I would say that I have a much deeper appreciation for nature and it’s vast capabilities then I did before. I’ve learned that even the most innocuous of creatures may be capable of the most extraordinary behavior. The Tetragnatha spider is no bigger than a dime and at first glance appears to be relatively uninteresting, yet it possesses a most sophisticated physiological ability.

I am grateful to TNC for the very important work they are doing in the preservation of native species in my home state of Hawaii and for allowing me to venture into Waikamoi. I hope to do so again many times in the future. Spending time there has strengthened my commitment to bringing recognition to the often fragile ecosystems that exist here in the Hawaiian Islands and around the world.

Finally, some things never change. I am still in the backyard collecting various creepy crawly things and keeping them in jars in my bedroom…or in the refrigerator (having learned that some bugs are easier to photograph when they’re cold). Over spring break my long-suffering mother opened what she thought was a container of yogurt only to find an unusually large and enraged centipede waiting for an opportunity to escape. Oops.