Tuesday, February 26, 2013

insects i've met recently

Here are two insects I've met recently. Firstly a manuka chafer beetle which made its way into the house, I usually find them dead outside.  Bright shiny green, and quite large by NZ insect standards. Which is how I managed to take some half decent macro photos on my point-n-shoot camera.

And off it flew, that's its shadow following take-off!

 Second up was a cicada that spent the night in the laundry basket with the freshly washed clothes. In the morning I carried it outside, and it greeted the sun. Once sufficiently warmed up, off it flew too.

So why am I devoting one of my few and far between blog posts to insects? Well once upon a time insects were a passion of mine. I went to university with the aim of becoming a Landscape Architect, which in those days involved getting an undergrad degree first, but after the first entomology paper I was hooked.

When I was in my mid 20's  I had to make a couple of decisions that looking back were significant turning points in my life.

Firstly there was leaving my first husband and getting on a plane at Manchester Airport to return to New Zealand. In hindsight not that hard a decision to make, but it was still definitely a turning point. Once back home I enrolled to do a PhD in Entomology. Six months later, and having gained a good scholarship, with an excellent supervisor and with my mum terminally ill, I made another hard decision - to quit. I realised I was doing a PhD for the wrong reason, because mum wanted me to, and I didn't want the life it would entail - research or lecturing. I knew I wasn't cut out for either. Maybe I should have done an arts degree instead of science?

I've no regrets about the four years I spent at university doing the degree I did, even although I don't "use" it in my present life. Do you ever look back on your life, and pinpoint one or two major decisions that you made which changed the trajectory you were on?


  1. Such neat photos! Insects are so cool :)

    It is so interesting to look back on our lives and see how we could have taken much different paths. I always say, if you told me 5 years ago that I'd be living in the country today with chickens and guineas running around, I wouldn't believe it! The one thing that changed our life trajectory was watching "Food, Inc." and being so shocked that we couldn't continue to live the same way anymore.

  2. Your images of the insects are incredible. At one point in my life I was frustrated with my job and was thinking of moving away to do something different then I met my husband and the rest is history!
    Sarah x

  3. Hi sally
    Can't say I like insects much but I have to admit the photographs are impressive.
    Very clear and loads of detail.

    Keep well


  4. What wonderful photos. Love that you caught the flight shadow! So cool!

    I've had quite a few turning points in my life. Definitely no straight line getting to where I am now and I think that the future will be quite crooked, too.

  5. Your photos are beautiful Sally. I have a big soft spot for insects too, especially beetles. The great things is passing that onto the kids who spend hours looking at "leafie girls', dragonflies and the like.
    Its been a while since i read any blogs, I loved reading this and have enjoyed seeing your new painting on instagram too.