Specimen Spot – Hymenoptera

Valley Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) While you may refer to it as a bumblebee, this large fuzzy critter is actually a Valley Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa varipuncta). Found throughout the western United States and Mexico, their genus boasts the largest insect eggs in the world. While their size intimidates their competitors for nectar and pollen, they…

Specimen Spot – Lepidoptera

Pacific Orangetip (Anthocharis sara) The Pacific Orangetip butterfly (Anthocharis sara) is a native species to the Pacific coast, though rarely seen. Emerging in late March and flying until around mid-May, the Pacific Orangetip can be found along the west coast from Northern Mexico to Alaska in grassy hillsides and other dry habitats. Pacific Orangetips feed…

Getting an Education…When You Already Have One.

Many college seniors find themselves posing for pictures with friends and family, diploma in hand only to realize “I went to school for the wrong subject.” Momentary doubt as to why you chose the path you did or if you made a mistake are natural. However, sometimes these thoughts linger. At a certain point, it…

Welcome to A Small Brightness!

While others considered my upbringing to be “sheltered”, I am grateful to my mom for the life she created for me and my sister. Instead of TV, we watched classic films. We embroidered and learned to make bread, while weekends were spent hiking, identifying flowers and insects. Looking back I understand what my mom envisioned…