Spiders and The Big Twitch

Subject: Spiders and The Big Twitch
From: Lynne Kelly <>
Date: Sun, 21 Jan 2007 14:54:05 +1100
Hi All,

A member of your group has alerted me to your discussion on spiders,
due to my obsession and writing.

I am a recovered arachnophobe who overdid the cure and am now addicted
to studying spiders. The cure consisted simply of learning about them.
I am also a science writer and am now contracted to write a book
titled "Spider: from arachnophobia to obsession" for Allen & Unwin.

I have subscribed to this list because of these really interesting
emails on spiders - I am a keen natural history type and been bird
watching for ages. But it is (rightly) in breach of guidelines to use
the list for commercial purposes.

The emails on spiders have been intriguing, and I have now searched
the archives finding lots more, but will not use anything without
permission, of course. Should any of you want to describe these to me
to help with my research for the book, I would be very keen to hear
from you off list.

I also take enrichment courses for kids in gifted education, including
bird watching and all sorts of bug watching. I read The Big Twitch (I
am told Sean Dooley is on this list) thinking umpteen pages of
been-there-ticked-that would be dreadfully dull. I loved every page. I
have subsequently used it with my enrichment classes. The best bit of
all is the photo on the back. Kids are really intrigued that a kid
their age out in swamp near home watching birds can lead to such a
great book. Twitching is in!

One ten year old, Lauren, was so inspired by the bird watching we did
that she submitted some incredible observations of rainbow lorikeet
behaviour for the course. Then she convinced her family to buy her
bird guides, binoculars and let her use her father's camera. A year
later, she is still emailing me and still addicted. Her parents (who
are delighted) said the photo on the back of The Big Twitch really
made her feel she didn't have to keep her fascination with birds
secret. They had no idea she was already bird watching so much. She'd
said nothing to anyone. I have now got her into spider-watching as
well. We obsessives do that.

Thank you, Sean.




author / educator:
EUMY Education:

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