For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Passion and calling

 I have been sorting out pictures for the website and the TV is on with the final Oprah Winfrey show. Funny how her programs always makes one think and contemplate. One of the things she says is that everyone has a calling and a passion and it is up to us to find it and do something with it. How true!!


It took me many years to find my passion and figure out what it was but eventually, at the age of 28, I discovered my love of wild animals and teaching people about it. I eventually discovered the world of insects and I was born again in a world so fascinating, it became the very air that I breath.

At first, it was just a job I thought I would enjoy doing but it eventually became my life!!

A while back someone wrote of me:

“Joan is one of the most passionate critter lovers I have ever known. Great attention to detail and research, along with stunning photography”

To me, this has to be the biggest and best compliment I have ever received (thank you Craig). The more I learn about nature the more I want to share this information with everyone. I could never have been a teacher in a classroom but I have always thought of myself as being in the same category, wanting to teach.

I have had many doubts along the way as to what I want to do with my life and in trying to progress from where I am now, there are and have been many setbacks. Each negative answer I receive in looking for sponsorship in order for me to do research on biodiversity makes me think I am not worthy of following my dream but after a few days, I know in my heart that this is my passion and calling and I continue to strive towards my goals. Sometimes I get very despondent and think about giving up photography and the whole idea of recording my findings but then I look at the stats on my page and see how many people are finding the pictures and info useful and I realize that when something like this is in your blood and your heart, you can never give it up. It is easier to give up eating, smoking and drinking, than to give up something which is so ingrained in your very soul.

Who knows, maybe someday soon someone will realize the importance of recording what we have in nature now before it disappears and is never even discovered. Maybe with global warming, tsunami’s and all the rest of the crises this world is facing, my pictures and blog will be all there is left to show of what there once was. At least I will know that I tried to record what I could for posterity.

There is untold excitement in the prospect of giving new discoveries a name and endless advertising possibilities for sponsors in all of this. We tend to be concerned with loosing the bigger things like forests which are visible but does anyone know the important role insects play? Not very many! Take just one out of the circle of life and the rest comes crashing down. Yeah I know, I am ranting and raving again but someone out there feels the same as I do and I will do anything I need to in order to connect with him/her.

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