Our fun experience at Nat Geo Live!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words and while I don’t disagree with the sentiment, I must say that I find listening to National Geographic photographers speak about their projects as fascinating (if not more fascinating!) than the photos themselves.

Bumblebee

Bumblebee (Photo © DLTK’s Sites)

We just got back from a National Geographic Live presentation entitled Beauty and the Bizarre with photographer Anand Varma. This is the fourth or fifth Nat Geo Live presentation we’ve attended and they’ve all been great in their own way.

A lot of you already know that I love creepy crawly things. I enjoy gardening – as much for the insects as I do for the flowers. Sitting in my backyard with a cup of tea watching the bumblebees and ladybugs going about their day is my idea of meditation… but I enjoy wiggly worms and creepy spiders just as much as I do the prettier bugs. There’s a very cool type of spider that inhabits my backyard – it changes colors to blend in with the coloring of the flower it’s sitting on – it’s called the Goldenrod Crab Spider and I love playing Where’s Waldo on a sunny summer afternoon, trying to spot them amongst the petals.

Goldenrod Crab Spider

Goldenrod Crab Spider (Photographer: Olaf LeillingerCC BY-SA 3.0)

The Beauty and the Bizarre presentation included four topics:

  1. Mind controlling parasites – insects that control other insects and fungus that control insects and plants. It was my favorite part of the show… gosh, parasitic wasps are cool!
  2. Honeybees – a fascinating look at the research being done on the decline in honeybee populations.
  3. Bats – great photos and the difficulty in capturing images of these nocturnal animals.
  4. Hummingbirds – this was Darren’s favorite part of the show. The way they fly is incredible especially when viewed through slowed down video or stop motion photography.
Giant Hummingbird

Here’s a photo of a female Giant Hummingbird we spotted in Peru – George, one of the people on the tour with us, took this amazing photo!

The presentation was done in mid afternoon on a Sunday so there were lots of kids in attendance – all of whom seemed captivated by the stories and the photos. What a great way to inspire a child interested in film, photography or biology.

National Geographic presenters are, in my experience, great presenters. They are part artist, part scientist – part story teller and part activist. All these attributes appeal to school aged children in a way that, in my opinion, simple photos in a magazine just can’t. The presenters are passionate about their projects and most have spent months, if not years, becoming familiar with the subjects they are photographing.

Nat Geo Live presentations are given in most cities, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find one near you.  If you’ve never been to one, you should check it out.

Calgary Skyline

Calgary Skyline from the Stampede Grounds (Photographer: Chris Pawluck; licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0)

(I’m not associated with Nat Geo and I don’t get paid to write this… I just went to one this afternoon, thought it was cool and figured I’d share!)

About Leanne
Wife, mom and the woman behind the scenes of the DLTK's Crafts for Kids websites. The websites are a terrific hobby -- run by (me) Leanne, a mom with two girls as my official craft testers and my husband as my technical support. DLTK are the first initials of each of the people in my family (I'm the L!) Whenever we send out little cards or whatnot, we sign 'love DLTK' ... when I started the website I used the initials. Had I known the website would get actual strangers visiting it, I would have picked a less mysterious name but we're all stuck with it now!

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