3rd Blogoversary, 7 New Blogs, & AIF #10

Today happens to be BitB’s 3rd blogoversary.  I won’t bore you with an attempt at witty, insightful introspection on what it means to have reached this modest milestone.  BitB is still what it started out as – tales from my life-long, entomocentric, natural history learning experience.  I’ve enjoyed these past three years immensely, learned far more than I would have initially imagined, and deeply appreciate the support and encouragement I’ve received from an admireably erudite readership.

Rather than talk on about myself, however, I’d like to talk about others.  I’m always on the lookout for new blogs – those that seem interesting make the blogroll, and if I find their content compelling enough they make my RSS feed list.  A few rise to the top due to their superior photography, insightful writing, or close alignment with my own interests – these I like to feature from time to time by name in an occasional post such as this one.  Following is the latest crop of new sites (or at least new to me) that have piqued my interest:

Crooked Beak Workshop is written by coleopterist Delbert la Rue, Research Associate at the Entomology Research Museum, University of California, Riverside.  I can forgive his primary interest in Pleocomidae (rain beetles) and other scarabaeoid taxa due to his strong side interests in Cicindelidae (tiger beetles), Buprestidae (jewel beetles), and ecology of sand dune ecosystems.  Posts occur irregularly, but when they do appear they are good old-fashioned hardcore coleopteran taxonomy and desert southwest ecology – what could be better?

Field Notes is a herpetology website by Bryan D. Hughes.  “Spectacular” does not even begin to describe his photographs, focused heavily on the marvelous diversity of venomous snakes and other reptiles in the desert southwest (and the occasional desert arachnid as well).  Bryan hopes his pictures and information will help homeowners who choose to live in areas harboring native wildlife become interested in it rather than kill it due to fear and myth – I hope he succeeds!

Gardening with Binoculars is a fairly new site by my good friend and fellow WGNSS member Anne McCormack.  Anne is a true “naturalist’s naturalist,” with solid knowledge that spans the breadth of Missouri’s flora and fauna – both vertebrate and invertebrate.  In GWB, Anne uses this knowledge and her considerable writing talents to weave informative and entertaining tales of her experiences with wildlife in a small native plant garden.  I can almost hear the campfire crackling in the background!

Natural History Museum Beetle blog is a new blog by Beulah Garner, one of the curators of Coleoptera in the Entomology department at The Natural History Museum in London (I am sooo jealous!).  With only two posts under her belt so far, it might be premature to give the site such quick praise; however, I couldn’t resist – the 2nd post had photos of tiger beetles!  Regardless, working amongst more than 9 million insects (did I mention I’m jealous?) should provide plenty of fodder for future posts.

The Atavism is written by David Winter, a PhD student in evolutionary genetics in New Zealand.  Wide ranging in his interests, it is his  series that has captured my interest (and while “spineless” across much of the blogosphere means squishy marine animals, David’s spinelessness is more to my liking – i.e., arthropod-heavy).  Moreover, in true academic fashion, David usually finds an unusual angle from which to discuss his subjects.

The Prairie Ecologist. Chris Helzer is an ecologist for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska whose writings demonstrate deep, intimate understanding of the prairie landscape and its myriad biotic interactions, as well as the passion that many of us here in the heartland feel when looking out on its vast expanses.  As if that wasn’t enough, Chris is also one of the rare bloggers who combines his well-crafted writing with truly spectacular photography – he’s the total package!

The Sam Wells Bug Page is written by – you guessed it – Sam Wells.  This is a straight up entomology site, featuring a diversity of insects from that wonderful state called California.  You won’t find these insects anywhere else on the web, and though it is (to my liking) heavy on the beetles, a variety of other insect groups are featured as well.  What’s more, each post almost always contains fabulous photos of that remarkable California landscape.  Each post is a little mini-collecting trip – I get a little homesick for the Sierra Nevada every time I read!


One final note – Heath Blackmon at Coleopterists Corner has posted the tenth edition of An Inordinate Fondness.  This was Heath’s first blog carnival hosting gig (could there have been any more appropriate?), but you wouldn’t know it by looking – 14 coleocontributions artfully presented, each with a teaser photo and just enough text to invite further clicking.  Head on over to AIF #10 and enjoy elytral ecstasy at its finest (and don’t forget to tip the waiter!).

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2010

About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
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26 Responses to 3rd Blogoversary, 7 New Blogs, & AIF #10

  1. jason says:

    Happy blogoversary, Ted! I’m glad you’re still around and I’m hoping three years is just the tip of the iceberg.

    And nice list of new blogs. I love that you do this. It’s always a good introduction to folks I might not otherwise find. Now off to explore…

    • Well, I feel a little silly fussing about a 3rd blogoversary when you’ve been at it since like before the internet…

      When I first started I wondered if I’d have enough material to keep it going – now I can’t possibly write up all the ideas that I have. I regard the clarity of thought, the synthesis of knowledge into a broad perspective of natural history that blogging has brought to me its greatest reward.

      Sometimes I feel I’ve given short schrift to my favorite blogs – those I’ve read for a long time now, since I didn’t do “featured blogs” posts in the early days when I first found what are now the old standbys. Oh wait, I don’t have to be apologetic – I did feature “xenogre” when I found it! Thanks for the wisdom, passion, and friendship.

  2. Susannah says:

    Happy blogoversary!

  3. Happy blogoversary, Ted!

    Thanks so much for writing one of the best, most passionate and consistently interesting/amusing blogs I have encountered.

    You really do what blogging is all about — sharing what you encounter, what you think, presenting interesting facts, sharing great photos and techniques – AND always remaining fresh in your approach.

    Just as importantly (or maybe even more!), you do a spectacular job of building community among blog authors and readers.

    Keep up the OUTSTANDING work!!!

  4. Happy blogoversary, Ted! I hope to read your blog at least the next three years…

  5. sam wells says:

    Hi Ted, thanks for the publicity. You’re too kind.

  6. david winter says:

    Happy blogoversary!

    I look forward for many more years of tiger beetles and everything else that passes under you lens. And thank you very much for including me among your new blogs, quite an honour to be featured here,

    (Sadly this Sunday’s post is going to be about land snails)

  7. Hi Ted, congrats from me too. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed your blog, and your passion for tiger beetles has inspired me to seek them out wherever I go. Thanks for being a great blog-buddy.🙂 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  8. sally says:

    Ted, congratulations!! Thanks for all the terrific information and photos– even of interest to those of us who are not primarily bug folk… Keep up the great work, I look forward to many more posts. Even I am beginning to see why you find tiger beetles so fascinating!

    I agree with Dave, you do a wonderful job of building community in the blog world. To which, by the way, you’re an excellent contributor. Thanks for being here.

    • Hi Sally – thanks so much. I know my subject matter will somewhat limit the potential audience, but it’s nice to hear from non-entomologists who still find the site of interest. Your readership is greatly appreciated.

  9. James C. Trager says:

    As an occasional contributor here, I have a tiny bit of vested interest in the past and continued success of BitB. But mostly, I want to say that it is the consistent high quality (and quantity) of Ted’s output that keeps me coming back almost daily for the latest beetley, etc. news, and great links to other cool blogs.

    • Thanks so much, James – esp. for your comment re. quality. Your contributions have certainly benefited BitB in that regard, as have the occasional guest bloggers I’ve had here (Alex, Anne, and Rich) – thank you all!

  10. Belated congratulations, Ted! What James said: consistent quality and interest throughout your three years.
    And thanks for the inks!

  11. Bryan Hughes says:

    Congratulations on year 3, and thank you for the wonderful write up and feature. It’s amazing how much information you’ve compiled here in that amount of time.

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