One new project I didn’t add to my list of garden projects for 2011 is documenting all the insects in our garden in the form on an insect collection. I am really excited about this project. I haven’t made an insect collection since my college entomology class, so I am eager to relearn some identification and preservation skills. One of my inspirations for this project came from Jen Marangelo (who was in that college entomology class with me) who is starting the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium.
Jen, who has quickly emerged as the insect-human liaison in Missoula, was eager to help me get my little project underway and quickly gave me a list of tools, equipment and supplies I needed to get stared. Today a box of everything I ordered arrived (I should note that it took over a month to get all these supplies from a company I won’t be promoting anytime soon.). Nevertheless, all my stuff is here, and I am excited to start searching for, documenting and "preserving the biodiversity" of our garden!
If you don't know about the Missoula Butterfly House, it is a great cause, and in a moment with Jen and seeing her enthusiasm for the project, you know it is going to succeed. The mission of the Missoula Butterfly House is to promote an appreciation and understanding of insects and their relatives through public education and the development of an invertebrate education facility- a year round tropical butterfly house and an insect zoo with live insects, spiders, etc and hands-on exhibits.
The Missoula Butterfly House is a wonderful idea, and needs your help to become established, so consider becoming a member- membership is only $35 (and tax deductible).
I'm going to go outside and look for some more bugs.