We’ve been making an effort to talk up our member benefits and how they support the wide variety of programs we can offer and the impacts we make.  At the same time, we are continuing to build a strong partnership with our neighbors at the Stone Zoo.  Last night, we combined both focuses.

The Stone Zoo BugBlitz on August 8 was our first members-exclusive special event (aside from our after-work hikes) and it was a hit!  It was wonderful to see the two non-profits, including our enthusiastic members, come together.  Insect and animal experts as well as a couple of handfuls of nature-loving generalists of all ages educated each other, shared stories and photos, recorded spottings, and networked.

Fells board member and Zoo Curator Pete Costello helped with initial planning and logistics, and we’d like to thank everyone–event organizer and Senior Keeper Jef Taylor (also page owner and organizer with UrbanNatureWalk), and experts Jenn Forman Orth and TeĆ” Kesting-Handly for setting up viewing stations, bringing extra specimens and sharing their knowledge.  And of course thank  you to all who participated!

There were serious discussions on entomology and what goes into that kind of research.   We learned how to apply insect facts like information about subtle regional differences or food sources to The Middlesex Fells.  They provided useful field guides for reference.  On the lighter side, we shared themed snacks and made up some fun nicknames for our 6-legged visitors.

These are some pictures I got.  Click to enlarge thumbnails. Feel free to share yours in the comments here or on Facebook (particularly if you’re a more talented photographer than I am), or send them to us directly to add to the post.

What other kinds of events would you like to see?