For the love of bugs.
Your site is one of the most enjoyable places I find myself coming back to over and over again. As a bug lover from the time I could stand on two feet, I have marveled at the incredible shapes, sizes and color variations of nature’s most abundant, yet often maligned creatures, the insects. As an adult, I continue to be awed by new discoveries, and find that your superb website brings an intelligent option to those who might otherwise have simply ignored or eradicated life forms they previously misunderstood. Growing up in New York City, my parents encouraged me to study insect life to a point that I joined a club of young entomologists which met monthly at The American Museum of Natural History, in Manhattan. That was many years ago, though my membership took me on some amazing summer field trips to places like Arizona, Florida, The U.S. Virgin Islands, and even Trinidad, in search of insects and their relatives. To this day I think of how very lucky I was, especially to have had parents like mine, who paid my way to go. After my teen years, which consisted of collecting and mounting insects, as was the method of preserving them to teach others, I began to see the light. That light was the one that was necessary to capture insects on film. With my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, I began trying to photograph my insect specimens on pins. Soon afterwards, on my first overseas trip, to visit an insect collector pen pal in Czechoslovakia, I purchased a 35mm SLR camera capable of taking macro photos. At age eighteen I began photographing every insect I could find, realizing that this was the way I wanted to remember these incredible creatures I came upon, without ever again doing harm to them. Today, I am a professional photographer, due to my love of insects. I travel throughout upstate New York, where I now reside, giving upwards of 100 slide lectures per year, about all sorts of wildlife that I have accumulated in photographs , over a span of three decades. My programs are illustrated with everything from mice to black bears, but when I include an insect close-up, as I often do, I always stress the importance of these basic building blocks of our natural world. Without the little things, there would not be the bigger things, like us. Once again, thanks for bringing awareness to the masses, of our wonderful world of invertebrates. "Everything you wanted to know about insects, but were afraid to ask", might be another name for your site, although What’s that bug works great. Dr. Ruth would be impressed! Yours truly,
What a fabulous letter for us to read so early in the morning. Your success story is wonderful. We are posting your letter to our fanmail page where we put general letters we love that are not accompanied by photos. You sound exactly like the type of person we would love to have on our professional advisory board at the photography department at Los Angeles City College.