school one morning. Though my training is as a journalist and writer, I embraced the opportunity to participate over the years as a “citizen scientist” in Aubudon Christmas Counts, a Breeding Bird Atlas, Cornell Lab’s Project Feederwatch, and to write about birds in various venues.
Eventually my focus shifted to dragonflies and damselflies after encountering a Green Darner and photographing it at point blank range as it perched on vegetation. I was utterly intrigued by its appearance. I contributed several images to Odonata Central to help document the species found in the Rochester area.
My wife Cathy and I have turned our suburban yard in the Town of Greece into a miniature wildlife refuge with flower beds, bushes and trees. This has helped us attract birds, and also explore and photograph the incredible, but largely unseen diversity of insect life that thrives all around us.
During the summer of 2018 I began daily, pre-dawn monitoring of the insects — especially moths — that showed up on our front porch after leaving the light on overnight. Thank you, Bugguide, for invaluable assistance in helping me sort through the bewildering array of moth species and variations in appearance even within the same species.