National Geographic posted this awesome article about tiger beetles and I read it yesterday.  It totally took me back to a time when I first heard about tiger beetles and their speed on… it was either Kratts Creatures… or the Jeff Corwin Experience… I must’ve been fairly young… but it blew my mind!  And then I began thinking about my beginnings in the museum….

*day dream flashback moment* **blurring of vision**

When I first started off in the museum as an intern, I was one of Peggy Macnamara’s (resident artist for the field museum) students.  I think I bugged her for a number of weeks to introduce me to someone in the museum where I could volunteer after realizing what an amazing place this was.  She introduced me to the insect collection manager, Jim Boone, and for the first couple of months, since I had practically zero natural history/science education or experience, I was put to work with another volunteer just going through and kind of cleaning up the collection.  And A part of the collection that wasn’t really used often.  We went through and adjusted pinned insects to look more orderly as it was slightly unorganized, but he did this to see how well we took to working with pinned insects and specimens that were easily broken.  In those first couple months I feel like literally everything was amazing even though I was seeing the same stuff over and over.  Tiger beetles with ant heads attached to them and moths still in their jaws.  I always thought that because tiger beetles preyed on ants, when the ants fought back and bit legs and various parts of the body, when the beetle bolted at 5mph, it ripped their heads off! in further exploration on the topic, this probably isn’t the explanation… but I still like to imagine it maybe happening.  

These images are from Nov. 2009.  I’d like to think my photo skills have improved since then.