About Lynn Clausen

 About Lynn Clausen

I have used many names during my lifetime, some for business, some to let you know what I'm doing and some to describe my mood. Some of my aliases were: Sarah Kincaid, Rosey Appleseed, Wonda WHimcYcle, Emma Vermont from Gillette, Wynoming, Wheezer (Lint) McTweezer, Lindy, Lynsdale, Frenchy, and finally, or perhaps I should say firstly, Lynette Rae Ferch, the name on my birth certificate.

My love for insects started with butterflies when I was about 3 years old. I really was supposed to be having my afternoon nap with my brothers and my Mom was up at Grandma's house, which occupied the same property as us. She would check out the window to make sure all was well and I was always out chasing butterflies in Grandma's garden. I would always catch a jar full of fireflies in the summer evenings and watch them flash until I fell asleep and every morning they had turned to brown juice.

One morning when I was about 14, the lady next door called me over to see an unusual caterpillar. She found it in her asparagus patch. I got a book from the library to see if I could identify it and it turned out to be a Cecropia Moth caterpillar. It spun its cocoon of silk and in the spring emerged the biggest and most beautiful butterfly I had ever seen. I was hooked. My interest in butterflies and insects survived lo these many years.

We walked 1/2 mile back and forth to school and I picked up caterpillars along the way. If I didn't find a container in the ditches on the way home, I just put them on my body to give them a ride home. Home was a jar with their favorite food, all separated, of course. Even as a first grader, I knew they had a better chance of survival in my jars than out in the dangerous environment where they were subjected to the weather and their predators.

My school years, 2 marriages and two children, as a matter of fact, increased my interest 100 fold. You see, I was presented with a son, Peter,

who shared my interest (on his own) by picking out a college text at the junk store, no pictures on the cover and very few within the book, but it was the information about bugs that interested the little fella. It answered questions that Mommy couldn't always answer that peaked his interest. It was not the Little Golden Books that this 3-year old child wanted me to read about at bedtime, but the insect text that often was over my head. This interest in insects was undoubtedly what bound my family together more than anything else. (Excuse me while I wipe the tears from my eyes that are making it impossible to type.)

When Peter's little sister, Becky,

came along nearly 2 years after he was born, he could hardly wait for her to grow up quickly and learn to talk so she could be part of the 'bug team'. We weren't in any hurry to have her talk since we already had Peter asking questions about bugs all day, so we didn't encourage her to talk. But Peter, bless his little heart, took it upon himself to teach her. To this day, 35 years later, has not stopped even to take a breath. He taught her about bugs and begged for a butterfly net and bug jars for her so he now had someone to boss around. Anything he was hesitant to pick up, he called for his junior partner to come and catch and she could be "Bugger of the Day." She adored her older brother and would pick up anything to earn his respect and the exclusive  title.

Whenever we left the house, the nets and bug jars went along.  Peter could see a fly thirty feet away and we were going 50mph.  Dad nearly always stopped and the kids fought to get out of the van  first. Peter won that race always and got the bug too.By age 5, he not only knew the common name of his catch , but often the Latin name as well.  Becky was now happy to have me read the bug books at bedtime.

I haven't mentioned my husband, Jerry,

but he was not off the hook either although he always claimed to only be the bus driver.  Not so!  Being the tallest, it was his responsibility to catch anything over our heads.  He had lots of other duties.  He had read about 'black lighting.'  That is done at night where you hang a white sheet and shine a black light on it.  He may have used another bright light along with it, but I'm not sure about that.  The bugs  could see the light reflecting off the sheet from miles around and flew to the sheet and landed on it.  We then picked off the bugs that we wanted and put them in jars.  These powerful lights weren't like flashlights where you just press a button and they come on. They required a car battery, generator, power outlets that you could plug a number of electrical appliances into.  This certainly required an awful lot of equipment to be packed and carried to where we were setting up and for a number of years, the kids were not able nor interested in the work part of the outing.  Jerry, being mechanically endowed, put together a generator on a two-wheeled cart, tied the lights on the cart along with the sheet, ropes,extension cords, and clothes pins and it was one trip from the van to where we were setting up.  He also came up with lots of other ideas to make the job easier with less work.  I think that's why he was put on this earth and in this family.  He always had a better and certainly easier way to complete a job. He became known as "Captain Contraption" and even had a shirt to advertise his expertise.  He became well known for his "jerry-rigged" projects. Bus driver, indeed!

When Peter was in high school, I bought him 2 Australian Walking Sticks for his birthday.  He was no longer living at home, but I was careful to get them hidden in our bedroom so he wouldn't see them 2 weeks before his birthday.  In those 2 weeks, I became ridiculously attached to them.  But I did bring them out and told Peter,"Look what I was going to give you for your birthday!" He was overjoyed but didn't understand why I changed my mind or if I was just joking.  I admitted that I had just gotten too attached to Camel Ambrose and Petutti. Within 6 months we had over 100 different species of walking sticks in our basement. We were off and running and haven't stopped.  Pete has a website called "BugsinCyberspace.com" and I have a blog here in central Mexico that just shows pictures and ID's of insects I have caught here.  Following is my contribution at age 68 and by all means check out Pete's  website.

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