Fabulous weather, a beautiful location, fascinating exhibits, and a Buzzing! show from John and me. It all adds up to a great day out – which is exactly what the Insect Festival 2009 here in York was last Saturday.
Yorkshire Moth Man, Dr Dave Chesmore had a stall, with lots of live moths he’d caught in the York area. There were also stalls from a wide variety of other people and organisations, including the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, the National Biodiversity Network, a jeweller, Elaine Kool, who makes stunning jewellery inspired by insects (find out more), and Ento Ceramics, whose ceramics are painted with beautiful insect designs (find out more).
John Rayson and I were asked to perform a Buzzing! show all about insects, which we did in the Tempest Anderson Hall. Fortunately another clutch of my world-first insect discovery, Berberis sawfly larvae, had hatched just a couple of days before, so I was able to take some live larvae along for people to see.
We had great feedback from our show. Luke Tilley, who had invited us to perform there, wrote to us to say the show was:
‘excellent. I enjoyed it very much, and so did the audience.’
And Professor Jim Hardie, former President of the Royal Entomological Society, said he ‘greatly enjoyed’ our show.
Professor Hardie went on to say that ‘Lesley Goodman would have been delighted by the way you presented insects to a very general audience.’ I was very touched to hear this. You’ll recall I was awarded the Lesley Goodman Award by the Royal Entomological Society last year. I’m very pleased that it was felt that I have lived up to the aim of her award, and to her memory.
John and I ended our show with a poem about the Harlequin ladybird, and we stayed on in the hall to go along to a fascinating talk there about the Harlequin ladybird, given by Dr Lori-Jane Lawson Handley from the University of Hull.
Don’t forget to record your sightings of Harlequin and other ladybirds with the UK Ladybird Survey. Scientists like Dr Lawson Handley need our records!