My posts here have been more sporadic than I would like lately, and given what is on the horizon, that is not likely to change any time soon. Here is what has been happening, and what is forthcoming:
Contract work. I have recently become contracted with Splash Media of Dallas, Texas to do work from home. This entails being part of a team that is writing blog posts for a major third party client. Assignments have been lagging lately, but that is in part because Splash has been moving their offices. I am very impressed with our team leader, and look forward to continuing my relationship with Splash Media.
Contributing to another Kaufman Field Guide. I am about halfway through my contribution to another regional field guide in the Kaufman series, this one treating the Upper Midwest (Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa). If you have seen the Kaufman Field Guide to Nature of New England, then you know what to expect: comprehensive, accurate yet entertaining treatment of all things flora, fauna, and geologic.
Something really big. I am not at liberty to say much about this, but a major online enterprise recently approached me concerning a new addition to their...empire(?) Suffice it to say that if this comes to pass, it will change everything for me as far as my online presence. I hope to be able to explain this soon, but the wheels of corporate America turn slowly at times. I completed the application and testing required, and remain cautiously optimistic thanks to a friendly and supportive contact at the company.
Unidentified sphinx moth from Teller County, Colorado
"Mothapalooza." When I heard about this event, I made it known to organizer Mary Ann Barnett that I would love to attend, but didn't think I could afford it financially. Well, she promptly decided that I should be one of the "experts" in a leadership role, in exchange for registration and other expenses. How could I say "no" to that? Bonus: I get to hang out with David Wagner, author of the Princeton Field Guide to Caterpillars of Eastern North America, and Seabrooke Leckie, co-author of the Peterson Field Guide to Moths of Northeastern North America, among many other fine people. Mothapalooza is occurring at the Shawnee State Park Lodge and Conference Center, with field trips to other locations in Scioto and Adams counties, Ohio. The event runs from the evening of Friday, June 14 through the morning of Sunday, June 16. I don't think anyone is going to get much sleep...."Bug Fest." My good friends Jeff and Sandy Belth persuaded me to present at the first inaugural "Bug Fest" at the Hilltop Garden and Nature Center on the campus of Indiana University in Bloomington on Saturday, June 22, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Thanks to Janet Creamer Martin and her husband Eric, I'll be whisked straight from Ohio's Mothapalooza to the Belth house in preparation for that event. I look forward to signing books and leading field outings there.
Bugguide.net "gathering." My great friend Margarethe Brummermann has taken it upon herself to organize the 2013 Bugguide Gathering at the Santa Rita Experimental Range research station outside of Green Valley, Arizona, Thursday, July 25 through Sunday, July 28. I encourage my readers to consider attending, as it is a very unique part of the U.S., with some amazing insects, reptiles, birds, and other creatures....including me and Margarethe!
While I am pretty much spoken for as far as events go this summer, please keep me in mind for nature festivals and other events if you need a guest speaker or field trip leader. It would be my pleasure to help introduce more people to the joys of "bugwatching" as my friend and mentor Steve Prchal calls casual entomology. Safe travels, friends.