Friday and Saturday September 21 and 22 were creepy, crawly, buggy days at The Crosby Arboretum! The weather was beautiful and you couldn’t ask for a better setting for an insect program than the Arboretum.
My first Bugfest was filled with anticipation and excitement. I was not disappointed. School children visited us Friday morning and seemed to have a great time learning about insect collecting from Dr. John Guyton and his students.
As the day went on parents and grandparents and children of ALL ages came out to collect insects and learn more about techniques of collecting.
Breanna Lyle introduced many people to the Scanning Electron Microscope that they brought down from campus in Starkville at MSU. The amazing images were captured and posted for all to see.
Breanna has a GREAT blog called “My Life With Spiders”. Check it out!
Some of us (like me) helped conquer their fear of spiders!
As dusk fell the Buggy Midway was hopping! Or maybe it was jumping? Crawling? Oh wait…it was all of the above. Kids had a great time creating Buggy Visors, Buggy Bags, Building a Bug, and Playing Buggy Bingo.
The Roach Races were a big hit and a few were even adopted out to “loving parents!”
Later it got even more exciting. The darker it got the more the insects were attracted to the lights at the collecting station sheets. I had a wonderful time leading some of this past summer’s Summer Nature Campers around to the stations to collect and observe. The Arboretum is somewhat spooky but even more exciting after dark. Not to mention the beautiful Pinecote Pavilion was all lit up. An amazing sight to behold.
Saturday we geared up again for another beautiful day of festivities which closed with a presentation by the Audubon Zoo Bugmobile.
Lady Lady Bug (Ms. Linda Lopez, Arboretum Volunteer) did face painting at the Buggy Bingo area and many children sported her cool if not beautiful designs.
Our VOLUNTEERS worked hard to direct traffic, lead groups to the Pinecote Pavilion, distribute nets and collecting jars, identify insects, demonstrate insect pinning, lead tours, conduct roach races, demonstrate a scanning electron microscope, and run the Buggy Midway.
I hope I do not forget anyone but I wanted to give special thanks to Dr. John Guyton, Breanna Lyle, Deanna Lyle, Matthew Thorn, Edward Entsminger, Daniel Fleming, Dr. Bill Sanford and son Andrew, Chris Werle, Christian Stephenson, Mary Cordray, Terry Ziegler, Jack Zawadski, Maureen Pollitz & daughter (and their traveling Hissing Cockroaches), Rick Enkoji, Linda Lopez (Lady Lady Bug), Susan Epps, Teri Borne, Diane Lafferty, Dave Eidelman and the Audubon Zoo Bugmobile, several past Bug Campers and of course our Arboretum Staff: Terry Johnson, Kim Johnson, Robin Veerkamp, Jarrett Hurlston and our fearless leader Ms. Patricia Drackett. All of these folks put in hard work and donated time to come out and make this event possible. If you would like to VOLUNTEER at events such as these, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 601-799-2311 ext. 101. Visit our Volunteer page of our website for more information.
Here is a slideshow of images that I captured during Bugfest 2012:
Don’t forget the annual Fall Native Plant Sale is this weekend: Friday and Saturday!
All images and text copyright Mississippi State University, 2012.