When I’m not posting pictures of bugs on the internet, I organize outreach programming to inspire others to rethink how they feel about them. Officially, I’m the Director of Outreach for the Lost Pines chapter of Texas Master Naturalists. A couple weeks ago, I had this set-up at Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary Open House, which is a great annual event where the private sanctuary is open to the public for a day. I was asked to have a table about bugs at this event last year, and that’s really what got me started with rearing insects and doing outreach.
This year, I brought my hoard of stick insects (I split them up into two tanks, which you can see at the back table), along with the caterpillars I had). I’m the nutjob between the two tanks wearing the loud patterned top. I also brought two microscopes: the traditional red one you see on the chair in the right of the bottom photo, and the USB microscope hooked up to a computer monitor. I also put out a bunch of field guides, beetles for the microscopes, and a bug baby guessing game (the wooden block thing). The bug game has the baby on the front, and you flip it over to see the adult on the back.
I love doing these events because the kids get SO EXCITED to see these strange insects, and the adults are SO SURPRISED to learn I find these things in my back yard. I’ll have this stuff at another event this weekend at Travis Audubon’s Blair Woods Family Nature Days. If you’re in the Austin area, stop by and meet my stick insects (and a cecropia moth cocoon!)
Photos from May 12 / Posted May 23, 2018