I've moved around a lot. I currently live with my husband and children in SW Michigan. We have also lived in Toronto (Canada), Florida, Ohio, Southern and Northern California. I studied horticulture many years ago in Northern California (Merritt College), and have worked in that field in many public and private gardens in CA, OH and FL. I thus have a broad knowledge of both cultivated and native plants from those states. For a while I worked at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity's Butterfly Rainforest
, so I'm pretty familiar with butterflies and caterpillars. Presently I'm a stay-at-home mom. In California I volunteered in our elementary school garden, which led to many wonderful opportunities to find and talk about bugs with students. I now devote a lot of my time to developing a new school garden at my children's current elementary school. We grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers, mostly from seed, and this year we are also focussing a lot of energy on attracting monarchs to our school and neighborhood.
I garden chemical-free and try to plant to attract a variety of insects. I have also raised many caterpillars in my home (I wrote an article for this site, Raising Caterpillars
, and you can see my rearing cage here
). Mostly I just stumble across bugs because I'm working (or playing) outdoors a lot. My son and daughter are both enthusiastic bug-hunters, too.
My earliest pictures were taken with the Kodak dx4900 4.0 megapixel digital camera plus diopter, which I still miss. In 2007 I switched to a Canon PowerShot A710IS, and in Spring 2011 to the Canon PowerShot SX20IS.
I believe BugGuide is the best possible place to share my images and learn more about what I'm photographing, and I've been a contributor since April 2004. Thanks to Troy Bartlett's kind invitation back in the early days of this site, I've also been an editor for several years. I enjoy trying to identify pictures in ID Request - but feel free to challenge my assumptions - I don't have any formal entomological training.
Some of my favorite pictures:
Finally, here is the strangest thing I've ever photographed - male zebra longwings mating with a female chrysalis. Click on it for more details.
Bug hunting always reminds me of the Dr Seuss book There's a Wocket in My Pocket
.There are so many amazing creatures right under our noses if we just pay attention.
"That's the kind of house I live in/and I hope I never leave it!"