Insect Festival 2015

The Museum Gardens in York was teeming with even more insects than usual last Sunday as it hosted the biennial Royal Entomological Society Insect Festival.

Insect Festival 2015 (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Insect Festival 2015 (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Unusual additions included the butterfly above and the fly below, aka the very talented (and just a tad barmy) author of SWAT!, Mike Barfield (with whom I went to the Hay Festival last year):

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Mike and I were on hand at the Brambleby Books stall …

With Mike Barfield at the Brambleby Books stall

With Mike Barfield at the Brambleby Books stall

… to entertain visitors and sign copies of our respective minibeast-themed books. (Mine being, of course, Buzzing!) Here I am in action:

It was great to see young and old alike at the Festival lapping up the huge variety of exhibits and minibeast-themed activities on offer.

Introducing visitors to my Buzzing! book. (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Introducing visitors to my Buzzing! book. (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Hats off to the man who swore blind he did NOT like poetry, but allowed me 2 minutes of his time to change his mind. He left, a good 5 minutes later, laughing and with a signed copy of my Buzzing! poetry book in his hands.

Children perusing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stall.  (Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

Children perusing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stall.
(Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

This was the fourth time the Insect Festival has been held at the Museum Gardens in York – and the fourth time I’ve been there. (Find out what I got up to at the 2013 and 2009 Festivals.) According to the RES it was the most successful Festival yet, with more people attending than ever before. Let’s hope it will return to York again in two years’ time.

(Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

(Photo copyright: The Royal Entomological Society)

I took the opportunity, whilst I was there, to go along to the Buglife stall and sign up to become a Tansy Beetle Champion. If you live in and around York, would you like to become one too? You can find out more here.

Thank you to Nicola and Hugh Loxdale of Brambleby Books for all they did to make our stall run so well. And to all the other contributors and everyone at the RES and beyond who made the day such a success.

Nicola Loxdale, Director of my publishers Brambleby Books.

Nicola Loxdale, Director of my publishers Brambleby Books.

Anneliese Emmans Dean theBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

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More big garden thrills

This time last week it was a Hummingbird hawkmoth and young robins that were providing big thrills in our small garden on the outskirts of York.

This week it’s a Hairy shieldbug (Dylocoris baccarum):

Hairy Shield 2SM

A Hairy shieldbug on one of our poppies, 15 June 2015. Dig those colours!

and a recently fledged blue tit harrying its parent for food:

Blue tits - 16.6.15 - SMppm

Blue tits on our aquilegia, 16 June 2015

There’ll be more about these blue tits in my next book, Flying High, which is the bird sequel to Buzzing! But you’ll have to wait till next year to read that …

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for big garden thrills where you are!

Anneliese Emmans DeantheBigBuzz – Bringing poetry to life

 

 

South Africa is Buzzing!

I was thrilled to discover this week that South Africa is Buzzing! Take a look:

Aaliyah and Zawadi buzzing in South Africa!

Aaliyah and Zawadi with my Buzzing! book in South Africa!

These two gorgeous girls, Aaliyah and Zawadi, were photographed with my Buzzing! book in a garden in the Gauteng province of South Africa. Gosh, that’s a long way from my garden in North Yorkshire, England, where I wrote the poems and took the photos for the book. I hope the girls are enjoying Buzzing! in the spring sunshine down there!

A big Thank You to Madeleine for sending me this lovely photo – which has put such a huge smile on my face!

Anneliese Emmans DeantheBigBuzz.biz – Bringing Poetry to Life

Happy 40th Birthday River Foss Society

I first performed a version of my Buzzing! show for the River Foss Society three years ago. I was thrilled when they invited me back to provide the entertainment for their 40th Birthday Party celebrations last Tuesday. Thrilled, and not a little daunted. This was a very special occasion, after all ….

River Foss Society website

So, how did it go? Well, according to the River Foss Society website:

‘we were treated to a first class entertainment by “the soon to be very famous” Anneliese who gave a delightful, and very poetic, presentation on those tiny bugs “Buzzing by the River”, the River, of course, being the Foss. We were close to forming a new society at one stage which would have been devoted to loving the bluebottle. You had to be there to experience Anneliese turning a perfect evening into a special event, appropriate for a 40th anniversary. Roll on the 50th, all of us would like her back then, if not before.’

River Foss Society website 2

Phew! It seems to have gone OK. Not only that, but one of the members present at the event, Jan Claxton, wrote this wonderful poem as a Thank You:

Anneliese…..
You know how to please
With your expertise.
 
Your poetic flow
Of the facts you know
A riveting show.
 
Actress enthralling
Insects your calling
Buzzing and crawling.
 
Belle photographie
Of creatures so wee
Was wondrous to see.
 
  Anneliese…….
Thank you for coming
You were just stunning.
  
How fabulous is that?! What a wonderful Thank You present!
 
Not only does The River Foss Society do sterling work, it is also made up of the nicest bunch of people you could wish to meet here in York. If you’re the slightest bit interested in the river Foss and/or in walking and/or in matters ecological, I thoroughly recommend you think about joining them. Check out their website to find out more.
 
Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to their 50th Birthday Party! I think a Flying High! show all about birds might be just the ticket for that …
 
Thank you to all at the River Foss Society for making me so welcome last week, and for letting me be part of your celebrations. (Delicious cake, by the way!)
 

Anneliese Emmans Dean www.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing Poetry to Life

Exciting times!

A big thank you to Dafydd Lewis, Secretary of the Amateur Entomologists’ Society, for sending me this photo, which he took at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition in London last week. If you look closely, you’ll see my Buzzing! book there, one of the six  contenders for this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

My Buzzing! book on display at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 2013

My Buzzing! book on display at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 2013

The winner of the prize will be announced in November …!

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing Poetry to Life

All the fun of the Insect Festival!

Well, my Insect Festival 2013 began on Saturday morning at the Radio York studios where I was reviewing the papers and also assisting Festival organiser Luke Tilley tell listeners about the insect joys in store. Luke chose to do this by bringing in crickets for us all to sample. I say ‘us  all’. In fact, I chickened out. Or rather, cricketted out. But here are BBC presenter Julia Booth and her production assistant Jack gallantly tucking in to grilled (or were they baked?)  crickets in a cajun sauce:

BBC Radio York presenter Julia Booth with assistant Jack eating crickets in cajun sauce!

BBC Radio York presenter Julia Booth with assistant Jack eating crickets in cajun sauce!

The Insect Festival itself was the next day, a blistering hot Sunday, in the Museum Gardens in York. And it was teeming with people of all ages.

I was signing copies of my Buzzing! book on the Brambleby Books stand …

Signing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stand at the Insect Festival, York, 7 July  2013

Signing copies of my Buzzing! book at the Brambleby Books stand at the Insect Festival, York, 7 July 2013 (Photo by Christina Surdhar)

… and had the pleasure of meeting all sorts of interesting people:

At the other end of the Brambleby Books stand was the very talented Mike Barfield, signing copies of his wonderful book SWAT! How he survived the heat dressed in his fly outfit is beyond me …

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! at the Insect Festival 2013

Mike Barfield, author of SWAT! at the Insect Festival 2013

Not only did children enjoy being swatted by him, they were also fascinated by the fly-themed origami creations he was handing out:

Decoding Mike Barfield's SWAT! origami handouts at the 2013 Insect Festival

Decoding Mike Barfield’s SWAT! origami handouts at the 2013 Insect Festival

Hats off to Luke Tilley and the Royal Entomological Society for such an enjoyable and educational Insect Festival. Here’s to the next one, in 2015!

Hugh Loxdale, Luke Tilley, Mike Barfield and my publisher Nicola Loxdale of Brambleby Books enjoying the Insect Festival 2013

Former RES President Hugh Loxdale, Festival Organiser Luke Tilley, author Mike Barfield and our publisher Nicola Loxdale of Brambleby Books enjoying the Insect Festival 2013

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

Insect Festival comes to York!

Come along to the action-packed jamboree that is the Insect Festival, being held this Sunday 7 July at the Museum Gardens in York. There’s masses to see and do. Take a look at the programme here.

Festival Organiser Luke Tilley and I will be talking about the Festival on Radio York at around 8.30am this  Saturday, so tune in then to find out more!

At the Festival itself I’ll be signing copies of my Buzzing! book – at the Brambleby Books stand (no. 10, on the ground floor). Hope to see you there!

Insect Festival 2013 Poster_web

Buzzing! Book Signing at the Insect Festival

Anneliese Emmans DeantheBigBuzz – Bringing Poetry to Life