July 4th, 2011
Having just returned home from the Virginia Institute for Natural Youth Leadership workshop held in Martinsville, Virginia last week, I had precious little time to prepare for BRDC’s second annual July 4th set-up on the 1908 Historic Courthouse lawn. Be that as it may, I spent the 3rd gathering aquatic invertebrates, insects associated with our common milkweed, and some moths from my moth sheet later that night. Hauling this zoo along with microscopes and drawing tools into town, I had everything in place by 8:30 and ready for action.
Joining BRDC, and back by popular demand, were Claire Gleason and Sylvester, her famous corn snake, Susan Gleason (Claire’s mom), and eventually William Roberts and Cecelia Mathis. Kids and adults were drawn to the table by Sylvester, who received plenty of attention, but everyone was especially curious about the tank of nearly invisible water bugs. Over and over again, I carefully removed tiny stoneflies, mayflies, water pennies, midge larvae, and so on, transferring them to well slides to be viewed through the scopes. Oohs and ahhs were common. Meanwhile, in the other tank, an assassin bug was lunching on a milkweed beetle drawing mixed reviews.
It was interesting to note how many adults took to the aquatic insects…fishermen mostly…calling up childhood memories and some tall tales. Cecelia brought a photo gallery board representing BRDC’s ongoing bio-census at Matthews Living Historic Farm Museum, which she, and Bob and Bill Perkins have been managing. On August 30th, BRDC will hold its second annual gala event at the farm museum, which in part, was advertised through Cecelia’s poster.
A special thanks goes to William Roberts, for showing up on a moment’s notice and giving a few hours of holiday to BRDC! Also, I would like to thank Susan Gleason for her successful efforts in getting down contact information from many enthusiastic folks. We have a long list of new friends.