If you are looking to introduce someone to Nature and the wild you don't have to go very far. Right out side your door is a wilderness of creatures more numerous than you can count, weirder than you can imagine, and as beautiful as a flower.

Not only are there more insects than any other type of animal, but it's not even a close comparison. 95% of all animal species are insects and they out weight the sum of all other animals. On average any acre on earth has over a million individual insects living on it.

For me a very important part of life is about discovery and exploration. That includes everything from places to ideas. One of the great things about the insect world is that even if you don't have a lot of time or live in an exotic place, if you just take the time to explore you can discover incredible things going on right out side your door. All of the photos in this field note were taken in my yard in the last month.

Many winged insects are completely at the mercy of the weather, especially during the night. And that weather includes dew. Damselflies and Dragonflies will often have dew form on them during the night (dragonflies are usually larger than damselflies, and damselflies hold their wings above their body when they rest, dragonflies hold their wings out to the side).

If you get up early in the morning, before the dew has dried off, a careful search of grass (especially near water like a stream or pond - the larva of these insects live under the water and the adults live near the water) can turn up a dew covered dragonfly or damselfly. They are literally grounded until the sun dries them off. Finding a dew-covered dragonfly is like finding a jewel covered treasure.

Butterflies are even more beautiful and in the case of the monarch have an even weirder life cycle. Besides going through a wonderful metamorphosis they also go through one of the most incredible journeys on earth. More about that later.

Here is something else to keep in mind when you are showing someone the wilderness outside your door. Remember the one million insects in every acre? Well scientists believe that only on tenth of all the insects species have been identified so far. So it's entirely possible for someone to discover a species that has never been named before, right outside your door. Charles St. Charles III