Although I started taking photographs when I was young — my father was an amateur photographer and he gave me a Kodak Duaflex when I was 10 years old so I could be his pal on photo "shoots" — I began taking nature photographs in color in the digital age. My husband Ron and I became birders and traveled in the U.S., South America, and Central America, and even France, to find subjects. Ron soon abandoned binoculars for a video camera and I bought a still camera. I never wanted to lug around a big lens and tripod, so I always had some sort of Panasonic Lumix. As the years passed, the cameras got better and their range got longer.
I became interested in insects when Ron — at the time Assistant to the Director of the Natural History Museum, Smithsonian Institution — asked me to help him create a live insect zoo. It was great fun because we could do exactly what we wanted, we were able to observe our insects on a daily basis, and we could see how much pleasure the Insect Zoo gave to its visitors (and not just children, either!). (It is still a popular exhibit 46 years later!) It was because of that project that I began to know, respect, and be amazed by insects.
Over the years I took photographs of insects. It was a hit-and-miss affair, because I really had no method and was still not willing to carry a heavy lens and tripod. It was only after I met Valerie Bugh, who was in charge of the Fauna Project at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas, that I learned how to take close, sharp photos of insects. I watched her technique and tried it myself. Voilà! Now insecting was even better — and more challenging. Not only did I have to find the insects (patience), I had to capture their fabulous colors, markings, and behavior in my photos.
I really owe this website to both Ron Goor, for including me in all his projects -- particularly the Insect Zoo, and Val Bugh, for showing me how to photograph insects and being extremely generous in sharing her knowledge with me. I would also like to thank Cheryl Beagle, Director of the Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly & Caterpillar Exhibit at Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, Maryland, who gave us monarch and spicebush larvae as well as milkweed plants so I was able to take the photos I did for Insect Metamorphosis: Complete.
This website is not complete. I will continue to add photos. The advantage and disadvantage of digital photography is that it costs nothing to take thousands of photos, and I have. I plan to add more on insects such as sections on metamorphosis, weird or extraordinary or gorgeous insects, butterflies, beetles, bugs, etc. I plan to add a section on the National Parks that we have visited, such as Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Park. I plan to include photos of places that are good for nature, such as Florida, Texas, and Arizona. There is no limit!