This week I've been playing my own version of "Pokemon Go!" It's great getting outside (for any reason). My adventures do not feature being hit by a car, robbed, falling off a cliff, etc. Yet adventures they were.
I am in the process of writing a field guide for 15 Minute Field Trips™ featuring pages that give a bit of background on things encountered outdoors. There's a page on bees, cloud types, measuring instruments, soil, and more, each designed to help people understand and enjoy what they are focusing on.
In the bee page, I describe the habitats of solitary bees, which includes wood hollows and underground tunnels. I spent months photographing bees and going through my photos to include some very diverse species found in my garden. Today, I took it a step further, catching 9 of the 12 or more species I sighted, for further study. Gotta catch 'em all, they say. And with tiny species like the perdita and mason bees and metallic ones like certain sweat bees, it's hard enough getting a well-focused image of one, let alone knowing if it's a new one that looks similar to others I've found.
Another reason for all the photos (And collecting insects for more photos), is my licensing dilemma. I have created a number of info graphics I have started sharing with other educators. The ABCs of Bees graphic is all my own images. The Seed Dispersal graphic uses a lot of images from Fotolia. I have a licensing agreement that allows me to print 500,000 copies of something and use it in presentations, etc., but not allow me to put it online or sell it. In order to do that, a 70¢ to $1.00 image goes up to a $70 to $150 image. One of my pages had nine such images.
So...I need to recreate some pages and make up my own image catalog in order to make this field guide and make it available on Amazon. It's been interesting weather this week, and I've found myself taking pictures of clouds through my car window (not safe, I know), or racing to the baseball field behind my house to get enough distance to photograph the cumulonimbus clouds while also finding a ground hog living in a fractured steel pipe full of plastic water bottles and even a used syringe... So yes, adventures trying to capture all this images.
So kids, grab a camera or a smart phone, look before you cross the street, and see if you can capture a bee with pollen on its legs, a swallowtail butterfly, a cloud that looks like a turtle... Make your own list! Catch 'em all!